How to Find the Right Dog Walker

Choosing a Dog Walker

There are a lot of great reasons to hire a dog walker. Maybe you recently adopted a new puppy or an older dog, and you want to make sure they get the potty breaks they need. Maybe your schedule has changed, perhaps you just had a baby or it’s busy season at work, and you can’t take your dog out as often as you used to. Or maybe you’ve noticed some behavioral issues, and believe your dog will benefit from some extra exercise and stimulation. Whatever your reason, finding the right dog walker can make a wonderful difference in your dog’s life, and in yours. So here are some tips on finding dog walkers, and on the questions you should ask to ensure that you’re choosing the best dog walker for your pup and your situation.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Dog Walking

Choosing the Best Interactive Toys and Food Puzzles For Your Dog

Interactive Toys & Food Puzzles For Dogs

There are a great variety of puzzle feeders and interactive toys for dogs on the market: some that are meant for chewing, toys that involve mental exercises, and others that are designed to be nudged or tossed around. As a dog trainer, I highly recommend food puzzle toys for dogs because they provide a wealth of benefits for both you and your pup.

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Crate Training, GDV, Bloat, Puppies, Dog toys, Potty Training

How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Children

Introductions Must Be Safe For Both Dog and Child

When you get a new dog, you may be eager and excited to welcome this new member of your family into your home. And your kids will likely be consumed with giddiness and anticipation of having a new best friend. But before your kids try to smother your new dog with hugs and kisses, you need to consider how best to introduce your new dog to your children.

It’s important to take time to set up a step-by-step plan of introduction that will help ensure your new dog and children meet and get to know each other in a safe way and in a safe environment—which will maximize the chance for a safe, loving, long-term relationship.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Child Pet safety, Children and dogs, Pheromones, Introductions, New Dog

How to Introduce Your New Dog to Your Other Pets

Introductions Are a Process, Not a One-Time Encounter

When you get a new dog, you may be eager and excited to welcome this new member of your family into your home. But your dogs or cats already at home—your "resident pets"—may not exactly share in your immediate joy and excitement. Taking the time to set up a structured, deliberate process for introducing your new dog to your current pets will increase the chances of safer, more rewarding meet-and-greets and long term relationships. 

All introductions with your new dog—whether you’re introducing them to your resident dogs or cats, or even your human kids—should occur in a structured, safe environment at a pace that is comfortable for everyone. Introductions should be thought of as a process, not a one-time, high-stakes encounter.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, Pheromones, Introductions, New Dog

Choosing the Best Chew Toys for Your Dog—The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Safe Chew Toys: Important things to know and consider

Your dog is going to chew… it’s just a part of being a dog. And it’s actually quite an important part, too! Whether they’re a young puppy going through their teething period or exploring their new world, or an adult dog chewing to pass the time, keep their masticatory (chewing) muscles strong, or keep their teeth clean… all dogs need to chew.

Because chewing is good for your dog’s mental and physical health, it’s important that you provide them with plenty of things to chew on. Fail to do so and they’ll come up with their own chew “toys”… which often wind up being your most expensive pair of shoes, the legs of your dining room chairs, the nearest electric cord, or even your own arm! None of which are desirable, and several of which are downright unsafe, too!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Puppies, Breathing problems, Dog toys

Rodenticide Poisoning In Cats & Dogs—Why The Type Matters

Not all rat and mouse poisons kill the same way

Many cats and dogs are brought into veterinary hospitals in the fall and winter after having gotten into a rat/mouse poison (“rodenticides”). After all, this is a common time of year for rats and mice to try and seek shelter in people’s homes and businesses, so it’s a common time of year for people to be putting out rat and mouse poisons.

While most people know that rat and mouse poisons are dangerous for cats and dogs, what many people don’t realize is that not all rodenticides work (kill) the same way. Because of this, it’s vitally important that you pay attention to what you and your neighbors are putting in and around your homes, and that the veterinary staff or the people at animal poison control are told (or better still, shown) which rodenticide your pet got into if exposure happens.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, toxicity, Poison control, Blog, Outdoor cats, Dogs Outdoors

Dogs & Batteries – More Dangerous Than You Might Think

Dogs and Batteries - Yes, Really!

You might already know by now that dogs are experimenters and their mouth is the laboratory. What you might not be aware of though is that one thing dogs often like to "test out" are batteries. (Don't forget, they also readily gobble up cat poop, fishing hooks, and rocks... so are batteries really that big of a surprise?!?!)

Another thing you might not yet know is that while all batteries can pose serious dangers to dogs when chewed or eaten, there's one type of battery that carries an even greater risk for dogs (and kids) – the disc or "button" type batteries.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Vomiting, Digestive obstruction, Pet safety and houseguests, Pet emergency, Batteries, Lithium Battery, Hydrogen Peroxide

Mosquito Repellent – Keep Insects Off Your Dog Safely

Keeping Mosquitoes Away From Your Dog

With the outdoor activities you're partaking in and the recent talk of Zika and the ever-present West Nile Virus, you might be starting to think of ways to keep mosquitoes, flies, and other insects off of yourself and your dogs.

Dogs aren't (currently) known to get Zika, but they certainly can get West Nile and they (sadly) often get Heartworms... all from mosquitoes! While there are plenty of products out there to help keep insects off of you, when it comes to your dogs, there are only a handful that are both safe and effective. And many of the mosquito and bug repellent products for people are just downright unsafe for your pets!

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips, Heartworm, Heartworm Preventatives, Mosquitoes

Your Pet's Microchip... Is It Registered? Up-To-Date? Here's How To Do Both.

Microchips Reunite Families... But They Need Your Help

You've taken the important step of having your pets microchipped, or they came already "chipped" from your local shelter... awesome!

But did you ever register their microchip? And do you know if your registration contact information is up-to-date in the registry?

Having your pets (including indoor-only cats) microchipped is a super important first step in increasing your chances that you'll be reunited with them should they run away, get lost, be stolen, or otherwise disappear in the blink of an eye from your life. Ever mistakenly leave a door open? 

While having the microchip implanted is a super important step, it's not the only one. It's equally as important that you (1) register your contact information in one (or multiple) of the pet microchip registries listed below, and (2) check regularly to ensure that your contact information is always up-to-date in case the worst happens.

So, if you never registered your pet's microchip or if you're unsure if you did or whether or not your contact information is up-to-date, please read on. Your pet's safety, as well as your peace-of-mind depends on it. As do your local shelters and animal control! After all, properly registered and microchipped pets make their lives SOOOOOO much easier and help to keep the shelters less full.

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Topics: Dog Safety, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips

How To Keep Your Dog Cool When It's Hot Outside

Tips to help your dog keep its cool

With the current and upcoming high temperatures in many parts of North America, and indeed the world, it's a good idea to focus on the things that can help your dog stay cool and safe.

Obviously if you’ve got air-conditioning in your home and your dogs are able to hunker down in there during any heat spells, that’s typically the best option. But not everyone has A/C and not every dog is able to spend their time indoors, so here are some ideas that may help dogs that need to spend time outside during the summer.

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, Summer Pet Safety Tips, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stress, Heat Stroke, Heat Stroke Risk Factors

Photo Credit: Preventive Vet

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.