Tell-Tail Signs You Can Spot To Prevent Dog Bites

It’s National Dog Bite Prevention Week®! There are 78 million dogs in the US. And every year, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs – more than half of them children! 😕 With many of us working from home, the need to manage dog-human interactions is intensified – even more so if you have children at home. Many time dogs give off warning signs before they bite. Learn how to read basic canine body language – it’s one way you can help prevent dog bites. 😉

The body language of dogs is the primary way to read a dog’s attitude at the moment, whether it’s going to be cooperative or headstrong or something in between. It will also reveal a good bit about the condition of its health.


The position of a dog’s ears can be one of the best communicators of the dog’s attitude at the moment. Ears held in a neutral, pricked, alert, changing, pinned back, or extremely pinned back position can be the most easily read indicator of the way a dog is feeling.


While dogs’ eyes may seem expressive and provide a window into their soul, you need to pay close attention to them along with other signs to determine a dog’s attitude at the moment. Close examination of eyes can also reveal clues of a dog’s health and whether it’s in pain.


Do dogs smile? There’s no doubt they move their lips and tongues in ways that mimic what humans would call a grin. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy. The condition and color of the tongue and gums are some of the most easily read signs of a dog’s condition and health.


How a dog is standing, moving, and holding its body is, overall, its most indicative body language. Combined with the other indicators, posture will give you a pretty clear picture of whether a dog is happy, angry, concerned, fearful, and every other emotion. Posture is also extremely important in telling you about a dog’s health – especially whether it’s in pain.


The most common way people judge a dog’s disposition is by how it is holding and moving its tail. However, there’s more to it than whether a dog is simply wagging its tail or is holding it still. There are many subtleties in the tail that can be communicative of how the dog is feeling.

For more information on how you can prevent dog bites, visit the AVMA website.


When it comes to using the right leash for walking your dog, we have one recommendation: avoid retractable leashes.

Retractables cause many unnecessary problems compared to traditional leashes. Here is our list of top 10 reason to avoid them:

1. The length of most retractable leashes makes it difficult fo you to maintain control of your dog, especially in busy areas. Dogs can easily run into the street, and those leases are not easy to reel in.

2. The locks on retractable leashes are known to disengage when pressure is applied, allowing your dog to run further than you may have intended. This can end badly for your dog, or another person.

3. Retractables are also known for causing injuries to dogs and humans. Grabbing onto the lead line while your dog is moving can cause severe burns (and in some cases has resulted in lose of fingers).

4. And when your dog reaches the end of the leash, the sudden jerk has been known to pull people off their feet, or cause serious injury to the dog.

5. If your dog already pulls while walking, a retractable will make it worse. Dogs pull because of opposition reflex, and because they are rewarded for pulling by gaining more freedom to go where they want. A retractable encourages and reinforces this bad behavior.

So ditch the retractable leash when you walk your dog. It’s safer for you, your dog, and everyone else. And this why Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialists will use the proper length regular leash when they walk your dog. 😉

Top 5 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring A Bird Sitter

Birds are not dogs!! This may seem obvious, but many bird owners have been surprised (not in a good way) when their bird becomes distressed or ill while they are away. Proper care for birds is important as they are sensitive to many environmental conditions. So if you want to find a reliable, quality sitter for your bird, we’ve put together a list of questions you should ask.

Top 5 questions you should ask before you hire a bird sitter

1. What previous experience do you have with birds?
2. Are you bonded and insured?
3. What happens if my bird gets sick while I am away?
4. How many times a day will my bird be checked, and how much time will you spend interacting with him?
5. Can I call you for progress reports? Will you text me photos of my bird? (ok, that’s really 2 questions 😉 )

Snaggle Foot Pet Care Specialists receive training in basic pet care plus important skills like Pet CPR and Pet First Aid. Contact us for more information on how we can care for your feathered family!

7 Simple Things To Keep Your Pet Healthy

We’re in the middle of National Pet Week®! And since we know you are an uber-caring pet owner, we thought you’d like to know that there are 7 simple things you can do to be a responsible pet owner:

  1. Keep your pet at a healthy weight.
  2. Exercise your pet.
  3. Feed your pet a balanced, nutritious diet.
  4. Have your veterinarian examine your pet at least once a year to make sure your pet is healthy and to help detect problems earlier.
  5. Vaccinate your pet against potentially deadly diseases such as distemper, parvo, panleukopenia and rabies.
  6. Keep your pet free of parasites (fleas and ticks, heartworm, etc.) – consult your veterinarian for the best product for your pet.
  7. Spay or neuter your pet.

Top 10 Pet Toxins

The third week in March is National Animal Poison Prevention Week. This week serves as a reminder to all pet owners to watch for both natural and processed pet toxins, especially as we prepare for spring cleaning and as plants start to poke their way through the snow.

Pet Age Magazine, along with the Pet Poison Helpline, have listed the top cat and dog toxins to watch out for. These toxins are listed by their commonality, so watch especially for those highest on the lists. Keep this list handy to help keep your pet healthy year round.

Top Ten Cat Toxins

Lilies: All plants in the lily family, if ingested, can cause kidney failure in cats. These plants are common, so be especially careful what types of plants you have accessible in your home.
Household cleaners: Watch especially for concentrated products like toilet or drain cleaners, which can cause chemical burns.
Flea and tick prevention products for dogs: Certain pyrethroid based products can cause tremors and seizures in cats and are potentially deadly if ingested.
Antidepressants: According to Pet Age, cats seem strangely drawn to these medications. Keep them tightly sealed and out of reach, as they can have damaging neurological and cardiac effects on cats.
NSAIDs: Drugs like Ibuprofen found in Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc are even more dangerous to cats than they are to dogs. Even those meant for pets should be used with caution.
Prescription ADD/ADHD medication: Can cause tremors, seizures or other cardiac problems that could be fatal to cats.
Over the counter cough, cold & allergy medicine: Those containing acetaminophen (like Tylenol) are particularly dangerous can do damage to red blood cells and cause liver failure.
Insoluble Oxalate Plants: Other common household plants like the philodendron and pothos can cause oral irritation, foaming at the mouth and inflammation.
Household Insecticides: Most sprays and powders are fairly safe, but it’s best to keep cats away until the product is fully dried or settled.
Glow Sticks: Though these may seem like cute toys to cats, if punctured, the chemicals inside can cause pain and foaming at the mouth. If exposed to these, food and water are a safe remedy.

Top Ten Dog Toxins

Chocolate: Dark and bakers chocolate are the worst, and milk chocolate in large amounts can also be dangerous.
Xylitol (sugarless gum sweetener): Also found in some candies, medications and nasal sprays, this sweetener causes a fast drop in blood sugar and possible liver failure in dogs.
NSAIDs: Drugs like Ibuprofen found in Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc. Dogs are not good a digesting these and the continued exposure can cause stomach ulcers and kidney failure.
Over the counter cough, cold & allergy medicine: Particularly those containing acetaminophen or decongestants.
Mouse and Rat Poison: Even small amounts may cause internal bleeding or swelling of the brain in dogs.
Grapes & Raisins: May cause kidney damage.
Insect bait stations: While these stations themselves are not poisonous to dogs, pets who are intrigued by the plastic casing and swallow it may experience obstruction in their bowels.
Prescription ADD/ADHD medication: Can cause tremors, seizures or other cardiac problems that could be fatal to dogs.
Glucosamine joint supplements: These can be extremely tasty for pets, and in excess can cause diarrhea or even liver failure in dogs.
Silica gel packets & oxygen absorbers: While the gel packets found in new shoes or purses do not pose a significant threat, oxygen absorbers found in food packages, even pet treats, can cause iron poisoning.

Pet Poison Helpline online is a resource available for pet owners to learn what other poisons are out there and how to respond if your pet is exposed to something harmful. Should your pet be exposed to any of these or other toxins that are cause for concern, contact your local vet or the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.

For additional information and resources about preventing pet poisoning, please click here:

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