Skip to main content
+727-542-3000 | Free shipping on orders over $30!

Tag: caution

Avoid Common Dog Dangers with the Must-Have Guide on Dog Safety

As you walk in the door from work, your dog leaps with joy, letting out resounding barks of approval and happiness. But then she lets out a concerning yelp of pain. You look down to see a torn toenail that needs immediate attention. What do you do? Is it an emergency? Can you help?

When your dog is hurt or in pain, you jump into triage mode. Scenarios like torn toenails or bone fragments lodged in the mouth are common dangers dogs may face every day. Some you can remedy yourself; others require medical attention. Can you determine which is which?

As a pet owner, you’re committed to keeping your best friend safe. Learning what some of the most common dangers dogs face daily inside and outside of the home can help ensure you create a safe environment for your pet.

With the help of Whole Dog Journal’s digital guide, Dog Dangers, you can gain valuable insight into common hazards your dog faces every day, including what to look out for, what to avoid, and what to do if your dog hurts himself. You’ll also get tips on important details like creating a first aid kit for your dog and keeping him safe while swimming, so you can eliminate dangers from your dog’s environment before they harm him.

In Dog Dangers, you’ll discover how to:

  • Avoid the most common situations sending dogs into the emergency room by learning more about what they are
  • How to protect your pets during the holidays by getting helpful tips on reducing stress and helping them avoid harmful foods and commonly ingested object
  • Induce vomiting safely when it’s necessary when harmful substances have been ingested
  • Identify common household items and foods that are dangerous to dogs so you can create a safer home environment

This e-book is a must-have addition to your pet care library, giving you valuable tips to protect your dog at home and while out having fun. Give yourself peace of mind and your dog the safest environment possible by downloading your copy of Dog Dangers today.

Subscribe Today for the very best in dog education!

How to Pick Up a Puppy

If your new puppy is avoiding you, you need these tips on how to hold your puppy – especially if he has advanced to growling or snapping at you.

When you see a little puppy, the most natural thing in the world is to run over and swoop her into your arms for a nice big cuddle!
I beg you: Don’t do that. It may feel wonderful to you, but the odds are you just created a moment of fear for that puppy.


Style matters, and the seemingly simple pick-up approach above includes three unfortunate choices: The surprise, the swoop, the squeeze. Each of those elements creates discomfort in a being who is new to our human world. (Nobody on Planet Dog picks anybody else up!) To complete the picture of terror, there’s often optional element #4: The Squeal.

Sometimes, people contact me in a bit of a panic because the puppy they got last week is growling at them, and it’s getting worse every day. A quick home visit usually reveals that these nice folks are in the surprise-swoop-squeeze camp. They are unintentionally terrifying their pup, and the pup is learning to fend off that moment with a growl.

While that’s a bummer, it’s also great news – because it means we can probably fix this in a jiffy by creating a new pick-up process that will build the missing trust.


It’s scary for puppies when they are picked up completely by surprise. One minute they’re just hanging out – maybe even sound asleep – and the next they’re up in the air! Sure, some pups will roll with it, but for many others it’s alarming.

You can avoid the surprise factor by altering your approach. No running! No zooming! Just stroll over so pup has a chance to see you’re on your way. Then crouch down, and take a moment to say hi with a gentle stroke. All along, provide a nice low-volume voice-over for extra reassurance and preparation: “Hi sweet pup. How about I come say hello?” That advance warning system means the puppy has a chance to catch up to the action.

Extra help: For a pup who has already been growling about handling, a cue word is a nice thing to add. A consistent heads-up in the form of a cheery, “1-2-3 time for a pick-up!” can be a game-changer. It helps pup learn to be ready when that’s about to happen and to totally relax when it’s not.


Even if you eliminate the element of surprise, you still may hear a growl if your pup feels unsafe in the air. That’s why the second rule of the perfect pick-up is this: No swoop-and-dangle allowed. Your new pup doesn’t want the thrill of an amusement park ride.

Help her feel safe with you by using a slow, cradling motion that keeps her body supported 100% of the time: One hand underneath, the other softly against her chest and shoulder. Bonus points for continuing your quiet voiceover: “Aw, there we go, we’re just going to move over here, you’re my sweetie girl . . .” Don’t stand up too quickly – give pup the old, creaky elevator experience rather than the one that whisks you ridiculously fast to the top floor.

Extra help: If you’re doing remedial work, it can help to have a chew, a toy, or a piece of jerky in your hand as you say, “1-2-3 time for a pick-up!” This way you can distract pup from her worries and create a positive association with the feeling of being handled in this way.


Once pup is in your arms as you’re standing, you can extend her lesson in trust by slowly, gently putting her right back down. For some puppies, the worst part of a pick-up is the dreaded squeeze-n-trap! Humans love to trap puppies in what they call a loving hug. Alas, the puppy might call it terrifying jail time.

Nobody – not one human, not one dog – wants their body to be held against their will. And yet somehow we think puppies are supposed to sit endlessly in our laps, or cherish being carried around by us, so we make them do that regardless of their reaction. Kids are the ones who find this hardest to resist, but I’m amazed how many adults also refuse to recognize a puppy’s squirming as a legitimate plea for bodily autonomy.

To add to the train wreck, these over-held pups are often the ones who grow into dogs who hate being handled! Which is sad in all kinds of ways, because it’s the folks who most want cuddlers who tend to turn their dogs into resisters.

Here’s what I tell kids (and, ahem, a few adults): Do you want to be your puppy’s favorite? Then, especially at first, let that puppy do the choosing! Rather than demanding the puppy’s attention, entice it instead. Get down on the floor, get a squeaky toy, roll around in a puppy-like way – and soon enough that puppy will start choosing you to play with. And then, miracle of miracles, when she’s tired she’ll wander over and choose your lap to sleep in. Now you’re just one step away from that pup happily asking to be picked up and cuddled.

how to hold a puppy
The perfect puppy hold. Stable support underneath, but with a relaxed hold. Happy puppy feels secure but not trapped. For kids in particular, sitting on the ground is the best way to hold puppies without scaring them.


If you eliminate the surprise-swoop-squeeze from your routine, your pup will soon be calm about being picked up. To see if you’re at that point yet, look for the signals that pup is happy about this consent-based handling. Is she regularly approaching you? Turning her head toward you instead of away? Relaxing her body against yours? No longer struggling in your arms? Perfect. Now you can skip the warning cue, and the treat in your hand as you lift.

But the rest? The no-surprise approach? The soothing voiceover? The un-intimidating crouch? The slow, supported lift? Don’t drop those. It’s habits like those that eventually make people describe you as the one who is “just magic with dogs!”

Nope. It’s not magic, just empathy. Use it, and enjoy the rewards.


A Healthy House for Your Dog (and You, Too!

We think of our homes as the safest place for our dogs, but there are many things you can do to make them safer and healthier, including using pet safe cleaners.


Maintaining a healthy home is in everyone’s best interests. Here are simple steps that can lead to a healthier home environment for you, your dogs, and your family.


In recent years nontoxic household cleaners have become popular in supermarkets, natural food stores, and from online retailers. Some contain traditional ingredients like vinegar and baking soda, both of which you can use individually.

The acetic acid in distilled white vinegar kills harmful bacteria and microbes, plus it has antifungal properties that help resist mold. For a simple all-purpose cleaner, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Apply with a sponge, cloth, or spray bottle, then rinse or wipe with a clean, damp cloth and let dry. Make a spray that can help prevent ant or mite infestations around food storage areas by blending 1 cup distilled vinegar, 1 cup water, and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.

A popular do-it-yourself cleaner for vinyl floors combines 1 cup vinegar, 5 drops baby oil or jojoba oil, and 1 gallon warm water. The result removes waxy buildup and leaves the floor shining.

While recommended for kitchen counters, floors, sinks, mirrors, bathrooms, and windows, vinegar’s acidity can damage stone and should not be applied to granite countertops.

Baking soda, which is alkaline rather than acidic, is an effective scrubbing agent for sinks, countertops, and cookware, plus it’s a natural deodorizer. To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda on carpets before vacuuming and add to laundry wash water.


Dust is often a challenge in homes with dogs. If yours is a shedder, you’ll want a good vacuum cleaner, Swiffer floor sweeper, lint rollers, or all three. Vacuum cleaners designed for use around pets feature allergen-capturing filters and attachments that work on floors, furniture, dog beds, and more.

To deal with flea infestations, vacuum areas frequented by your pets every two to three days, especially highly trafficked hallways and paths in your house. Flea eggs, larvae, and pupae can be found wherever a dog lives, and female fleas lay 20 to 50 eggs per day for up to three months. No wonder they’re hard to eliminate!

Flea larvae mature on or near the dog’s bedding and resting areas, so removing opportunities for eggs to develop is the most effective nontoxic flea population control strategy. Don’t forget to vacuum under cushions on couches or chairs that your dog sleeps on. Change vacuum bags frequently and seal their contents safely in a plastic bag (or empty bagless canisters into a plastic bag) before disposing.


Washing your dog’s bed is a good idea wherever fleas are a problem or whenever it needs a good cleaning, so check bed labels for cleaning instructions. Dog beds, blankets, throw rugs, and removable bed covers can be tossed in the washer with any detergent – you won’t need insecticidal soap, special detergents, or bleach because fleas cannot survive plain water. If desired, add baking soda as a deodorizer.

If a bed cover isn’t removable or the bed shouldn’t be washed, vacuum or clean it thoroughly, scrub it with a damp microfiber cloth, and wash the floor under the bed as often as possible. Purchase several covers, sheets, or towels for pet bed use and rotate them in and out of the wash.


The best food and water bowls are made of stainless steel. Avoid ceramic bowls, as some decorative ceramics allow chemicals to leach into food and water. Plastic bowls may contain carcinogenic substances and can harbor bacteria.

Washing your dog’s food and water bowls with soap and hot water is especially important if you feed your dog raw meat because pathogenic bacteria can reproduce quickly at room temperature. Your dog should have access to fresh, pure water at all times.


Slick or slippery floors, whether polished wood, vinyl, laminate, or tile, can pose health risks to dogs who have arthritis or are recovering from an illness or accident. Replace slippery flooring with bamboo or cork, both of which are slip-resistant, or use non-skid rugs, sisal grass runners, peel-and-stick carpet squares, yoga mats, or other skid-free surfaces wherever your dog needs traction.

You can discover a flooring’s slip-resistance by checking for its coefficient of friction, or COF, which is an objective standard of rating how slippery an item is. Manufacturers and retailers publish flooring COF ratings for comparison. Terracotta tile, quarry tile, and brick have high COF ratings, so they are very slip-resistant, while honed natural stone, which is slippery like glass, has one of the lowest COF ratings.

Open some windows in your home whenever possible; this will improve the indoor air quality (as long as there are no wildfires or other threats to outdoor air quality.). Screens help to keep flying insects out. Safety bars are a good idea for incautious dogs. Photo Credits: Alina Rosanova /


Science tells us that dogs improve human health by bringing the outdoors in, but we don’t want a house full of muddy paw prints. Create an entrance plan to help keep things tidy. A mud room or garage entry, coupled with a super absorbent doormat or rug directly inside or outside the door will reduce incoming dirt. Have a good supply of towels, paw or body wipes, brushes, and grooming supplies nearby to simplify cleanup.


You already know that, for your own health, you shouldn’t smoke. But did you know that second-hand smoke has been associated with lung and nasal cancers in smokers’ dogs? If you must smoke, do it outdoors and away from your dog. Don’t smoke in any enclosed space such as a closed room (or worse, in a car) with your dog present.

The air in the average home can be two to 20 times more polluted than the air outside. In addition to using natural cleaning products, open the windows in your home at least once a day unless the outdoor air quality is poor, such as when smog, air pollution, smoke from forest fires, or high pollen counts reduce air quality.

Whole-house and portable air filters remove dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria. Non-toxic houseplants improve air quality by removing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Instead of using chemical “air fresheners,” use scented flowers, dried herbs, or aromatherapy essential oil diffusers to add fragrance.


Pet waste smells bad and can attract flies and spread worms. Removing it daily helps prevent health problems including coprophagia (when dogs eat their own or other dogs’ poop).

In place of commercial pesticides and herbicides, look for safe, organic compounds that can help control garden pests and keep your yard healthy without the use of toxic chemicals.

Every improvement you can make in the health of your home and yard will help your dog avoid common problems.


The very best in dog education!


Summer Flea & Tick Season is Upon Us!

How to protect your dog from flea & tick season, according to a veterinarian…a few things to consider…

courtesy of:
TKKTKT. (Photo: Getty Images)
If you have a furry friend, now’s the time to brush up on the best flea and tick treatments on the market. (Photo: Getty Images)

For pet owners, warm weather is synonymous with peak flea and tick season. Bites are notorious for causing everything from intense itching to more serious infections like Lyme disease, so keeping your pet protected is more important than ever this time of year.

When it comes to fleas, they don’t just affect your pet, says Wellness Natural Pet Food veterinarian, Dr. Danielle Bernal. “Once your dog has them, they can take over the entire home,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle, noting that furniture and floorboards are especially at risk for flea infestation. “About 70 percent of dogs that are itchy and scratching have fleas, so it’s really abundant—protection is key.”

Ticks can lead to anemia, paralysis and even Lyme disease — so picking the right preventative measure is extremely important. “Tick bites can lead to expensive vet bills and a situation where your pet is really unwell,” says Dr. Bernal.

So if you have a furry friend, now’s the time to brush up on the best flea and tick treatments on the market, below.

Spot treatments

Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment, 45 - 88 lbs. (Photo: Chewy)
Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment, 45 – 88 lbs. (Photo: Chewy)

“Spot treatments have been the most popular option for the last 10 years.
says Dr. Bernal. She adds that while there are many brands and formulas out there, the most important thing to look for is one that kills fleas and ticks but also prevents future infestations.

Shop it: Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Large Breed Dog Treatment (6 doses), 45 – 88 lbs., $67,


Bravecto Chews for Dogs, 44-88 lbs, One 3-month treatment. (Photo: Chewy)
Bravecto Chews for Dogs, 44-88 lbs, One 3-month treatment. (Photo: Chewy)

Dr. Bernal says tablets are the newest way to prevent fleas and ticks. The pill is available in 1 to 3 month-long preventative doses, which is great for busy (and sometimes forgetful) pet parents. “As pet parents, one of the challenges we have is remembering to do things, so I’ve seen a lot of success with the 3-month tablet,” she says. “If you stay active with the 3-month treatments, it’s just four times a year, and you get consistent protection so it’s my go-to.”

Not only are the tablets easy to use, but Dr. Bernal says they’re also one of the best preventatives for ticks. “Ticks are hard because many spot treatments only protect against ticks for about 2 weeks out of the 4 — but with the tablet, you’re covered for up to 3 months.”

​Shop it: Bravecto Chews for Dogs, 44-88 lbs, One 3-month treatment, $55,


Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs. (Photo: Chewy)
Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs. (Photo: Chewy)

While most collars, like Seresto, protect against flea and ticks, she recommends collars for added tick protection if you’re using a spot treatment.

“Collars are really popular for tick prevention specifically,” says Dr. Bernal. “Ticks are everywhere—even the dog park—and what stimulates them is the carbon dioxide from your dog’s breath. So the collars work to neutralize that and repel ticks over a period of time.”

Shop it: Seresto 8 Month Flea & Tick Prevention Collar for Large Dogs, $58,

The editors at Yahoo Lifestyle are committed to finding you the best products at the best prices. At times, we may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page.

Skip to content