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Accidents happen. We do things all the time to keep our dogs safe.. but there are some basic things to consider that might help us all to have fewer dog accidents (and fewer vet bills).

I am going to start this list.. and I really want others to add to it and if we get enough good ideas, maybe it could be a stickie. I am also going to add things to to keep other pets in the house safe from the dog(s) and things to keep dog(s) safe from other pets.

1.) Do not feed dogs together or together with other animals. Physically separate them from each other and other animals. I feed in kennel runs or crates and one meal gets fed by hand by me daily to prevent resource guarding.

2.) Do not keep dogs and cats (or other pets) loose in the same area unsupervised.

3.) Supervise dogs that are out together playing.

4.) Unless you have a fenced yard, or are in a place with NO traffic, leash your dog before you open the door (even if you are not taking the dog out).

5.) Do not allow your dog to greet other dogs on leash. Dogs on leash are forced to greet face 2 face which can be construed by one or both dogs as "rude" and someone may start a fight.

6.) If you need to break up a dog fight grab the dog's hind legs and wheel barrow them backward out of the fight.

7.) Be very careful feeding your dog Rawhide Treats (I don'tfeed them at all) as if swallowed hole, rawhide cannot be digested and can cause a blockage.

8.) Pick up your socks and clothes from the floor and put them away where the dog cannot get them. Some dogs will "eat" these things and will need E Surgery to remove the obstruction.

9.) Never give your dog corn on the cob or cobs sliced up or allow access to corn in a corn field (before or after harvest). Rural vets are experts at obstruction surgery to remove corn cob chunks from dogs.

10.) Gate off swimming pools. Not all dogs can swim and not all swimming pools have a way for a dog to get out if they fall or jump in.

Lets have some more....
 

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11) Don't allow puppies that have not been fully vaccinated (usually a series of 3 shots) out in areas where other dogs may have been.

12)If you have a fenced yard, walk the fenceline daily to check for places where the dog may have started digging, fencing may be loose, or neighbors may be throwing bones/food.

13) If you have a driveway where dogs/cats have access, bang on your hood of your car,and walk around your vehicle looking underneath it thoroughly, EVERY time you plan on driving it.

14) Microchip all dogs and cats and update your info. Have vet scan it during the yearly checkup.

15)Keep all medicines/Tylenol, etc off counters where a dog could get to it. Same for chocolate and other toxic items.

16) If your dog has access to a garage, do not store poisons/pesticides/chemicals/antifreeze anywhere a dog or cat could get to it. Check under your car freequently to be sure it is not leaking antifreeze if parked in a driveway or garage. Do not leave rat poison/mouse poison where a dog can get it (many people put them behind refrigerators or in closets...don't do it if you evr leave a closet door open).

16)Keep your dog leashed, always, when outside in an unfenced area.

17) If you have gates to a fenced backyard, PADLOCK them. Too often, kids/workers will leave them open allowing a dog to escape.

18) Do not take your pet to fireworks events. Keep pets inside during fireworks.

19) Do not let your pet ride in the bed of a pickup truck.

20) When traveling away from home with your pet, get a pet tag with your cell ph # and a relatives home ph #. If they get lost, you may be in an area with no reception. This gives you a better chance of being reunited. Bring copies of your pet's medical records when traveling. Especially if your pet as/had a medical problem. If possible, bring the most recent CBC with you. Even if it was normal. All dogs have different values for what is "normal" for them. Gives a vet something to compare it to if he gets sick while traveling.

21) Get a CBC at least once when the dog is young and healthy, and again when the dog becomes a Senior. This can rule out problems as they age.
 

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An additive to poisons, in summer shut AC off in car a mile or so before home as sometimes antifreeze can overflow and leak on ground/garage etc.

When walking dogs in hot weather it sure doesn't hurt to have water handy for emergency, better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
 

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These are all very good tips! Here's a couple more:

Don't leave dishes out. Even tiny dogs can figure out how to get onto a counter or table if they're determined enough, and if you're not in the habit of keeping everything clean and put up, your dog may just happen across something dangerous.

Find out if your houseplants are poisonous, and/or keep them hung up high where they can't be reached.

Check your lawn frequently for sharp rocks or broken glass. Sometimes stuff gets unearthed and you don't realize it until there are bloody paw prints all over your house.

Always carry puppies when outside if they haven't gotten all of their vaccinations yet. Only let them on the ground where you know no other dogs have been.
 

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Take the time to teach a drop on recall. It saved Auz's life.

Don't leave plastic shopping bags with handles where your pet can reach them. We had a cat get his head caught, freak, and throw himself into a heart attack. The cat died...over a plastic bag sitting on a counter.

I would like to add to getting a CBC. Once a year when your dog is young and healthy, and TWICE a year if you have a senior dog with medical problems. Monitoring organ functions and catching problems before your dog becomes symptomatic can be a life saver, even if your senior dog "acts fine".

Remove cooked bones from the house promptly after dinner. Wrap chicken bones up in a trash bag and take it outside, and put it in a container that's as critter proof as possible.

Crate or remove your dogs from a room if you're moving heavy objects and/or furniture. Sounds like a no brainer, but Dude had his foot shattered by a refrigerator cart years ago.

If you have cats, keep medications OFF the counter and put them in a cabinet. Even cats trained to not go on the countertops occasionally might, and if they knock down an open jar of medication your dog (or cat!) could eat them; and you might not realize it until they're really, really sick.

Keep your vets phone # programmed in your cell. If they don't do after hours emergency, find a place that does and program THAT number into your cell. If no cell, write the numbers and names and addresses down and hang them on your refrigerator. (If your dog is bloating, every second counts, and you don't want to waste precious time thumbing through the phone book to find an emergency care facility).
 

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How about:
Don't leave a collar on your dog when unsupervised. The collar can get tangled in baby gates, crate bars, fences, wires or any number of things and strangle your poor dog. (It almost happened to mine when as a small puppy she tried to jump a plastic garden fence and her tags got caught.) If you feel you must keep a collar on, consider a breakaway or stretchy collar, like they have for cats.

Also, remove dogs' collars when they are playing with each other, even when supervised. They can get tangled together and can get seriously hurt or may not react well to being stuck together or the method used to free them.
 

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As far as flea and tick control goes, talk with your vet about what he recommends. The products he sells at his office may be expensive, but they are effective and are much safer than the discount brands you'll find at Petwhatevers and grocery stores.


Whether or not you believe in yearly vaccinations, it is important for your pets to be seen for a yearly physical exam. People are always surprised at the problems we are able to catch early because of that yearly physical.


If you're going out of town and using a pet sitter, make sure they have the information of your veterinarian. It's never a bad idea (especially if you'll be gone a while) to call up your veterinarian's office and give them a heads up that you'll be leaving your animals in the care of someone and you give them permission to treat your animals if they happen to be brought in.
 

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CRATES: Use them. They're not cruel, they're not "nasty cage things", if you actually crate TRAIN. It's much better than coming home and finding your dog has chewed electrical cords, or decided to play Eat The Stuff Under The Sink.

Have an emergency bag packed for your dog, with a few days' worth of food, vaccination papers, medications & instructions, and a safe way to travel your dog (crate/seatbelt harness/etc) just in case of an emergency or disaster.
 

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Good, sound thread! I don't have much to add for now, other than to take some time to bone up on dog body language and specifically take note of your dogs. It can make the difference between a fight and knowing when to remove them from the situation before a fight starts.
 

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Keep an female dog that is in season in your sight at all times, and lock them up inside when you can't watch 100%
Sounds simple but so many owners I know keep their female dogs in their yards as they think their dog will be safe from males.

Keep your dog in a collar and restraint in the car, if you have a crash your dog will be safe and having the contact details on them because of the collar is very important, it also makes them easier to catch and restrain if they escape.

When you come in from the rain/wet dry your dog first, esp the ears and face, this saves many vet bills as they don't get as many ear infections.

If your dog doesn't want to greet another dog or person, trust them, you may not be picking up what they know.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
There are some REALLY great things here that I do but never thought to put on the list.

#) If you leave your dog confined in a room take up and unplug or remove all electrical cords or appliances.

#) Check and clean your dog's teeth regulary.. an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure here (in addition to a lot of Vet Costs if you have to have teeth removed).

#) Leave a current copy of your dog's information (current shots record, Micro chip number and orrganization contact, and photo of dog) in each vehicle glove box in case he goes missing or you have an accident and are unable to take care of him (doG forbid!).
 

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Teach and master all the basic positional and recall commands like sit, stay, lie down/drop, and recall. Master them. Practice them after they are mastered. Reward them constantly. Make these behaviors no-brainer automatic. Up the challenge in times of safety so if the chips go down and the crap has hit every fan possible, you still have a good chance to guide/direct/control your dog. Then do it all over again with a combination like sit during recall. Recall from lying down, etc. You never know when you might need to call your dog into or out of a position to your side or stop him from doing so. (still in process of this myself).

Teach your dog to go away from you to certain places. There's been times when I've protected Wally by sending him home while I block/contain a dog that's out to get him. Right now, he knows "gate" (go to back gate and wait), "porch" (go to front porch and wait), and "mail" (go to neighborhood mail boxes and wait).

This one is for the humans. Stay aware of your surroundings, where your paths are, your escape routes, and try to stay in a clear, safe area for retreat (or to do the above - sending your dog so he has a safe retreat available). Avoid questionable looking situations, especially at night. Trust your dog. If he's alert at what looks like nothing but pitch black - trust his instincts and go away from that area. Try to walk with your dog in a typical route often. Dogs CAN learn routes and landmarks that they see constantly. Wally can go home from the neighborhood park on his own because he knows the two routes we take to get there. Granted, it's not a mile away, but it's not just 20 feet either.

Bond with your dog in any way possible. A strong bond will make everything else possible. He will want to work with you, learn with you, stay with you, and seek you out when he's in trouble or senses trouble (and will probably also communicate that trouble). This is especially true if he's fearful. You don't want a scared dog bolting and shutting you out because he's in a panic. You want a scared dog that's clinging to you, looking to you for what to do next. Be decisive and safe in those situations, protect your dog, and he will lean on you naturally as survival is an instinct and if you're the dog's best chance of survival, guess what he'll stick to when trouble strikes?

This is something we're working on, but I want Wally to stay still and bark if he can't see me. That way I can follow his bark to where he is. Likewise, if I call him and he can't figure how to get to me, I want him to bark so we can "call to each other" and get back together if for some reason we get separated.
 

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When pups have proper vaccinations 5 months old approximately. You go out and find yourself a good, proper boarding facility and board your pups for 3 or 4 days. Do not wait till the dog is 3 years old because it can be an unnecessary shock to their systems. I don't care who says they will watch your dog/dogs for you because when the time comes they may not be able to keep care promises. Pups are pliable and accepting of changes done slowly and can handle it.
 

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Great thread!

Heat can be a killer of dogs, especially certain short faced or heavy bodied breeds. In warm weather if your dog is going to be outdoors make sure the dog has free and continuous access to plenty of cool fresh water, and shade.
 

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Know where your e-vet is. Find the place, find the quickest route there, and drive there a few times so that you know the way. If your dog is ill or injured you don't want to have to be google mapping directions and trying to find the place in the middle of the night while in a panic.
 

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Rushing to the vet after your dog was hit by a car and is now quickly crashing is not going to make a difference if your vet is home for lunch and won't be able to make it back for another 20 minutes. ALWAYS call your vet if you have an emergency and need to rush in. I've seen a few cases where someone ran into our office during lunch and our doctor had gone to lunch and it would take him a while to get back. We had to direct them to the emergency clinic in a few circumstances and had they called first we could have either given the doc a heads up so he could met them back at our clinic or sent them directly to the e-vet and not wasted time with a detour at our office.
 

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In remembrance of Bob Barker, please get your pets spayed or neutered.
 

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I absolutely agree and couldn't have said it better myself. I see so many families getting their kid a dog, and the kid is 4! That child can't take care of a dog. You have to wonder what some people are thinking. I'd say 10 or above for having a dog. Even then, a child will lose interest and it will become the parent's responsibility. I think a dog shouldn't be a present or something for you child. It's not a toy or a gift! The entire family needs to agree on it and ALL pitch in. Being a dog fanatic, I always get into heated discussions with families saying "I'm going to get my 2 year old a Chihuahua" or something smart like that. That poor Chihuahua won't last a week. I always hit them with these horror stories of what has happened to other families and try and get them to reconsider. The bad thing is, these people won't realize until it's too late usually.
 
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