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What to Do When Approached By An Off-Leash Dog


Having a loose dog approach you and your dog while you’re out enjoying a walk can be a nerve racking experience. Is the dog friendly or will they bite? Are they a stray or did they escape from their yard somewhere nearby? Where is their owner? Are they wanting to come play with your dog or are they protecting their territory?

This scenario happens more than it should and it can be terrifying, especially if your dog has had bad experiences with off leash dogs in the past or you have a leash reactive dog who needs their space. Whether a dog has gotten loose from their owner (or the owner has decided to just ignore leash laws in the first place), or if it's a stray dog wandering the area, an off leash dog coming to investigate a leashed dog is a situation that you should try to avoid at all times.

The dynamics between a leashed dog and off leash dog are different than if both dogs were leashed or both were off leash. It’s best to save the greetings for another time, when both owners are present, the dogs are either both leashed or both off leash, and after you’ve had a chance to find out more about the other dog’s behavior and health history. 

So what should you do if you’re out on a walk with your pup and you see a loose dog approaching? There is inherent danger and risk to having a loose dog coming towards you and your dog. These following techniques may help keep your dog safe but every situation is unique. Use your best judgement. You could be putting yourself in harm's way in order to try and protect your dog. Hopefully the approaching dog is friendly and no one gets hurt.

Want to learn more about your dog's behavior and get some training tips? We've  got 101 more for you here!

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Emergency, Safety, Puppy, Dog, Dog Walking, Emergency Preparedness for Pets, aggression in dogs, Off Leash Dog

#IfOnlyIKnew: Milo's Brush With a Chip Bag


The evening of December 4, 2018 was unfolding like any other. Kristi Blust 
did the usual quick basketball practice drop off run with her daughter after work, taking the typical 10 minutes or so. She returned home to start making dinner for her family, just like the night before. That's where the similarities stop though. Sadly, that evening wasn’t going to be just like any other evening for Kristi and her family.

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Topics: pet safety, Dogs, Pet Suffocation, #IfOnlyIKnew, hearing loss

#IfOnlyIKnew: Baking Healthy Killed This Dog!


Like many health-conscious people these days, Melissa Wardrop is eating healthier and watching her and her family’s consumption of sugar. She’s also a very considerate person, both generally and also in terms of taking her friends' sugar-free eating habits into consideration. Sadly, it was the two “thank you” loaves of sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free zucchini bread she baked for her friends that led to the loss of her beloved family dog, Lucy, a beautiful and sweet 5 year old Lab.

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Topics: pet safety, Dogs, Xylitol, Xylitol Products, Dog Treats, #IfOnlyIKnew

List of Essentials to Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Pets


If and when disaster strikes, the last thing you want is to scramble for supplies.

Whether you have to hunker down or evacuate to safety, there won’t be much time to worry about finding food, water, and other necessities — and that's if the store shelves haven't been picked clean already.

So it’s vital that you not only have an emergency plan but also an emergency kit — for you and your dog or cat. Hopefully, you will never have to use this kit for the pets in your family. But you will feel a lot better knowing that you have what you need, even if you never need it.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, Dog Emergency, Cat Emergency, Pet First Aid Supplies, Emergency Preparedness for Pets

How to Make a First-Aid Kit for Dogs


What to put in your pet first-aid kit and why


When your dog suffers an illness, injury, or poisoning, knowing what first aid to do (and not do) can have a big impact on their recovery, safety, and comfort. It can also help your emotional stress, because you'll have a plan of action to follow whenever a problem arises. For these, and many other reasons, I always recommend that dog owners take a pet first-aid class. But that's not the end of the story.

Regardless of whether you've taken (or are planning to take) a first-aid class, you still need to have the supplies and "gear" handy to be able to administer first aid to your dog. And that's where having a good pet first-aid kit (or two) comes in.

Do you have a pet first-aid kit? If not, you really should — and this article will show you what you need in your dog's first-aid kit and why. 

If you already have a first-aid kit, when was the last time you checked and updated it? Have your stocks run low? Are the medications expired? Does it truly have everything you might need? (Many pre-made pet first-aid kits don't!)

Read on to see what your dog's first-aid kit should have, and what each of the items is necessary for.

Have a cat? Check out this first aid shopping list for cats.

Make Your Own Pet First-Aid Kit

To make it easy for you to put together (or check) your pet first-aid kit, we have a shopping list (for mobile or printable) for you to take to your nearest pharmacy to grab your dog's first-aid supplies.

Want to make it even easier for yourself (and likely cheaper, too)? We've sourced and linked to good quality/value examples of each of the first-aid items below. Each item on this list has been vetted for you to ensure that you're getting the right products and brands that will be most effective, practical, and safe for inclusion in your dog's first-aid kit. [Full Transparency: Product links are Amazon Affiliate links. Learn more here.]

Hopefully you'll never need to use your dog's first-aid kit. But, you never know, and well... Murphy's Law. So here's how to prepare...

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Safety, Dog Health, Cat Safety, pet safety tips, pet safety, First Aid, Pet First Aid Kits, cat first aid, Pet First Aid, dog first aid supplies, dog first aid, Pet First Aid Supplies, Pet First Aid Kit

10 Point Checklist for Puppy Proofing Your Home


Congratulations on welcoming a new puppy into your family! As the owner (or soon-to-be owner) of a new puppy, you’ll start preparing for your new puppy by finding a veterinarian and purchasing all the necessities. But, after the fun part of choosing a cute collar and getting a name tag engraved, it’s time to get down to business by puppy proofing your home. Make sure your environment is as safe as possible by reviewing our new puppy checklist for bringing a puppy home.

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Topics: Dog Safety, pet safety, Children, Puppies, Children and dogs, Pet Proofing, preparing for a puppy, puppy proofing, new puppy checklist, bringing a puppy home checklist

How to Exercise Your Dog Indoors


Cabin Fever: Is Your Dog Going Stir-Crazy?

It’s pouring down rain outside and you’ve got an antsy dog on your hands. What are you to do? You could dress to the nines in your rain gear, take a miserably wet walk outside, and then have to deal with dripping clothes, toweling off your dog, and that lingering ‘wet dog’ odor. Alternately, you could stay warm and dry by entertaining your dog with some indoor exercise and stimulation games.

Ready, set, go!

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

Choosing the Best Interactive Toys and Food Puzzles For Your Dog


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

3 Simple Steps to Choose the Best Chews for Your Dog

Our Picks


Your dog is going to chew… it’s just a part of being a dog. And it’s quite an important part, too! Whether they’re a puppy or an adult dog, all dogs need to chew. Puppies chew when they’re teething or just to explore the new world. Then they continue through adulthood to keep their masticatory (chewing) muscles strong, their teeth clean, and their brain engaged. 

Safe Chew Toys: Important things to know and consider

Because chewing is good for your dog’s mental and physical health, it’s important that you provide them with plenty of safe and appropriate 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 arm! None of which are desirable, and several of which are downright unsafe!

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

Safer Home Cleaning Products When You Have Pets


Choosing Cleaning Products When You Have Pets

It has been said that cleaning a house with pets is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos — both are fruitless endeavors. That said, it’s still important to do (the first one, that is) at least every now and again, especially because you have pets. 

Pets live close to the floor and carpeting; they lick windows, flooring, frankly most any surface (repeatedly!), so making sure our cleaning products are free from harmful toxins is important.

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Topics: Cat Health, Dog Health, pet safety, Respiratory problems, Dog-friendly products, Cat-friendly products

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.