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Pet Safety

  • Posted on March 4, 2015 by Lindsey Mattson

    In our previous post, Feeding Fido: Safe People Food for Dogs, we gave a short list of what is -and is not- safe for your precious pooch to eat. This additional list of unsafe people foods for dogs is another quick reference of what to keep out of Fido's reach. These foods can make your pup very sick and many are toxic. Being diligent of what you have in front of your pup will keep them healthy and happy as well as give you peace of mind when you leave them alone in the house.


    Alcohol // This should be obvious given the effects it has on adults. If consumed, your dog will experience weakness, vomiting and low blood pressure. It can even cause coma and death.

    Apple, Apricot, Cherry and Plum Seeds or Pits //  The problem with these fruits is the inside pits or seeds. They contain cyanide which enables the red blood cells to properly carry oxygen to cells. This causes vomiting, irregular and fast heartbeat, seizures, coma and even death.

    Avocado // These have a toxic compound called Persin that causes vomiting and diarrhea.

    Broccoli // This vegetable is dangerous in large doses but should still be avoided. It  contains isothiocyanate.

    Caffeine // The methylxanthines in caffeinated foods cause potentially fatal diarrhea, vomiting, seizures and irregular heart beats.

    Chives // This is dangerous to both dogs and cats as they may cause anemia.

    Chocolate // This is dangerous for the same reasons as caffeine with the same effects of potentially fatal diarrhea, vomiting, seizures and irregular heart beats.

    Garlic // This is dangerous to both dogs and cats as they may cause anemia

    Grapes and Raisins // This fruit has the potential to cause fatal kidney failure.

    Ham // The fat content of this meat may cause pancreatitis.

    Macadamia Nuts // Although it is unknown why, this nut causes vomiting, weakness, joint pain and inflammation.

    Milk & Dairy Products // Though not fatal, these foods may cause diarrhea and gas if your dog is lactose intolerant.

    Mushrooms // May cause kidney and liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, hallucination and damage to red blood cells. Although this only pertains to certain varieties, it is best to avoid all to be safe.

    Nutmeg // This spice may cause hallucinations and severe vomiting.

    Onions // This vegetable has the potential to cause fatal oxidation of red blood cells leading to anemia.

    Salt // This includes rock salt and homemade playdough as excessive amounts can cause tremors, seizures and coma.

    Spicy Food // Increasing the spices of any dish your dog may get into has the potential to cause vomiting, stomach ulcers or diarrhea.

    Sugar-Free Gum & Candy (Xylitol) // This chemical causes a potentially fatal drop in blood sugar followed by severe liver damage.

    Tobacco // Nicotine will cause excitement leading to vomiting and tremors that are usually followed by fatal paralysis.

    Yeast Dough // Yeast will create a buildup of gas in a pet’s stomach, leading to severe pain and life threatening torsion or rupture of the stomach.


    Infographic and food information via www.petsbest.com.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Recipes and was tagged with Pet Nutrition, Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Get Party Trained

  • Posted on January 21, 2015 by Lindsey Mattson

    There may still be snow on the ground here at When Pooch Comes to Shove headquarters but that doesn't mean the gardening hasn't begun. From yummy vegetable gardens to fabulous floral displays, the delicate little seedlings are being started. Nestled in the tiny greenhouses, soaking up sunshine from the warm indoors, each little guy will find a home outside as soon as the threat of frost is gone. BUT - then the threat of d-o-g is upon them.

    The soft ground and smells of spring are hard to resist for any pooch. With a little planning and these tips, you can easily dog proof your garden so everyone can enjoy the backyard.

    Dog Proof Your Garden


    When you are planning your dog proof strategy, it is important to make choices that are first, best for your dog, and second, healthy for the plants. Start with landscaping and ground cover that is easy for dogs to walk on and doesn't imbed in the fur of long-haired pups - but also one that will let the ground transfer moisture so mold doesn't grow and your plants can thrive.

    After choosing the base of your gardens, decide on plants that are going to be tough enough to stand up to a romp by Fido. Smaller pups can probably romp through the violets once or twice without a lot of damage but a Labrador may not be so gentle. If you have a rambunctious pup, your best bet might be a hearty foliage garden full of hostas with just a few special annuals scattered about.

    And finally, decide on a grass that will withstand your pups outdoor visits. Artificial lawn will wash up in the rain or with a pressure washer while sturdier grasses can handle the urine burn better than delicate grass varieties. There is also food additives for your pup that will reduce the nitrogen in the urine, stopping the lawn burn and topical treatments  for after Fido does his duty. It is best to review all of your options and make the choice that is best for you and your family.

    Vegetable gardens will typically have a fence to keep out all the critters so it isn't quite as important to follow all of these tips but they are still good to keep in mind.

    Most of all, make it a priority to not choose any plants that could be toxic or cause allergic reactions in your dogs or cats.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Pet Nutrition, Pet Grooming, Pet Safety

  • Posted on December 10, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    With gifts to wrap, meals the plan, and lists to complete, it is a fun but overwhelming time of year. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, my house turns into Santa's workshop with gift wrap, tape and ribbon on the dining room table; a tree full of festive decorations in the living room; and a guest room hiding spot for super-secret toys. With all of the crazy happening, it is easy to forget the pet hazards that all of this holiday fun leaves behind.

    Pet Safety: Holiday Hazards for Dogs #PoochPawty Pet Safety: Holiday Hazards for Dogs #PoochPawty

    My furbaby is an old guy who lays around most of the day, gets up to eat and has to be coaxed outside to potty. He doesn't play much and doesn't get into too much trouble anymore. BUT - this time of year he rolls the age-clock back and turns into a puppy. I don't know why - maybe it is just the hustle and bustle that gets him excited, but once every year we get blindsided and come home to a living room disaster reminding us of the dangers this time of year brings.

    This weekend we came home to candy wrappers ALL OVER! St. Nick arrived on Friday, treats were opened on Saturday morning, and then we left for the parade. That furmonster tore into packages of peanuts and wrappers of taffy - Thankfully it wasn't anything on the list of holiday hazards!

    Please, share this list so everyone know of the holiday dangers in their home. It is a good reminder of what to keep away from your dog and a great reference in case an accident happens so you know the signs and symptoms.

    For our complete list on safe and harmful people foods, click here.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Christmas & Winter, Halloween, Fall & Thanksgiving and was tagged with Pet Safety, Dog Training, Elderly Dog Care

  • Posted on October 31, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    Halloween is a fun time for everyone - planning the perfect costume, getting the BEST candy (and trading the rest), and decorations that are gloriously spooky spectacular.

    But, what if you were a knee-high furbaby who didn't understand the holiday? With all of the ghosts and goblins running around, it could be a scary and stressful time for your dog. Not to mention the tempting sweet treats they may find laying around afterward. Follow these eight Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs to keep your pooch happy and everyone will have a memorable evening!

    Halloween Safety Tips for Dogs #PoochPawty
    Infographic: 8 Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Stress-Free this Halloween! via The Uncommon Dog

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Halloween, Fall & Thanksgiving and was tagged with Pet Safety, Chevron Boy Party Ideas, Dog Training

  • Posted on September 26, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    We know you share your home with some special furbabies and they will always be #1 but ... it is important to make your house guests comfortable for their short stay as well. Follow these tips to remove pet allergens from your home to make everyone's time enjoyable. After all, Great Gram might not appreciate your in-home fur fest.

    No matter what, you will never remove ALL of the allergens from your home but these tips will certainly keep them to a minimum. Guests with dog and cat allergies may still be sensitive to your home, even after the most thorough cleaning. Being mindful of their needs and sometimes moving your celebration to a different location is the best choice.
    8 Ways to Prepare for Guests With Cat and Dog Allergies — Infographic
    8 Ways to Prepare for Guests With Cat and Dog Allergies — Infographic
    by Vetstreet

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Pet Safety, Get Party Trained

  • Posted on July 30, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    Bringing home a new puppy is always exciting. Those soft puppy kisses are the absolute sweetest!! With all of the fun a little dog brings - like the first time he tries to take off running on the hardwood floor - it is easy to forget a few essentials you will need after you get home. I know when I brought my adorable little fuzz ball home, I had a bag of food, a collar and every.single.toy in the store!

    It wasn't until a few days later I found myself running back to the store for just one more thing - A kennel. Then one more thing - A baby gate. Then one more thing...and so on, and so on. Grant it, no expense was spared for this new fur baby that I carried on our walks and I let share my pillow at night, but if I would have had this easy checklist at the start, I would have been able to prepare for his homecoming. Click on the image for the download, then print and go shopping before your new puppy comes home!

    New Puppy Checklist from WhenPoochComesToShove.com #PoochPawty
    This item is for personal use only. Big Dot of Happiness retains all rights. This item may not be copied, shared, forwarded, sold or distributed.

    Copyright Big Dot Of Happiness, LLC.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Free Printables and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Training, Special Needs Dog Care, Dodger's Point of View

  • Posted on July 23, 2014 by Lindsey Mattson

    Our furbabies sit. Waiting. Watching. And as soon as we turn our backs, the adventure is on! Who knows what this brave duo will get into next - gotta love 'em.

    Double The Trouble - Adventure Time! {Ruh-Roh Moments}

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Mom Moments and was tagged with Ruh-roh - Dog Moment, Pet Safety, Dog Training

  • Posted on June 4, 2014 by Nicole Knutson

    Already this summer in Wisconsin it is HUMID and I can’t stand it. I feel so bad for our old little fur ball, Lulu! The kids and I were with Lulu outside this weekend trying to enjoy the weather but unfortunately, Lulu looked sad and miserable. Seeing her so uncomfortable got me wondering about what I could do to help her out with the heat. I read a few articles and googled a few things and I learned a lot!

    Did you know that early signs of heat stroke in your dog are weakness, confusion, excess panting, increased salivation, dark red gums, and seizures? Scary! So,  I found a bunch of ways to keep that from happening and to keep Lulu cool.


    Lulu keeping COOL Lulu keeping COOL


    1. Keep your dog well hydrated with fresh, cool, water
    2. Keeping your dog in a well ventilated, shaded area or shelter
    3. Give your dog their own little tub or share kids pool of water to sit or play in (See a Dog Pool Party Here)
    4. Make your own frozen dog treats(Recipe Here)
    5. Limit your dog’s activity on very hot and humid days or play on the grass rather than asphalt

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care

  • Posted on May 16, 2014 by Brenda Knutson

    Dog Life JacketMost of us assume all dogs know how to swim, which is a common misconception. The “doggie paddle” was named that for a reason, right? While some dog breeds love to be in the water, there are some that don’t enjoy being anywhere near the water. For some breeds that have low body fat, like Greyhounds, it can even be dangerous. These breeds may have a very difficult time staying afloat and regulating their body temperature. If a dog is afraid of the water, and shows high levels of anxiety when put in the water, their normal breathing can even be affected. Dogs that are elderly, sick, overweight and out of shape can also have issues in the water. Waves, currents, undertows, and fast-moving rivers and waters can overtake even the strongest swimmer – including a dog. Wearing a life vest may make the difference between life and death.

    Dog Boating My pup loves to be in the boat with us, and will even jump into the lake on his own and swim. He doesn’t, however, have the best stamina in the water. This has been a concern for us, as we spend a ton of time in the water in the summer. I had seen life vests for dogs in stores, but had previously never seriously considered them. Then, last year my youngest daughter was jumping off the boat to me, and Mocha got excited and jumped in the water too. We were in the middle of the lake, and here I was with two little bodies swimming towards me. Thankfully my daughter always wears a life vest, but it still made for a juggling act getting everyone back onto the boat.

    If you have ever had a dog swim to you, they are all paddling legs that don’t stop and claws. It is definitely not easy to keep yourself afloat and manage that moving furry body, and not get scratched up in the process. Dog life vests not only help your pup stay afloat, most also have a handle on the back that helps handle your pup in the water and lift them out of the water. After using the life vest, Mocha seemed to appreciate the additional lift and support from the vest, and we appreciated the piece of mind.

    If you are considering a life vest for your pet, I would talk to other pet owners for their recommendations. Dogs come in every shape/size/weight, so be sure to have your pet fitted for the vest that will work best and be most comfortable for them. There are many dog life vest styles out there and the materials used have different levels of buoyancy in the water. I would also never leave your pet unattended while wearing a life vest - they can be quite hot to wear if not in the water and your pup may chew or become entangled in the vest if bored or wanting to escape.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Dog Training

  • Posted on March 14, 2014 by Randi McMorran

    anti botox brigade
    emdot / Foter / CC BY

    Moving is a nightmare! It’s no fun for anyone, including your pup. Dogs depend on stability and familiarity, so a dramatic change in location will shake him up a little. There are a couple things you can do to make the move a little easier on your dog.

    Keep his things – You may think a new home deserves new items, but keep your dog’s same bed, crate, bowls and toys. There’s already enough change for your pup! Having these familiar items around will comfort your dog and make transition much easier.

    Keep him safe – While moving in and out, keep your dog in a safe place. You don’t want him to get loose or get in the way when moving large items. Place your pup in a closed room with toys, food and water, or in a crate where he can watch the action.

    Keep his routine – Stay on the same schedule for feeding, walking and bedtime. Also, keep the same rules in your new house. If he wasn’t allowed on the furniture before, he should be allowed now.  Don’t try to teach new commands either; they need to stick with what they know while they adjust to the new surroundings.

    Keep your cool – Once you’re in your new home, your pooch may be a little confused and have some accidents. This is not out of spite or anger towards you; they simply don’t know where to go or what to do in a new place. So stay calm and don’t scold your dog.

    Moving is challenging for both you and your dog.  Just remember that they are part of this as well and also can be stressed in the situation.  Take care of your pup and make sure their needs are also being met in all of the commotion.

    This post was posted in Puppy Parties, Tips and Tricks and was tagged with Pet Safety, Puppy Care, Elderly Dog Care