Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Safety in the Car

A dog trainer and friend of mine asked that I write a quick blurb reminding everyone about dogs in a car. You've all seen the dog that LOVES to ride with his head hanging out of the completely rolled down window. Most folks might say "oh, look at how he loves doing that". However, folks like myself and other dog savvy folks look at it and say "what is that owner thinking?"!!

Yes, dogs love to feel the wind in their face, but that doesn't mean it's safe for them. You wouldn't let your child hang their head out of the car window going down a street at 50 miles an hour, I'm sure. Sitting on your lap to boot while you drive. Yet, folks let their dogs do it all the time.

The worst isn't the head out the window, it's the fact that this dog isn't buckled in or safe at all. A quick stop and that head is in trouble.

Dogs should be either crated when you drive, or seat belted in. If they're crated (which is my favorite) please remember that the crate needs to be locked in, either with a seat belt, or a bungie cord. A crate that isn't safely tied down becomes a missile in an accident, flying forward or worse yet, out of the car.

Seat belts for dogs are GREAT. It's a harness, and the existing seat belt clips right onto it. The dog can stand, sit or lay down, but is safely belted in if a quick stop or worse, a roll over happens. Yes, you can have the window open and the dog can enjoy the wind coming into the car on his face!

My yorky is at his happiest when I'm in my little VW with the top down. He has a car seat, which is locked in by the seat belt. The car seat has clasps that hook onto his harness (seat belt harness). He's safe, he can see and he loves the wind in his hair. Being small, he is usually in his crate in the back seat with the seat belt through the handle. But, on a warm sunny day when the top can go down, Cork gets to ride in his favorite place.

Folks often say, well he's on the floor in the front, or the back, or he's in my lap, he's safe. Car''s roll, windows blow out, and don't forget the airbags! So keep them there dogs safe, just like we buckle up our kids and ourselves, so should you for your dogs.

It's a hot one today - stay cool and chill inside with your fur friend! Time for bones!

Take care
Deb Schneider
Corky the yorky, Everee the border collie and Eli the bloodhound

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When to Refer to your breeder!

There are many good reasons to buy from a reputable breeder, and here are a few.

When I get the call about a dog that is in danger of being put down or given away, particularly because it has bitten someone, I always ask "who is your breeder or rescue group, and have you contacted them?" Unless you've gotten your puppy from a pet store or puppy mill (they're both the same in my book as the puppies come from the same place!), or a private party that bred their dogs "just because", then you have no resources.

But, if you've purchased your pup from a breeder who backs up what they do, which includes a contract, that's a good thing. Even if you purchased your dog from a rescue, you often can contact them as well. These folks want to help you. Breeders will often offer to take the dog back from you in lieu of putting the dog down. I've heard of two breeders in the past month that offered to take the dogs into their homes for a month and see if they can work on the problem for the owners. That's a great breeder!

So, before you think you're going to have to either 1) put your dog down or 2) give him up to a rescue, go back to where you purchased him from and see if there is help for him.

This is why it's important to have a contract from whomever you purchase from. Contracts protect the breeder/rescue group, the new owners and most importantly, the dog!

I have to say 99% of the time I'm in the dog's corner, and that often if we could just give them a fresh start they would be able to turn things around.

Have a good one!
Deb S.
Corky the yorky, Everee the BC, Eli the bloodhound