The Most Terrifying Day of the Year – Happy 4th of July!

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

- Benjamin Franklin

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When I was a kid, my grandma had a dog named Patches.  He was the sweetest beagle ever.  A bit stoic for a beagle, he wasn’t really into playing much, but he was a solid companion.  He was one of those dogs who never did anything wrong – he was trustworthy both in and out of the house.  He never needed a leash, and he didn’t have a fenced-in yard.  Didn’t matter; he never even thought about leaving the yard.

I’ll never forget Fourth of July when I was 11 years old.  Patches would have been roughly 13 at that point.  A senior most definitely, but a healthy, sprightly old man.  Most of my  mom’s side of the family was spending the holiday at my grandma’s house:  at least 18 of my 22 cousins, plus aunts uncles – it was a kid heaven.  At dusk the adults started to light some fireworks.  We had a great time.  We headed home around 10:00.  Traffic was unusually heavy on the street where my grandma lived.  It took us a while to navigate.  When we got home, we found out why.

Patches had been hit and killed by a car.

The dog who had always been so stoic, truly a Pilot of a dog, had been frightened by the fireworks and run into the street.  Nobody had bothered to check to see where he was because the dog had never left his boundary in his entire life!  Not to chase squirrels (he stopped at the perimeter), not when guests came (he met them at the driveway).  Never.  Of course if we had realized he was terrified, we would have taken measures to ensure his comfort and safety.

Sparta and Orion have a fenced-in yard.  They will be spending the 4th in their crate, with soft music playing (I almost always have music on in my house, so this will seem normal, if not a bit louder, to them).  My pets’ safety is all on me.  It’s my job to make sure they are happy and healthy.  Things that may not seem scary to me may be terrifying to them, so even though they’ve never shown any signs of fear in the past from fireworks or thunderstorms, I’m still going to make sure they are contained.  It’s my job as Pilot.

Fourth of July is the busiest day for animal wardens.  Dogs (and cats) become scared and run off.  Some never return.  Take some precautions to avoid tragedy:

  • Exhaust your dog before nightfall.  Exercise creates a natural state that make your dog want to sleep.  Help them to sleep through the scary parts.
  • Secure your dog in their crate.  For added security, a blanket can be placed over the crate (it will insulate some of the noise).  Just make sure that the dog is comfortable, and not overheated if you add a blanket, and always leave a few inches of the crate uncovered for ventilation.
  • Make sure your dog has their tags on, and consider microchipping. It could be their ticket home.
  • If your dog is terrified, Pilot them.  You can’t soothe them.  They are legitimately frightened, and speaking to them in a high, whiney, “soothing” voice is counterproductive.  They need a Pilot, not another source of stress.  Read how to accomplish this here.
  • If your dog needs to eliminate, take them outside on a leash.
  • Ask your vet about medication if your dog has a history of reacting badly.  I’m against casual medication of dogs because they are “too hyper” or “anxious” during normal situations.  Those dogs need Piloting.  This is not a normal situation.  Before I get on an airplane, I have drink.  A strong one (or two).  I’m terrified of heights, and it takes the edge off.  That’s all you’re looking to do:  take the edge off of a truly terrifying and abnormal situation.  Again, consult your vet.  Do not self-medicate.

I do miss Patches, though it’s 25 years later.  He was a good dog.  Perhaps he would have lived only a few more months before succumbing to old age.  Perhaps he would have lived a few more years.  Regardless, his life was cut short due to ignorance.  I now know better.  I will Pilot my dogs through the Fourth of July.

Keep calm and pilot onKerry Stack
Darwin Dogs LLC
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio

Spot the Fakers – 6 Warning Signs You’re Not Dealing with an Ethical Online Pet Pharmacy

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Much like everything else sold on the internet, there are people selling authentic pet products and meds and there are those who sell fake items. There are more than a few pet pharmacies online that sell counterfeit medications, supplements, and pet food

Sometimes, these fake pet pharmacies are easy to spot. They often offer unbelievable discounts on really popular pet products, have shady websites, and feature “badges of authenticity” that really don’t mean anything.

Honestly, you cannot debate the convenience of buying pet medications online. While there are unethical pet pharmacies, there are also those who sell 100% genuine products, offer great discounts, provide quick doorstep delivery, and feature honest pet meds reviews by real customers. The key is to learn how to filter out these good pet pharmacies from a long list of bad ones. It’s actually pretty easy and once you know the steps you will never have to worry about buying counterfeit pet products ever again. Without further ado, the following are 6 warning signs that you are not dealing with an ethical pet pharmacy.

Websites Not Asking You to Upload a Vet’s Prescription for Prescription Pet Medication

No matter what the selling platform, it’s mandated by law to check the prescription before selling any prescription medication, be it for pets or humans. Therefore, any site that does not adhere to that is essentially breaking the law. That also means, there is a high likelihood that they procure their products from counterfeiters or relabel expired pet meds.

The Pet Pharmacy is Not Vet-VIPPS Accredited

National Association of Board of Pharmacy (NABP) is an international organization that assesses both human and pet pharmacies and offers licenses and accreditations. They introduced the VIPPS program back in 1999 to accredit genuine online pharmacies. As its name implies, the Vet-VIPPS accreditation is offered by NABP to online pet pharmacies.  Most genuine pet pharmacies feature the Vet-VIPPS accreditation logo on their homepages.

Selling Pet Medications That Are Not FDA Approved

If you spot a pet med that’s not FDA approved, then consider that as an immediate redflag. No genuine pet pharmacy would ever risk featuring a medication that’s not regulated. Therefore, if you spot one, it’s a telltale sign that you are dealing with an unethical pharmacy.

Prices Sound Too Good to Be True

If the prices sound too good to be true, then it should invoke suspicion. This means the product featured did not come through the proper channels, which is always dangerous.  Apart from being sold fake products, you might end up buying meds manufactured outside the United States.

Not Listed or Poorly Rated on Better Business Bureau

BBB is an old school way checking a business’s online reputation and it still holds much ground. Head over to the BBB website and check to see if the website is listed. An unlisted website should be rejected immediately. The good thing about BBB is that you can also check customer reviews and ratings.

The Site Doesn’t Allow You to Write a Review

Most trusted online pet pharmacies would allow you to write a product review. If you buy from them the review gets marked as “Verified”. This is a risky move for people selling fake products, that’s why almost none of them allow visitors to write reviews.