Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Protect Your Dog - Poison

As we all know, the only person in this world who will help you is you, and likewise ... the only one who will help your dog is you. You are your dog's first line of defense against the world.

Have you guys all seen that commercial with the baby in a bubble because mama doesn't want her to get dirty? Unless you want your dog to live in a similar bubble, you need to provide the proper defenses to your canine companions so that they can be safe and sound in the world.

Something that has been in the news recently are people leaving poison out for dogs to find. See my earlier blog about this. So, how do you protect your dogs from poison?

Check out these articles, you may find them useful. They are all very important and you should read through them carefully.

Protect your pet from poison

Poison Proofing Your Dog

Food Refusal

Food Refusal Training

In my area, I don't often run into piles of poisoned food left for my dogs. What I usually run into is a rat or mouse that has been poisoned by a local farmer (we don't use poison here for two reasons; one the dogs may find it and two ... poison is a terrible way to die and I won't inflict it on any animal.) Since I don't want the dogs eating a dead / dying rat filled with poison, we use the following things to prepare for the possibility of poisoning:

1. Vet Clinic on speed dial #1; vet emerg clinic on speed dial #2

2. Learn how to induce vomiting so you can begin treatment at home (I'm 20 to 45 minutes drive away from a vet so I need to know what to do when every minute counts)

3. Teach Food Refusal (yes, it takes a long time, but it is so worth it!)

4. If food refusal training is not perfect, watch your dog and monitor what it puts into its mouth

5. Teach your dog a "Stop and Drop" command that is only used in emergencies (I usually call this the Stop Drop and Roll because it reminds me too much of fire safety training).

The most important thing? Training. Training. Training. On your part and your dog's. There will always be curveballs in life that are thrown to dog owners. The best thing you can do is train your dog to be prepared for them. In doing so, you also teach yourself how to deal with these sorts of things.

We can't always prevent the poison from being left, but we can prevent our dogs from eating it and also be prepared with an action plan just in case the dogs do help themselves.

Does anyone have any other pointers they'd like to add?


Thoughts said...

The Food Refusal is the way to go here I think, good advice.


GoLightly said...

THANK you.
I'm on the right track.
When I feed them, I say "It's time for EATING". Big emphasis on the word. Then, while eating, I say "GOOD eating! Good girls!"
It's helped with Flip, a lot.
NO eating!!! will get Flip to stop eating the raccoon gifts. And of course, watching Flip like a hawk is crucial.
Gotta remember that anti-freeze dipped food tip, and the generalization training is exactly what we've been working on.

My darling Blaze will not take any food, unless Mom says so.
They both don't EAT, until I say so.

I'll re-read those articles. They are very helpful, and made me feel better. I'm doing it (mostly) right.
I <3 you, DDF.
Thanks again.

Great post, as always!
word verf is

Maybe barfwer??

Flip hasn't barfed in weeks !

Mom's Cafe Home Cooking said...

I don't have any tips other than to keep a close eye on your dog and keep them on a leash. I do like the idea of food refusal if the dog is off the leash. We don't have any pets but my heart goes out to those who have had their pets either intentionally or unintentionally poisoned. It saddens me that some would be so heartless to inflict this kind of suffering on a poor animal. There are 3 recent cases of poisoning of dogs in a couple of parks the GTA area here in Ontario. I just felt sick when I listened to the reports! I hope a lot of people read this post and follow your advice. I will pass it on to those I know with dogs.


Great topic and tips! It is critical to know what to do in an emergency b/c your right.. the vet is not a 5 minute drive.


Angus said...

We've found that keeping your dog on a leash and sticking to a path is the best safety measure. One of our dogs had the misfortune to eat some poisoned meat that had been put down in the grass by hunters to kill off foxes. Thankfully we got him to the vet in time but we've learnt that poisoning is a major issue in the vixens birthing season

non said...

We must protect the dog,because
the dog are friends that we trusted the most.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

Thanks for adding your two cents to this everyone!

We also have cue words like "are you hungry?" "dinner" and "breakfast". They also know "cookie" and "treat". One of the things we found useful is food refusal for things dropped on the floor or anything in the hands of children. This is particularly appropriate when you have small children coming around carrying arrowroot cookies, cheerios (or equivalent). So many times I praise the dogs for not eating the cookies being displayed in front of their face by the toddlers that visit - they just gaze at us with the look that says "I better get one hell of a good dinner tonight for not eating this!".

Interesting comment about the poison left out for vixens - thanks Angus. We do have a fair amount of foxes living around us - usually have a litter down by the pond - but thus far have been lucky not to have any neighbours try to get rid of them with poison. I honestly haven't ever thought about that as a threat but it makes sense.