We teach dog owners new tricks


Claude’s Woofgang (affectionately known as Woofie) is an AKC registered Giant Schnauzer.  he is certified a a TDI Therapy Dog, Acme Reading Dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Community Canine.

Woofie has been trained in support work, search and rescue techniques as well as basic and advanced obedience.  He has appeared in Business First and Dog Magazine and on ONN and NBC television.  He even has his own commercial!

Woofie has been a valuable member of the Acme Canine Resource Center.  For 10 years he served as a demonstration dog executing his many talents before children adn adults while promoting dog etiquette.

When you have dogs and kids it is important to teach BOTH of them and make it YOUR responsibility to keep them both safe.  It is not the dog’s responsibility to keep a child safe nor is it the child’s to make a dog behave.

By setting house rules and understanding the principles of behavior, clarity, timing, teaching, and consequences – happy and not so happy – you will be surprised at how well this works.  In addition, being consistent with the following rules for both child and dog will yield amazing results.

Your child is NOT to approach the dog to interact with her without one of you being *RIGHT* with him. No exceptions! Since one of you is always around when your child is around the dog, you can enforce this with one warning if your child forgets. Over time your dog will understand when your child approaches she will not be assaulted since you intervened in each and every situation.   Note: Your child is allowed to walk by the dog, but he is not to touch her unless you are *RIGHT* with him.

Your child is NOT to run by the dog.  This is important to prevent him from accidently slipping and falling on her and to avoid scaring her and making her feel defensive. You need to be very clear on this rule.  If your child seems like he MIGHT run in a room near your dog (because after all, he is only a toddler), remind him of the rules in a nice way and make sure one of you is available to stop the behavior.  This means you have to be aware of where your dog is and where your child is all the time. Yep, this is hard. But it’s much easier than an awful ER visit…

The dog is going to bump the child once in awhile, especially when she’s excited. This is going to happen between dogs and toddlers.  Try not to allow them both to be in narrow areas of the house at the same time.  Ask your child to stand still and let the dog go by or ask him to come to you while your dog does a stand/wait.  You can also re-direct her (or him) in a different direction.   Having a fully obedience trained w/commands and signals helps a great deal in this situation.

If your dog is eating, your child is to stay away from her. You need to be actively aware of where your child is while your dog eats.  It may be easier to take responsibility for keeping him away from her general area in case he forgets.  You will need to teach your dog not to have a food guarding issue in addition to the Drop and the Leave It commands if food falls on the floor.  Generally, it is easy to have the dog baby gated away from the child when he is eating.

Your child is *NEVER* to be left alone in a room with the dog. I don’t care how nice the dog is or isn’t, or how quickly you’re leaving the room. If you have to leave a room, either your child or the dog comes with you; OR you put up a baby gate to separate the two.  Make it a game where your child has to find you or encourage him to look at something together. He could forget what he’s doing and make an error, thus blowing the dog’s trust in you to keep her safe, and the child’s trust in you as a leader.

No dog toys are left on the floor while your child is out and about in the house. Dog toys appear when he goes to bed.  They are played with and then put away so nobody forgets and blows it. Dogs can be very possessive animals so why chance a bad encounter.  Mark all of the dog’s toys with a little vanilla and teach her she’s not to pick up anything that isn’t scented with vanilla.  Your dog will learn this quickly just by telling her to Leave It when she sniffed anything without vanilla on it. You need to be stringent about this and consistent in order not to have issues.

Teach your child how to touch the dog.  Make it part of family stuff by talking about how Big Men are kind to animals, touch animals gently, etc.   While you are doing this make sure you’re *RIGHT THERE* with him to guide him into doing the right thing. This makes the dog feel happy and safe, too.  You child will end up being *great* with friends’ dogs too.

NEVER tell your child to leave the dog alone without redirecting him to do something else! It’s the same with dogs. Don’t just say “no,” say “No,” to interrupt, and then guide them into something they *can* (and hopefully want to) do.  You can’t necessarily “tell” a 2-yr old something and expect that to last very long if you don’t set them up to win. You need to constantly keep watch over them to help them do well– just like with a puppy.  If you want to extinguish a behavior in any creature, you have to address the behavior in a way that matters and means something to that creature, every time it happens, which means you have to be there to see it happening and apply good or bad consequences right away. If you let a few bad things go, it gets harder and harder to undo, the child listens less and less, etc. If you don’t reward the desired behavior, it’s less likely to happen again.  This can be hard to do and is exhausting in many cases. But it is do-able.
Remember, the responsibility for safety is with YOU, not the toddler or the dog. So if you KNOW your child may be apt to bother the dog, fall on him, etc., it is your responsibility to keep the dog AND the child safe, through training and management. It’s a heavy responsibility and can get old sometimes, I know. But if you do what has been suggested  now, your dog will thank you now, your child will thank you when he’s grown, and you won’t have to spend some nasty evening in the ER where your child’s face is full of stitches and you needing to make the decision whether to put your dog down.

Those who have faced emergencies can tell you it is essential to get your first aid kit together and get familiar with first aid measures BEFORE you are confronted with an accident, emergency or sudden illness. Many situations require fast and correct action to prevent further injury, infection or death. So assemble a first aid kit now, so that you’ll be ready when your pet (or a human) needs immediate help.

Be sure to read through the First Aid Kit list that follows. It will give you an idea of the situations that can and do come up. Being prepared can keep a manageable incident from becoming health-threatening. It will reduce the chance of infection and further complications…reduce stress for everyone…cut recovery time…and empower you to effectively help. Being prepared can even make the difference between life and death.


Keep a first aid safety kit on hand at home and in your car. Take the one from your car with you when you travel with your pet.

Each kit should include the items listed. It might sound like a lot of stuff, but when an accident occurs, these items can help you save the health or life of an animal…or a human.

Waterproof Kit Container:
Write on the container, in indelible ink, the phone numbers for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital, and poison control hotlines. Also list your own name, address and phone numbers.

First Aid Guides:
Animal first aid book, such as “The First Aid Companion For Dogs and Cats”, Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (http://www.doctordog.com/dogbook/dogch01.html), and Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (http://www.doctordog.com/catbook/catch01.html)

CPR instructions – download the online brochures listed later in this tipsheet.

Essential Vet and Contact Info:
Prepare and make copies of a list including:
Phone number for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital, and poison control hotlines (such as the 2 listed in this tipsheet).
Your own name, address and phone numbers.
Your emergency contact person’s numbers, in case you are incapacitated.
The name, age, breed, sex, identification (such as microchipping information), and any health problems (especially useful information if your petsitter or emergency contact needs to call an emergency medical service about your pet).

A copy of your pet vaccination records.
Photo of each pet in case it is needed for ID or other purposes.

Kit Supplies:

Tweezers (flat slant tip instead of the rounded variety)
Sterile needle (to remove splinters and tick heads)
Turkey baster or bulb syringe (for flushing wounds, force feeding)
10cc syringe with no needle (for administering medications)
Tongue depressor to examine mouth

Rubber gloves
Nail clippers
Rectal thermometer (normal body temperature of dogs and cats is 100.5 to 102.5 F; take your pet’s temperature under normal conditions to get a baseline for comparison in case he gets sick or injured)
Disposable safety razor (for shaving fur from around a wound)

Towel (at least 2)
Paper towels
Blanket (the compact thermal blanket works well; uses include keeping an injured animal from going into shock)
Bandanna and/or nylon stocking (many uses, including muzzling or securing a torn earflap)
Strips of cloth
Dog booties or little socks (to cover wounded paws or to protect so you won’t need to treat)

3×3 sterile gauze pads
Rolled gauze (for bandaging, stabilizing joints, making a muzzle)
Adhesive first aid tape (in narrow and wide widths)
Cotton rolled
Cotton balls
Bandages (including self-clinging or vet wrap and waterproof types)
Vet wrap, which sticks to itself but not fur.

Anti-bacterial wipes or pads
Hot/cold pack
Ice pack

Hydrogen peroxide 3% USP (to induce vomiting and to use on infected wounds; check the expiration date from time to time and keep only fresh solution in your kit)
Activated charcoal tablets (effective in absorbing many toxics)

Betadine solution (a type of antiseptic iodine medicine for wounds to deter infection)
Antibiotic ointment (such a Neosporin)
Rubbing alcohol (apply on skin as body cooling agent to aid heat stroke or fever; helps break down oils; acts as a drying agent between toes and skin folds; but do not use on wounds as it can damage skin and is not an appropriate antiseptic)

Bag Balm (especially useful for treating paw pads)
Petroleum jelly (helpful aid for taking temperature)
Sterile saline eye solution (to flush out eye contaminants and wounds)
Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
Eye ointment with no cortisone
Epsom salt (mix 1 teaspoon in 2 cups of warm water for drawing out infection and bathing itchy paws and skin)
Baking soda (good for soothing skin conditions)
Styptic powder (to stop bleeding of torn toenails, etc.)

Milk of magnesia (for stomach upset and certain types of poison ingestion)
Pepto Bismol (for stomach upset and some types of poison ingestion; do not give to cats)
Kaopectate (OK for cats and dogs)
Benadryl (for bug bites and stings and other allergic reactions. Use plain Benadryl, not the other formulas.
Gentle pet sedative such as Rescue Remedy (available at health food and some pet supply stores). Rescue Remedy is a Bach flower essence available in most health food stores. This gentle, natural stress reducing liquid can often help both people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue and irritation. Put a drop in your water bottle and in their water. To help prevent travel sickness, a common dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip, repeating every four hours as needed. For stressed or injured animals, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier. Flower essences can be used along with conventional medicine.

Aspirin (for dogs only, 1 tablet per 60 pounds; do not use acetaminophen or ibuprofen; do not give aspirin to cats; since aspirin and other pain relievers can be toxic to any pet, consult your vet and first aid books)

Can of soft pet food (can help reduce the effect of a poisoning)
Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid such as Dawn (to clean contaminated skin or sticky substances)
Plastic baggies

Muzzle (an injured or scared animal may try to bite)
Nylon leash
Pet crate or carrier (a safe, calming place for your pet and a safe way to transport)

Also have in your car:
Bottled water
Bowl or other container to use for water
Spare leash

Other suggested items:
Slicker brush
Tick scoop (handy little device for removing ticks)
Treats containing sugar (in case the animal experiences hypoglycemic or low glucose episode)
Betadine Swab Sticks
Panalog (a healing cream)
Nexaban (a type of skin glue to glue a wound closed if necessary)
Penlight (to see how the pupils respond to light; in normal animals, pupils decrease in size when exposed to light)
5 inch hemostat, a clamp for blood vessels to stop bleeding

Liquid Ice offers a good way to treat pet injuries such as sprains, strains, swelling and bruising using cold and compression. The non-dyed, non-adhesive stretch cotton bandage is pre-soaked in a special menthol and alcohol solution. It is lightweight, does not restrict movement, and can be applied easily even to knees. No refrigeration necessary, and cold effects last longer than other cold treatments. www.fernovetsystems.com or 888-206-7802

* If you prefer to purchase a ready-made kit, good choices include:

Medi+ Pet Deluxe First Aid Kit


The Hiker First Aid Kit for Canines


* If someone is taking care of your pet while you’re away: show them where you keep the first aid kit and vet records, your vet and emergency animal hospital info, how to contact you, and the name and phone number of a friend or relative in case you are unavailable. In addition, let your vet know in advance who you have authorized to take your pet to the vet in your absence, and that you will pay for any emergency visit.


* Hit by a car, hard falls or other high-impact injuries:Rush the animal to the closest animal hospital. First, place the dog on a firm surface, such as a plywood board. If a board is not available, place the animal in a blanket. Keep the animal as steady as possible to prevent further injury.

* Poisoning:
If there is any possibility that your pet came into contact with a poison, go to the vet immediately, since the onset of symptoms could be delayed a day or even two…and by then, it may be too late.

If you cannot get to the vet immediately, waiting for a ride, or are stranded, you can call either of these 24-hour emergency hotlines staffed with experienced veterinarians:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center 1-888-4-ANI-HELP or 1-888-426-4435
National Animal Poison Control Center 1-800-548-2423

Fees apply to these nonprofit hotlines, which are staffed by veterinarians. Call immediately, and have this info ready:
** Your name, address and telephone number.
** The type of the poisonous substance the pet was exposed to. Be as specific as possible about the substance, the amount ingested or contacted, the time since exposure, etc. Have the container/packaging available, because the label will identify the product’s active ingredients.
** The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
** The symptoms the animal is experiencing.

* Antifreeze poisoning:
If you suspect your pet may have ingested antifreeze, take him to the vet or emergency animal hospital immediately! Immediate treatment is essential to prevent a painful death. Initial signs include excessive thirst and urination, lack of coordination, weakness, nausea, tremors, vomiting, rapid breathing and heart rate, convulsions, diarrhea and paralysis. Not all signs may be evident. The final stages of poisoning are characterized by oral and gastric ulcers and renal failure, followed by death.

Ethylene glycol is the toxic component in antifreeze. Vets have a test kit to confirm the presence of the poison in the body. If positive, ethanol (vodka or wood grain alcohol) or a newer antidote will be administered intravenously. The goal is to prevent the ethylene glycol from metabolizing to its toxic components. Dialysis can be used to remove the ethylene glycol from the blood stream.

If you are delayed in getting to the animal hospital, it is often recommended to induce vomiting immediately. And some people have had success giving their dogs vodka or other alcohol orally, followed by water. The alcohol reportedly interferes with the body’s processing of the ethylene glycol before it fully metabolizes. However, it is imperative to first call a vet for guidance, and if your vet is not available, call your nearest emergency animal hospital and/or one of the phone hotlines listed in this tipsheet.

* When to induce vomiting:
For many types of poisoning, it is advised to induce vomiting, soon after ingestion before the chemical can do damage. These include ingestion of arsenic (in rat and mouse poisons), chocolate, insecticides, lead, matches, medications (except tranquilizers), plants, shampoo, shoe polish, slug and snail bait, strychnine and weed killers. However, unless you are stranded somewhere, induce vomiting only under the direction of a vet, physician or poison emergency hotline staff member. It is critical to properly identify the ingested substance.

To induce vomiting in pets, give the animal household hydrogen peroxide 3% USP by mouth, using a syringe (bulb or 10cc with no needle). Do not try to pour it down his throat. Instead, pull his lips away from the side of the mouth to make a pocket, in which you will deposit the liquid. It is suggested to use 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of the animal’s weight, to a maximum of 3 to 4 tablespoons. Before dosing, first give the animal a little bread or other soft food so there is something to bring up along with the stomach contents. If he has not vomited after 15 minutes, repeat the dose of hydrogen peroxide one more time. After vomiting, some folks recommend giving the animal a teaspoon of Epson salts mixed in some water to help empty the intestine.

Activated charcoal is also used to induce vomiting in pets. It has the ability to absorb and deactivate many toxins, preventing the poisons from reaching the blood stream. Activated charcoal tablets also help when you don’t have access to a clean water supply. Mix a tablet of activated charcoal in 2 teaspoons of water. Give 1 teaspoon per 2 pounds body weight and follow with a pint of water.

While syrup of Ipecac been used to induce vomiting, a growing number of veterinarians, physicians and FDA/public health officials discourage its use for people and animals.

Do not feed salt water or mustard, or stick a finger down the throat; these methods are ineffective and potentially dangerous.

* When NOT to induce vomiting. Do not induce vomiting if the animal is lethargic, unconscious, convulsing, having a seizure or is in shock. Do not induce vomiting if the animal ingested an acidic or alkaline product such as drain cleaner, household cleansers and paint thinner. Caustic and corrosive substances can burn the throat and stomach on the way back up, compounding the injury. Also, do not induce vomiting for ingestion of tranquilizers, bones, sharp objects or petroleum products such as gasoline or lighter fluid.

* If the ingested substance was gasoline, kerosene, an acid or alkali, or a corrosive: Try to give the animal milk to dilute the toxin in the stomach.

* If you know the substance was an acid: First, rinse the mouth. Then feed the dog Milk of magnesia or Pepto Bismol using bulb syringe or eyedropper aimed the back of the mouth. Dose 2 teaspoons per 5 pounds of body weight. (For cats, 1 teaspoon Milk of magnesia per 5 pounds; do not give Pepto Bismol to cats, although Kaopectate is OK.) This helps neutralize the chemicals and reduce the burn.

* If you know the substance was an akali: First, rinse the mouth. Then mix a tablespoon vinegar with a tablespoon of water and feed the mixture to your pet using a bulb syringe or eyedropper aimed at the back of the mouth. An alternate solution is 1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar. This helps neutralize the chemicals and reduce the burn.

Note: Since cats groom themselves, they can ingest poisons such as sprays that get on their fur. So be sure to wash the pet’s fur.

Remember, for any poisoning, get to the vet as soon as possible. Temporary first aid measures alone are not enough.

* Wounds:
Be careful, since any animal in pain may try to bite. Muzzle your pet by using a strip of soft cloth, gauze, rope, necktie or nylon stocking. Gently wrap around the nose, under the chin and tie behind the ears. Do not obstruct breathing. A towel placed around the head will help control small pets.

Wash your hands if possible to avoid further contamination. Wear gloves if you have them. Carefully check the wound. Clip the fur back as needed to clear the area around the wound. Clean out debris using ample amounts of saline, balanced electrolyte solution or Betadine antibacterial scrub (or Betadine solution diluted with water to the color of tea). If these are not available, use regular water.

After irrigating the wound, apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to the wound.

Note: Do not pour hydrogen peroxide into an open wound; it is better for wounds that have become infected. Do not use alcohol on wounds, as it damages tissue and retards healing.

Wrap open wounds to keep them clean. Make sure bandages are not cutting off circulation; in most cases, it’s best to wrap lightly. Change bandages frequently to aid in healing, gently re-applying antibiotic ointment as needed.

As soon as you finish treating the wound, loosen or remove the muzzle. Bite wounds often become infected, so call your veterinarian, who may dispense prescription antibiotics.

Another home remedy for treating wounds: mix 1 teaspoon Epsom salt in 2 cups of warm water and soak to draw out infection.

If the Wound is Bleeding:
Place clean gauze or fabric over the wound and apply firm, direct pressure over the bleeding area until the bleeding stops. For serious bleeding, hold the pressure for at least 10 straight minutes, since continually releasing the pressure to check the wound will hamper clotting. When bleeding stops, continue with the steps in the previous section.

Avoid tourniquets unless absolutely necessary. If you must apply one, consider this information from http://www.dog.com/vet/firstaid/01.html:
Apply a tourniquet between the heart and the wound if the bleeding is coming from an artery and on the side away from the heart if it is coming from a vein. Arterial blood is bright red, tends to spurt out with significant force, and pulses with each heart beat as it bleeds. Venous blood (blood from a vein) is dark red and may flow rapidly but does not actually spurt or pulse. Because venous blood is on its way back to the heart from the rest of the body, the tourniquet is applied below or “distal to” the wound, i.e., if the wound is on a leg, the tourniquet is applied on the side closer to the foot. Make the tourniquet just tight enough to stop most of the bleeding. Loosen it every 10 to 15 minutes for 5 to 10 seconds to allow the blood to circulate again into the extremity. You can use almost any cloth, rope, sock, or stocking as a tourniquet, as long as it is long enough to go around the extremity and be tied securely.

* Puncture Wounds:
Clean the wound and the surrounding skin with an antibacterial solution such as Betadine, applying by dabbing with a gauze pad. Use warm damp compresses for puncture wounds, since you want to delay formation of a scab that could seal the infection in under the skin. This will also increase blood flow to the wound area, which aids healing. It is recommended not to bandage over puncture wounds.

* Paw Treatment:
A home remedy for treating paw pad and other wounds: mix iodine and water to the point at which it looks like tea. Add some Epsom salt to clean out the wound and bandage it with gauze. You can also apply Bag Balm to help chaffed and injured paws heal. Put on a dog bootie or small sock to protect injured paw pads.

* Burns (chemical, electrical, or heat):
Symptoms include singed fur, blistering, swelling, redness of skin. Flush burns immediately with lots of cool, running water. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not place an ice pack directly on the skin. Instead, wrap the pack in a light towel or cloth.

Neutralize acid on skin by rinsing with a solution of baking soda and water. Neutralize alkali substances with a weak vinegar-water solution. Blot dry, apply antibiotic ointment and tape gauze dressing loosely around the affected area. Olive oil can also be applied.

Brush off any dry chemicals that are on the skin. Beware, water may activate some dry chemicals. Call your veterinarian immediately.

Treating burns: trim fur and dab antibiotic ointment. For wounds larger than quarter, wrap in wet towels and go to vet to avert risk of infection.

* Choking:
Signs include pawing at the mouth, gagging, gasping, breathing difficulty, odd neck posture, abnormal gum color (blue, gray, white), unconsciousness. Open the mouth and try to pull out the tongue to check for an obstruction. Sweep inside with a finger if you cannot see anything. If you see or feel the object, remove it if you can do this without causing throat trauma.

If you can’t clear the airway or the animal is struggling, hold the pet upside down by his back legs if you can. Or use a Heimlich-type maneuver and push up with your fist held under the animal’s belly, just behind the ribcage. Do not apply too much force or you can injure the animal. Go to the vet ASAP.

* Drowning:
To resuscitate, place your pet on a flat surface, open his mouth, pull the tongue forward, and clear away any debris in his mouth. If he is still in distress, hold him by his hind legs and gently swing him back and forth in an attempt to clear the water from his lungs and stomach. If the pet is too large to lift, place him on his side and press upward on his midsection or abdomen. If necessary, perform the Heimlich-like maneuver described in the “Choking” section, and take him to the nearest vet.

* Electrocution:
Signs include panting, breathing difficulty, a burn across the lips and tongue, and/or unconscious. It can happen if the pet chews on a power cord. Before touching the animal, turn off power to the outlet and then unplug the cord. Next, if the animal is conscious, rinse his mouth with cold water. Then perform rescue breathing using mouth-to-snout resuscitation if the pet is not breathing but does have a pulse…or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if he is not breathing and has no pulse. See instructions for these life-saving techniques in the online brochures listed in the next section.

Wrap the pet in a blanket to help prevent shock, and take him to the vet immediately (you could perform resuscitation in the car if someone else drives). Go to the vet even if your pet seems OK, since electrocution can lead to serious internal problems that may not be evident for awhile. Also, check the mouth for lesions for 3 weeks.

* The ABC’s — Airway, Breathing, Circulation:
If your pet is not breathing but does have a pulse, you need to perform rescue breathing using mouth-to-snout resuscitation immediately. If your pet is not breathing and has no pulse, you must perform CPR immediately. Here are web links to essential life-saving brochures about rescue breathing and pet CPR. Print out 2 copies for your home and car travel kit so you will be ready in an emergency situation:
http://members.aol.com/henryhbk/acpr.html http://www.rescuecritters.com/cpr.html

* Insect Bites and Stings:
Remove stinger with tweezers or by gently scraping away with a plastic card. Bathe the area with a solution of baking soda and water, then apply ice packs (lined with a towel or cloth) for 5 minutes at a time. Some people treat stings with Benadryl. Typical dosages: for cats and dogs under 30 pounds, give 10 mg…dogs 30 to 50 pounds, give 25 mg…dogs over 50 pounds, give 50 mg. For more Insect/Skin Remedies, see the link listed at the end.

Stings and bites can cause severe reactions. If there is major swelling, or the animal seems disoriented, sick or has trouble moving or breathing, go to the vet immediately.

Benadryl is good for bee stings, insect bites and other allergic reactions. Use plain Benadryl, not the other formulas.

* Itching, Poison Ivy, Rashes:
A good tip for soothing human as well as pet skin is to apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the affected areas. Also, mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 2 cups of warm water to bathe itchy paws and skin.

* Foxtails:
These barbed seeds from dried grasses and weeds can be easily inhaled by dogs. They can lodge between toes and in ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth and throat, and can even travel through orifices deeper into body, causing infections and abscesses. Check your dog thoroughly after hiking for foxtails, ticks, etc. If your dog is frantically pawing his nose, ears or eyes, shaking or rubbing his head, sneezing for long periods, biting at his anus or has blood coming from his nose, take him to a vet.

* Shock:
Symptoms include irregular breathing and dilated pupils. Shock can occur due to a serious injury or fright. Keep the animal gently restrained, quiet and warm, with the lower body elevated. Call your veterinarian immediately.

* Heat Stroke Prevention and Treatment:
To protect your pet from heat stroke, review the Summer Health and Safety tipsheet on the PAW website. Heat stroke can be brought on by activity as well as confinement outside in the heat, and the effects can be devastating. Be aware of the signs of heat stroke:

** Excessive panting
** Labored breathing that may signal upper airway obstruction
** Bright red mucous membranes in the gums or eyes and/or bright red tongue
** Lethargy and weakness
** High body temperature
** Collapsing and seizures, even coma

If you notice any of these signs, get your pet inside and place a cool, wet towel over him or submerge him in cool or lukewarm water. Do not use ice, which can damage skin.

Take your pet’s temperature using a rectal thermometer. If the animal’s temperature exceeds 105 F, get medical attention at once.

Provide drinking water, but do not force an animal to drink. You can apply rubbing alcohol on the skin as a cooling agent.

FYI, dogs cool themselves by panting; this draws air over the moist membranes of the nose and tongue and cools by evaporation. But panting works only for short periods. Prolonged panting endangers the metabolic system. In addition, high humidity interferes with the ability of panting to cool the body.

* This information is not a substitute for veterinary care. Contact your veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately for any potentially serious injury, condition or illness.

* A great gift idea for any pet owner: A first aid book and kit would make a thoughtful, creative and invaluable gift. Pick up the kit contents the same time you buy them for your own kits for your home and car.

Related Resources:

Emergency Treatment 24-Hour Hotlines:
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
1-888-4-ANI-HELP or 1-888-426-4435
National Animal Poison Control Center
1-900-680-0000 or 1-800-548-2423

First Aid Guidance:
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/firstaid.html (Feline First Aid)

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation, and Checking Airway, Breathing and Circulation (ABC)
Print these life-saving brochures to have on hand!

Another tipsheet on CPR for Pets:


Life-Threatening Traumatic Injuries:


Lacerations, Bandaging and Splinting:

Insect Bites and Stings, Skin Conditions and Treatment:

Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes – Prevention and Treatment:

Plants Poisonous to Pets:

Tips for Pet Safety and Pet-Safe Homes:

Safer, Less Toxic Alternatives to Everyday Household Products:

Summer Health and Safety Guide:

Pets in Hot Cars:
Flyers available from the Humane Society of the United States at 202-452-1100.

When traveling, you can find a veterinarian using the AAHA Animal Hospital Locator:


For more Dog Tips and other information about pet
care, adoption and the work PAW does, visit our
website at:  www.paw-rescue.org

Woofie, demonstration dog for Acme Canine

by Joshua Spiert

Some men and women measure themselves by the work they do.  This trait may apply to some of man’s best friends too.  Many people think dogs care only about food and fun, but those people have never met Woofie.  He has accomplished more in his decade of dog training than some people do in three or four decades of a career.  He sat and downed with me to talk about some of the best moments of his career and the years well spent as he prepares to ease into retirement.

Claude’s Woofgang Pakis is a 10-year-old Giant Schnauzer and, more importantly, a staple in the Lewis Center community.  He’s led parades down Franklin Street and he’s sat patiently to read with local school children.  Since he was 6 months old, he’s worked as the Demonstration Dog at Acme Canine alongside its owner and founder, Laura Pakis.  Before he even grew into his paws, he was teaching fellow dogs and their owners.

“It took Woofie several months to understand that I work with other dogs,” Laura said.  “He would intensely smell me and give me a confused look after each lesson.  Later, when we started taking in residencies, he was jealous that other dogs would spend time in our home.”  He eventually adjusted, though it’s obvious he still considers himself head honcho.

“Even as a young pup, I felt that this place was mine to keep in order,” Woofie said, keeping a watchful eye across the expansive Acme yard segmented by white picket fences. “After I got used to the idea of so many other dogs in my home, I saw the unique opportunity and responsibility it gave me.”

After realizing his position in the Acme pack, Woofie could have easily become the class bully.  Instead, he chose to be the peacekeeper, diffusing tense situations before they could get ugly.  He was often seen stepping between two snarling parties and making it clear they’d have to go through him first.  He basically functioned as another chaperone to watch over the boarding and daycare dogs.

Woofie is certified as a therapy dog and an AKC Canine Good Citizen.  He has been trained in basic and advanced obedience, search and rescue, and support work.  Readers may recognize him from his appearances on NBC4, ONN, and Acme Canine commercials.  He has turned up in Business First and Dog Magazine.  He has put on demonstrations and shows at Huntington Park, WagFest, FidoFest, the New Albany Classic, and many other events.  Of course, Acme regulars would recognize him from his business cards or the various paintings and photographs hanging around the facility.

“I never really understood why artists sent in so many pictures, but it’s flattering,” Woofie said. “Personally, I always kind of preferred when they sent holiday treats, but people seem to like the pictures.”

Woofie’s work took him through all types of precarious situations like sitting patiently alongside both school children and highly aggressive dogs (at different times) simply to help both groups improve.  At least, that’s what he tried to tell me.  In reality, it’s obvious his dedication is as much to Laura Pakis as to his work.

“It could sometimes get very stressful in certain types of lessons. I could just feel the tension in the air.  That’s when I would look to Laura and try to block out the stress and focus on her confidence.” Woofie said.

“He trusts and respects me at a very high level,” Laura said. “He understands that when I ask something of him I am telling him to bypass his instincts and follow through with what is being asked of him.”  This level of respect is what really sets Woofie apart.  He trusts her and is so eager to please that he is willing to risk downing next to an aggressive dog or letting rambunctious puppies climb all over him, if that’s what she is asking.

When Laura and Woofie first began Acme Canine in 2004, he would work alongside her seven long days a week.  He usually even traveled with her, acting as a distraction for excitable dogs.  Every once in a while, however, he was forced to wait patiently to inspect all the scents she brought back at the end of the day.

Despite Woofie’s dedication to both Laura and his work, every dog has their day.  He just rounded out his first decade and has begun to slow a bit.  Some ailments and close calls have made Laura realize it may be time for him to take it easy and just enjoy life as he sees fit.

“It takes a special dog to handle the demands of performing commands at a high level day in and day out,” Laura said.  “It’s not only physically demanding, but also mentally stressing.”

“I’ve had a couple health scares recently.  I feel fine now, but I do realize I’m not as spry as I once was,” Woofie said.  “I’m not a 2-year-old anymore, and that’s OK.  Personally, the older I get, the more exhausting it is to deal with the young pups.  I’d rather just grab my teddy bear and relax.”

With the end of this chapter of his life, Woofie will be starting his next.  He should have a lot more time to spend with his family (namely, Autumn, his sister, a Boxer mix, and his younger brother, Spike, a rowdy Dachshund-French Bulldog mix).

“Overall, I plan to take it easy,” he said. “I’ll still be around, but I’ll be watching those crazy dogs more from afar while snacking on Milkbones and practicing my woodworking.”

Woofie has spent years helping countless hundreds of dogs and their families build a healthier, happier life together. In return, he asked for nothing except the love and respect of Laura Pakis and the joy in the act itself.  Imagine if more people would live and work the way Woofie has.  Now that’s a dog’s life.

about Woofie :  Claude’s Woofgang (affectionately know as Woofie) is an AKC registered Giant Schnauzer.  He is certified as a TDI Therapy Dog, Acme Reading Dog, AKC Canine Good Citizen and AKC Community Canine.

Woofie has been trained in support work, search and rescue techniques as well as basic and advanced obedience.  He has appeared in several magazines and on ONN and NBC television.  He even has his own commercial.

Woofie has been a valuable member of the Acme Canine Resource Center.  For 10 years he served as a demonstration dog executing his many talents before children and adults while promoting dog etiquette.

About Joshua Spiert: Josh graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism and an environmental studies certificate. Among other things, he enjoys lots of music (with 3,000+ songs on his iPod), films, and long walks on the beach. Josh moved back to Columbus, his home town, after graduation and began working as Acme Canine’s co-editor of The Bark.  He is now a published author, having written a few articles for Acme’s blog, several dog magazines and for our newsletter.


Hi Spike here,  My owner found a great article about grieving about your pet.  We reprinted it below.

Grieving a Pet
Most of us grieve greatly when this occurs. For some of us, this is a very private thing. And some of us question if it is the right thing to do. It is.
It doesn’t matter if the pet was a mouse or a mastiff – grief is independent of size. Some animals are lost due to accidents when they are young and in good health while others die after a prolonged illness. Whatever the case, grief and sadness are normal responses to loss.
It is unfortunate that pets live shorter lives than the people who own them. We are faced with pet loss many times in our lives. In modern society, pets have taken on remarkable rolls. Some substitute for spouses while others substitute for children, siblings and parent.
Our pets’ ability to love unconditionally endear them to our hearts as little else can. A pet’s presence can lower your blood pressure, change your heart rate and remove feelings of loneliness. They are truly our “best friends”. A single pet can fulfill multiple rolls for different human family members. When a pet dies, bonds and rolls within the family must be rearranged. Often, the trauma of the loss will be unappreciated by your extended family and friends. That is because everyone else’s pet is an animal – except their own.
Mourning or grief occurs in stages that are experienced similarly by people in all walks of life and from a wide variety of cultures. It is not a strictly predictable process and each of us experiences grief in different ways. Some of us will get stuck in one of the stages for a long period of time or never reach closure. It takes different people differing lengths of time to pass through the stages of grief and they do not necessarily occur in the same order or intensity in different people.
The Five Stages of Grief and Mourning:
1) It is common for our first reaction to learning of the death or terminal illness of a pet to be denial and inability to grasp the fact. We feel stunned, bewildered and dazed. This is a normal reaction, which is often called shock. Shock is temporary but it gets us through the initial weeks.
2) Anger and looking for objects to be angry at, often occurs subsequent to the initial shock of pet loss. We may lash out at friends and family or, more frequently, at ourselves. It is common for us to feel guilty and sometimes, the veterinarian who tended to our pets become the object of this anger. Other times it is self-directed or directed at other members of the family. The best way to get over this anger phase is through talk and conversation.
3) Denial or bargaining is another method we use for coping with pet loss. We may search for miracle
cures to incurable diseases or seek out second opinions from a different veterinarian. We think of all the
things we would do or not due if only the pet would get better.
4) Depression is the longest portion of grief and mourning. We are sad, hopeless and helpless and we
are regretful. We think about our lost pet constantly and we wish we had done things differently.
5) If we are fortunate, we eventually reach the stage of acceptance and healing. We treasure the time
we had with our pet and lapse into a period of calm and tranquility– if not happiness. We develop a new
lifestyle in which other things substitute for the relationship we had with out pet. This is the time we
might look for another furry friend.
Here Are Some Things You Can Do To Hasten Acceptance And Healing:
Give yourself permission to grieve. Accept that you were very close to your pet and recognize how much
the pet meant to you. Place a memorial plaque to your pet in a favorite spot. This allows you to pay
tribute to the pet that meant so much to you. Try to get plenty of rest, eat well and exercise. Surround
yourself with positive friends who understand your loss and let them share your burden. Treat yourself
to pleasurable activities. Be patient. Recognize that you will have relapses of grief and sadness.
Remember that grief will pass and life will be pleasant again. Don’t be afraid to lean on friends and pet
loss support groups.
The degree and depth of your mourning process depends on your own personality as well as outside
factors. Your age, how the pet died and the closeness of your relationship all play a part in the feeling
you experience. Children are more resilient than adults and usually recover first. Older people have the
most difficult time accepting the loss of a pet.
How To Explain The Loss Of A Pet To Your Children:
As parents you may feel uncomfortable talking about death to your kids. You may think that silence will
spare your children some of the pain and sadness. But, this is wrong. The whole family needs to talk
freely together, even if through tears. Kids develop deep bonds to their pets. Once their best friend is
gone they need to be allowed personal grief and closure.
The loss of a pet is often your child’s first need to confront the reality of death. We often do not realize
how traumatic death is to a child because children do not express their emotions well. It is human
nature to attempt to shield our children from grief. But this is rarely necessary because children, from an
early age, begin to understand the concept of irretrievable loss and death.
Children should be taught from an early age the impermanence of life. A healthy understanding of death
allows a child to experience the pain of loss and to express his or her feelings. A great deal of patience,
hugs and kisses are required when explaining death to a small child. We need to give our children
permission to express themselves and work through their grief – not burry it. Do not leave your children
with the impression that anything they did was responsible for the loss of your pet.
Children younger than five years of age typically have no understanding of death. They think of it as extended sleep from which a pet will awake. Explain to these young children that the natural state of the World is such that pets die and do not return. Reassure them that nothing that was their fault caused the pets death.
Six and seven year old children have a limited understanding of death. They too may consider the pet to be sleeping or living somewhere in an underground home. They may expect the pet to eventually return and for death to be a temporary state of affairs. They may worry about their own mortality and need reassurance from you that they will not also die soon. They may temporarily lose their toilet training, bladder control, eating and sleeping patterns. Talking thing out with them is the best cure for these problems. A child needs to express his or her feelings and concerns. This process may take a month or two. Many short discussions are generally more productive than one or two prolonged sessions.
Your child may wish to have a funeral for the pet. Such a ceremony is a fitting way to say goodbye. Don’t rush out and purchase a new pet to ease the grief. Allow your children a reasonable time to accept the loss.
Children eight and older generally understand the permanence of death. Sometime the loss of a pet triggers a concern about the possible death of their parents. They may become curious about death and its implications and you should be ready to engage them in frank and honest discussions about the subject. These children will experience many of the stages of grief that you experience. They may have transient problems concentrating in school and relapse to more juvenile behaviors. Many enter a period of clinginess that lasts a few weeks.
Teenage children react similarly to adults. Denial is more common in this age group as are stoicness, numbness and lack of emotional display. It is often years after the loss before these adolescents feel good about discussing their attachments to their lost pet.
There comes a time for many of us when euthanasia becomes the loving thing to do. This is because veterinary medicine, like human medicine, has succeeded in extending life beyond the point where quality of life is satisfactory.
No matter how long a pet lives with us, the time will never be enough and we will never realize the strength of our attachment to a pet until it is gone. Quality of life issues bring most clients to me for euthanasia. Usually they rely on me to reinforce and affirm their decision to put the pet to sleep. I have found that loving pet owners usually recognize when their pet is suffering seriously. If there is a sin, it is delaying this moment of decision beyond its proper time. Guilt often weighs heavily on the person who must make this decision and it is rare for there to be unanimity within the family. But do your Buddy this favor when you see in its eyes that the time has come.
Is The Time Now?
In leading my clients to a decision regarding euthanasia I guide them through important questions. First, what is the current quality of their pet’s life? Is the pet still happy and playful? Does it show joy and affection? Is it eating well and is it aware of its surroundings? Is the pet in pain? Have we exhausted nursing and veterinary care? How is the pet’s illness affecting the family? Can you or your family really afford the cost of care that will likely be unrewarding?
Once the decision has been made to put the pet to sleep you must decide if you want to be present while it is done. Veterinarians euthanize pets by administering an overdose of barbiturate anesthetics intravenously. The process is painless. You can cradle your pet while this is done or you can wait in the reception area until the process is complete. About seventy-five percent of my clients decide to be present. Most of my clients elect to have the pet cremated although some of the more traditional owners still bury the pet in their back yards. You can also burry the ashes of your pet in a treasured spot. Alternatives include every option offered in human funerals and interment.
After Your Pet Is Gone:
Our other family pets also feel the loss. Family pets that survive also go through a grieving process. Even pets that seem to dislike one another are profoundly affected by the loss of one of the group. In fact, pets show many of the signs that their human owners exhibit. They may become restless, anxious and depressed. Grieving pets often eat less. They search for their missing playmate and crave affection from their owners.
Here are some things you can do to ease the transition for a grieving pet. Try to maintain normalcy and routine. Pets thrive on routine and normalcy so try to maintain this as best you can. With the loss of a pet in a multi-pet household, new peck orders and dominance will have to be established. Try to avoid pet fights by separating the pets and their feeding locations as this process works itself out. Wait a month or two before obtaining new pets.
Cherish the memories of your pet as the present it left especially for you. Remember its destructive clown-like puppy or kittenhood with fondness. Remember the wonderful times you two had together – how your pet made you laugh, comforted you when you were sad and showed you unrestricted love and devotion. These memories will always be there to savor – they are the immortal legacy of a true friend.
For more information, please contact:
Acme Canine 1385 Franklin Street Lewis Center OH 43035 (740) 548-1717 acmecanine.com

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