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- If you should see your dog swallow something you know is bad for him . . . a piece of rubber toy, a large nail, a splinter of bone or sharp metallic object . . . here's what to do right away.
Give him a large piece of soft bread to eat. Then toss about two teaspoonfuls of salt on the back of his tongue, close his mouth with your hand and keep it closed until he swallows the salt. Now put him on a newspaper or some other place where he can vomit without doing any damage. In a short time the salt will cause him to throw up the bread and the strange object. If this doesn't come up the first time give him another dose of salt after about 5 minutes.
Once the object is vomited, He should be fine. But if he begins to have diarrhea, or if his stomach swells up and appears tender when you touch it, give him a tablespoonful of mineral oil. If he still seems to be in pain after a few hours, or if there is any blood in his urine or bowel movement, take him straight to a vet.
- Eyes: If you want to clean out the "sleep bugs," you can dip a wad of cotton into a mixture of warm water and boric-acid solution 50/50. Squeeze a few drops of this in each eye. You can also use plain warm milk for this purpose. If your pet has got some mild conjunctivitis try warm used tea bags, if the infection is more than mild then purchase some Golden Eye from the chemist (cream not drops) and treat for three days this clears up most infections, however if he still has problems a visit to the Vet is in order. In case of a real injury to the eyes from a dogfight or something poked into them, put a pad of gauze soaked in boric-acid solution 50/50 ie warm water and boric acid over the eye that's hurt. Then wrap a towel loosely around the dog's head and take him at once to a vet.
- Commands: Avoid giving your dog commands that you know you cannot enforce. Every time you give a command that is neither complied with nor enforced your dog learns that commands are optional. One command should equal one response, so give your dog only one command (twice max!), then gently enforce it. Repeating commands tunes your dog out (as does nagging) and teaches your dog that the first several commands are a "bluff". For instance, telling your dog to "Sit, sit, sit, sit!", is neither an efficient nor effective way to issue commands. Simply give your dog a single "Sit" command and gently place or lure your dog into the sit position, then praise/reward.The Dogs Name: Whenever possible, use your dog's name positively, rather than using it in conjunction with a reprimand, warning or punishment. Your dog should trust that when it hears its name or is called to you, good things happen. His name should always be positive and responded to with enthusiasm, never hesitancy or fear. One of best ways to make sure his name is viewed as a positive is to sit the dog between you and your partner or a friend and say the dogs name.
If he doesn't look at you, give his ear a gentle tug to gain his attention so that he turns his head towards you, As soon as this happens praise and treat enthusiastically, cheese, puffed jerky or dried liver is ideal. Get your partner/friend to do the same and keep repeating back and forth for a few minutes, do this regularly and for the rest of the dogs life and he/she should always respond enthusiastically whenever his name is mentioned. Some people including myself create a bad dog name so that the dog never hears its real name in any negative situation.
- Pee Poles: These are very new in the pet shops and are made of hard plastic and look almost like a 1 foot high giant tack. The tack is impregnated with a Pheromone that causes the dogs and bitches to urinate on them. You hammer or push them in the area you want the dog to urinate and hey presto. Believe it or not it appears to work. These scientists are doing very well with their pheromones, what with the DAP diffuser and now this.
- Puppy Teething: Most of the teething and chewing as apart from mouthing and nipping starts at about 4.5 months old. This is the time that the little piranha teeth laughingly called puppy teeth start dropping out, as the new adult teeth start pushing through. It takes anything up to 8 months for these new teeth to set in the jaw, whilst this is happening the pup has a need to chew. To help soothe this and save your fixtures, fittings and furniture. Get the pup a plastic flower pot. Not the thin brittle ones but a fairly thick substantial one, this will help his gums and sooth the itching.
Another great help is get a knotted rope you buy as a tug soak it in water and put it in the freezer. The ice that forms really helps hot and itchy gums. Also freeze carrots and whilst frozen give to teething pups a great and nutritious soother.
- Games of Tug: I don’t like games of tug at any time, except with a particularly timid or frightened dog then I will play and let the dog win to build up some confidence. However I never ever play tug with a puppy whilst it has its puppy/ piranha teeth. It actually has little or no jaw muscles at this time therefore you can dislocate the jaw or even misalign the teeth by playing roughhouse tug games. You may also be setting the scene for aggressive confrontations later in the puppy’s growth cycle. I would be better playing games of find, hide little bits of treats in the house and garden and encourage the dog to search them out, or ball games these all help dispel some of the pup’s energies and to stimulate the mind.
I had an altercation with a forum called Champ Dogs, run and controlled by people that clearly think they know lots about Dogs but in reality know very little. Everything was based on emotion, rather than reality and common sense. I found some of the advice dangerous. I was howled down when I suggested that they should not play tug with their dogs they actually said that if you couldn't play games like that then it's not worth having a dog and they would have it put to sleep. Some of these people are very very sad.
- Fussy Eating: I am told by countless owners that their dog will not eat dry food/ or many other types of food and that the will only eat smoked salmon/steak/or best mince etc. This is because we actually teach our dogs to be fussy and picky eaters by free feeding. That is leaving down food all day.
The dog then comes to the realisation that it can eat at any time and does not fall into a routine. Free feeding can also have an effect on control complex behaviour also know as "dominant behaviour" though that term is vastly overused free feeding can give the message to a socially mobile dog, that he could be a pack leader as he has access to food at any time this can also encourage guarding behaviour.
Time to re-educate, decide on how many times you will feed per day if he is over 1 year then this will be either once or twice. Feed the food of your choice not the food of his choice. I am a firm believer in a quality all in one dry food put this down for ten minutes only, if the dog has eaten it in that time fine, if not pick the food up and put it away. When the next meal is due then only put out amount of food you would normally feed do not double up. It may take a few days for the message to get home, but it will in the end.
Remember the dog comes from an animal (The Wolf) which is a feast and famine eater; they sometimes go many days or even longer between kills or scavenged food, so your dog will not starve, instinct and survival will take over and the dog will resume eating the food you choose not the food he chooses.
Many people think that it must be boring feeding them the same thing every day. But do not realise that supplementing a quality dry food with tinned or pouch food is like putting tomato sauce on Lobster Thermidor.
I am sorry to say I am not a fan of most tinned or pouch meats and in some cases are detrimental to the dogs behaviour. We also assume that taste is a factor. It isn't, dogs have only 10% of our taste capacity, lets face it if they can eat there own and other animals faeces which many do, then their choice of taste and quality must be questioned.
- Recall Problems: How often do you see dogs coming back to about three foot from their owners then skipping away again, as if it;s a game, the owners probably in a hurry get angrier and angrier and start shouting, which of course exacerbates the situation? Giving the dog even more reason not to return, as he is aware that he may get smacked. All this is caused because the owner did not correctly lead train and stimulate the dog in the park in the first place. He/She actually taught the dog not to come back, by only putting the dog back on the lead at the end of the walk.
It doesn't take long for the dog to click on that recall and lead means end of fun and end of walk. May I suggest the owners were probably on their mobile phone at the same time? Go to any park and see the dozens of people on mobiles walking their dogs, the poor dogs have to stimulate themselves somehow, and start running off to other dogs and people for the attention that they crave. Give your dog's quality time and quality training. During the walk call your dog back to you at least three or four times. Place it on a lead and reward with a brief game or a real tasty tidbit, and then let it off again.
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- Your dog will then learn that coming back to you is good news and being placed on the lead does not mean the end of the walk and end of play! Play hide and seek behind trees etc, it doesn't think your hiding it thinks you are getting lost, this is especially important with a young pup , Switch off the mobile and play games, stimulate your dog and he will have no need to wander off and not want to return.
- Kennel Cough: On top of the Antibiotics from the Vet, Benylin Dry Cough mixture, twice a day will help to relieve the irritation. Also avoid any pressure from a collar, as this will exacerbate the condition. If you must go anywhere with your dog on a lead, use a body harness. Avoid areas where there are other dogs and if visiting your vet, make the last appointment. Leave your dog in the car and go and tell the vet staff you are outside waiting to go in, or ask to be placed in an isolation room. This will help to reduce the spread of this highly contagious disease.
- Timidity and Fears: How many times have you seen a dog shaking or cowering and the owner sympathising and reassuring it with petting and nurturing? This may appear to be perfectly logical behaviour, but is actually giving the dog all the wrong signals and rewarding it for being timid and nervous and confirming it has a reason to be fearful. The very thing you are trying to cure is reinforced by your actions.
The shy and timid dog should be exposed to as many different situations as possible. Take it along with you to the shops, the bar or the pub, and everywhere you can introduce it to new sights sounds and smells. Don't push it into fearful situations but gently desensitise it to the things it fears praise for calmness never for fear, Consistent treatment in this manner will begin to deliver the message to the dog that there is nothing to fear. Do NOT cuddle the dog, or hug it and tell it there is nothing to fear. Dogs do not understand most of the words we say -- they understand our actions. If the dog gets a hug, it assumes it has done the correct thing and will continue to be fearful.
- Tag and Identification: It may surprise everyone to know that the maximum fine for not displaying a dog identification tag in the UK is £5000. (Where did they get that figure from?) Irrespective of whether your pet is already micro chipped. The law which is the Control of Dog Order 1992 states that "Every dog while in a highway or in a place of public resort, shall wear a collar with the name and address of the owner inscribed on the collar or on a plate or badge attached thereto". I would also recommend you put your mobile number on the disc in case you are away on holiday with the dog; the home number would be useless if your dog then goes missing.
- Shy Timid or Frightened Dogs: I am a firm believer that Socialisation is so vitally important; it almost outweighs any other consideration including the risk of contracting disease. The fear of infections has led breeders and owners alike to make the tragic mistake of keeping their puppies isolated until they have completed their vaccinations.By taking this stance they risk ending up with a fearful, timiddog that may become aggressive as an adult. “95% of all reported dog bites are fear related”. Owners should strike a commonsense balance: puppies, especially from birth through to 14 weeks must be exposed to a variety of people and experiences. There are many activities and places to take dogs; without endangering their lives, it is vital that you take the timeto expose your new pup to as many of these as possible.This is especially true for one's second or third dog; it is too easy to keep the new pup in the company of the older dogs, depriving him of the opportunity to develop his own self-confidence without relying totally on the older dog/s and their protection.
- Complimentary Therapies: I am a strong advocate of some complimentary medicines for dogs especially in areas of Timidity, Fear and Anxiety. The more common and easily obtainable are Dr Bach's Rescue Remedy, (Flower Remedy) (chemist or health food shop, internet). D.A.P Diffuser (synthetic pheromone) (internet or vets) and Skullcap and Valerian (herbal remedy) (health stores chemists internet) These can be especially helpful in situations such as separation anxiety excessive barking and firework and Thunder phobias.
However I must point out that I am personally very skeptical about the use and efficiency of homeopathic treatments. The scientific community, including the first professor of complimentary medicine Edzard Ernst states: There was no condition which responds convincingly better to homeopathic treatment than to a placebo or other control interventions. Similarly, there was no homeopathic remedy that was demonstrated to yield clinical effects that are convincingly different from a placebo. You could also go to my main menu and read my article on Fearful and Timid Dogs which is where these last two tips have been taken from.
- The Lead: Your lead is the most vital piece of training equipment you can own, it has multiple uses, it is also an aerial to your dog. Tighten it at the wrong time and you can send messages that could spark aggression, fear, or anxiety, use it to drag your dog around and it could damage his neck and spine, especially if it connected to a choke chain which I abhor. Used correctly it can be a godsend almost the only training aid you will ever need.
All training including sit, stay, down, recall, sit stay, wait etc should initially be trained on a lead. Unfortunately most of the leads I see are far too short to be effective and are of a material that hurts and can burn and damage your hands. The lead should be at least 5 foot long irrespective of the size of the dog, this will help all training and lead work in the future, it should be made of something like Cushion Web which is extremely strong yet soft, (sounds a bit like a advert for toilet paper) NOT Nylon which is harsh as can burn and damage your hands.
The problem is that most lead manufacturers haven’t a clue about dogs and what constitutes a good lead, they just produce what makes the most profit. Good quality leather leads are OK though I find them a bit hard on the hands at first. Shop around till you find what you want, don’t be fobbed off with what the industry or pet shop wants you to buy. I have my own Cushion Web leads made for me, therefore all my clients normally have one of these, Worth shopping around until you get exactly what you want or contact ,me for my personally designed leads.
- Counter Surfing: This is where dogs are constantly picking things up either from the floor tables or kitchen worktops, at best it can be frustrating and annoying, at worst it can be fatal if they eat something that is dangerous. The quickest way and most permanent resolution to this problem if you feel the counter surfing could be dangerous to your dogs, is to go to your local joke shop and buy a spring loaded cap banger. This is a little metal device that when you put a cap in it and set it by putting a suitable object on top, then anyone or in this case anything picking up the food/object will set off the banger takes about three/four bangs and the dog normally decides to call it a day. The beauty of this device is most dogs are crafty and only steal when you are not in the room therefore it is the perfect solution.
- Dogs Ages in Human Terms: If I were to stop 100 people in the street and ask them how do you calculate a dogs age in human terms, 90% would say one dog year to every seven human years the others 9% would probably say they don't know and 1% may know the correct calculation. This is one of many old wives tales that are generally totally and utterly wrong. As a general rule of thumb it should be fifteen for the 1 st year ten for the 2nd and then five for every year thereafter. This is only an approximation there is a chart that works on size and breed that gives it more accurately than this. If you calculated every seven years and the dog is 16 years old then the dog in human terms would be 112 using my method the dog is a realistic 95. I also think we are all aware that a one year old dog does not act like a seven year old child. It is far more like the rebellious teenager round the back of the bike shed having a quick fag. They are also far more aware of the opposite sex than most seven year olds would ever be.
- Fleas: If you want a natural method of flea control give the dog a clove of garlic in his food each day. you can also purchase granulated garlic from a horse tack shop at a very reasonable price. Fleas hate the taste which come out in the dog's skin and will soon go looking for a more tasty meal.
- Dry and Crusty Nose or Skin: Adding a teaspoon of flax seed oil to the dog's food daily often helps. Dry noses and other dry skin complaints some dogs respond well to a multivitamin supplement (especially if they include vitamin B complex).
This article was written by Stan Rawlinson, a full time Dog Behaviourist and Obedience Trainer. You can visit his website at www.doglistener.co.uk for more articles and training information. You may freely distribute this article or save to any electronic media as long as it is left intact, including this copyright box.
Superb Collection of Tips for Dogs and Cats. This is a great little article filled with tips and tricks, health or training. These tips are for dogs as well as cats. There are loads of great little tidbits, helpful tips and good things to try with your very own pets. Read on to see if you can find anything helpful that you can use.
By Stan Rawlinson (Doglistener)
If the dogs has already urinated and she has not been treated, then saturate the urinated areas (spots) with water. This will allow the excess nitrogen to leech or dilute through the lawn and reduce the concentration in one area. It is usually best to treat the areas up to 9 hours after urination and to apply at least three times the amount of water to urine to the area.
- Is Your Dog Regularly Getting the Runs? Add bio yoghurt to their feed. Quite often this can be a bacterial imbalance. Especially if it is happening on a regular basis. The bio yoghurt is a probiotic and sometimes sort this type of problem out fairly quickly. However if the situation continues to occur see your Vet.
- Is Your Dogs Urine Burning the Lawn? Yellow spots on the lawn are normally caused by urine, Nitrogen waste products are the result of protein breakdown through normal bodily processes., therefore the nitrogen in the urine causes the lawn spots. We all know that Nitrogen is a great fertilizer but not in these doses that is why the outside of the green spot is quite lush.
A dose of one teaspoon to one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (depending on the size of the dog) per day will nullify the Nitrogen imbalance and should solve the problem. The apple cider vinegar can be added to the dog's water or put directly on his food. The natural type from a health food store, not the pasteurized version from the supermarket. I find the apple cider vinegar from horse tack shops are the best. Two tablespoons of tomato juice on the dog's food twice a day will have the same effect.
- Insect Stings to Dogs or Cats: Slice a raw onion and apply to the sting as soon as possible, If the sting is inside the mouth always keep "Antihistamine" capsules in your first aid kit. A rapid administration soon after the sting can prevent serious complications. You can also get Antihistamine in liquid form which makes it easier to dispense. To administer liquids pull out the jowl near the back teeth it makes a sort of little cup, then just pour the measured liquid in, close mouth, tip head back and massage throat.
Some dogs will actually swallow the insect live, which may continue stinging the dog internally and cause anaphylactic shock. In rare cases, death can result. This is caused from internal swelling of the trachea which cuts off the oxygen supply to the lungs.
Quick administration of "Antihistamine" can reduce and even prevent serious complications. SPECIAL NOTE - Dosage will vary depending on the size of the animal. Check with your vet for recommended dosage. Usually they will refer to the animal's weight as a guideline.
- Sharp Object and Glass eating: What do you do if your dog eats glass or other sharp objects like staples or small nails etc? Dogs even eat ornaments, Xmas decorations, light bulbs and lots of other things that are sharp and therefore dangerous. Here's what to do. Go to the chemist and buy some cotton balls, make sure it is cotton balls and not the cosmetic puff things they are made of man made fibres.
Buy a carton of double cream and keep it in the freezer if in the eventuality of your dog eating something sharp. Defrost the cream and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them to your dog. Dogs less than 10 lbs should eat 2 balls which you have first torn into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs should eat 3-5 balls and larger dogs should eat 5-7. You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at once. Dogs seem to really like these strange treats and eat them readily.
As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it will find all the glass and small sharp objects and wrap itself around them. Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibres and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage.Your dog's stools will be a bit strange for a few days. You must be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush your dog to the vet for a check-up, but in most cases, the dogs should be fine.
- Bonding: If you want to quickly bond with a new pup or rescue dog. Masticate a piece of white bread till it is a gooey then feed this as a tit bit to the pup/dog for the first 7 days. You only need to do this once a day; it mimics the regurgitation process when pups and cubs are being weaned in the wild, this really helps them bond more quickly and therefore settle in much sooner.
- Constipation: If your dog doesn't move his bowels for a day or two, or if he seems to have difficulty doing so, he may be constipated. Give him a teaspoonful of milk of magnesia first thing in the morning, before his breakfast if you feed him twice a day. If he is often constipated, add more vegetables to his diet and also mix a teaspoonful of mineral oil in his dinner. He won't taste it with the food. Do this until he is regular again. Also be sure that he gets plenty of exercise. Lack of running, walking, and jumping can make a dog constipated. If this treatment does not work within 48 hours consult your Vet.
- Car Sickness: Often Ginger helps with this problem either Ginger Biscuits or even better natural ginger fed be fore the journey. The biscuits can be fed as the dog gets in the car, which has an added incentive of the dog feeling that it being praised for just getting in the vehicle.
- Grooming: Once a week put a really good shake of Olive Oil "the one you use for salads" into the dogs food, it gives the coat a brilliant shiny healthy look. In conjunction with the oil use a rubber horse curry comb / brush; you can purchase it cheaply from any tack shop, strips all the dead hair off and shines up the coat better than any other brush on the market. They also do a plastic one that gets all the seeds and bits of debris out. I use both to great affect.
- Grooming 2: Irrespective of the dogs coat long or short groom daily. Even if it's only for a couple of minutes and make sure you groom over the withers. This helps in bonding and social status. In the wild the Alpha Male and Female will call over the other wolves or wild dogs individually and groom them in their pecking order. Grooming is an important social gesture. That is why some dominant dogs object to being groomed, they don't believe you have right or the position to initiate this action.
- Tears Stains and Bacterial Infections: Wet areas on the face are a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Bacterial infections commonly occur in the tear ducts. "Ptirsporum", red yeast bacteria, is at the root of most yeast infections. Tear stains also often occur at the same time as a gum infection or ear infection. Staining can also occur on a dog's paws from licking and around his mouth from infected saliva. Apple cider vinegar (in its natural form from a health food store, not the pasteurized version from the Supermarket) is a natural antibiotic, antiseptic, and deodorant; It helps digestion and to remove tooth tartar; prevents tooth decay and hair loss (even mange), it also prevents and heals gum disease and skin problems; and will discourage fleas. Putting a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per quart of water in your dog's water bowl or on food can clear up most active yeast infections and prevent future infections. Apple cider vinegar tablets can be used if your dog refuses to drink the treated water or eat the food.
- Halitosis/Dog Breath: Halitosis, or unpleasant breath, can be caused by a stomach problem, bad teeth or tonsils, or something that is stuck in the dog's mouth or throat. Look your dog’s teeth to see if any are decayed. If not, then give him 3/4 teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda in his food twice a day for a few days. If his breath is still offensive, then take him to a vet to see if he needs his teeth cleaned or his tonsils treated.
- Cuts: If your dog cuts himself slightly, put some boric acid solution or some peroxide on the cut and then leave it alone. It will heal up quickly. If the cut is deep, or if it doesn't stop bleeding, pack gauze or clean rags around it and take him to a vet. If the cut is on his leg or foot and bleeds a lot, tie a piece of cloth tightly around his leg, between the cut and his body, release the pressure every ten minutes, and take him to a vet at once.
- Electric Shocks: Once in a while, a silly puppy will chew through an electric cord leading to a lamp or a radio or a toaster. The shock he gets is normally not serious (though in certain circumstances has proved fatal); however it can sometimes be strong enough to knock him out. If this happens, put a little household ammonia on a wad of cotton and hold this under his nose. Don't touch the nose with it, as the ammonia will burn his skin. The sharp odour will bring him round. When he does comes to, give him some cool, strong, black coffee to drink. If his mouth seems burned by the shock, wet a cloth in strong, cool tea and wash the burned place with this. Take him to the vet if he seems burned or injured in any way.
- What if your dog swallows a dangerous object: It's a rare puppy that doesn't swallow at least one strange object which his stomach can't possibly digest. But a dog's stomach is so constructed that it can usually take care of most of the odd things that find their way into it.