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 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?