Keeping Your Silky Safe

   

Visit the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  for information about potential poisons in and around your home, and then take a minute to look around house and yard and your Silky’s favourite haunts (local parks and trails; campsites when you travel, etc.) so that you can be proactive in protecting your Silky. A few minutes now may save the life of your Silky. 

Yard Safety

Your Silky also needs a securely fenced yard to play in. Be sure to check your fence thoroughly and regularly for any gaps or loose boards that your Silky will find (and they will find them!) and use to make a getaway. Keep in mind that a gap of only a few inches is enough for a puppy to wiggle its way through... and not much bigger than that is needed for a really determined adult! In the city, he's likely to be hit by a car before he can make it back to you. In the country he may be dinner for a fox or coyote. Never leave your pet unattended in your yard while you go out someplace. Dogs are often stolen right out from their own yards. Tall fences with gates that can be locked will help keep both you and your pet more secure. 

Out and About? A leash is best

Unless your dog is in his own yard, or in a secure off-leash dog park in the city, please....keep your Silky on a leash! It only takes a moment for them to dash in front of a car because they wanted to visit the cat across the street, or a second to take off into the woods after that rabbit (and don't count on them finding their way back; if the chase goes on long enough, he may be miles from home before he stops running. The leash also gives you more control in the event another dog is approaching yours in a menacing manner. If your dog is loose he will stand and fight (or even start the fight) since he is a cocky little terrier. If he's on a leash you can pull him in, pick him up, and leave the situation before it becomes dangerous. Keep in mind that it doesn't matter how beautifully trained and obedient YOUR dog is off-leash; what matters is how well-trained the OTHER guy’s dog is! Play it safe. 

In an Emergency

How many of us work out safe ways out of the house in the event of a fire or other emergency (earthquake, major storm) and discuss it with our kids? How many think about their pets? In the event of a fire or other disaster, most pets will be hiding under the bed, under the sofa or in the back of a closet. They'll be scared and think hiding will protect them and will be unlikely to come when called.  

Put your pet into their crate at night. If your Silky sleeps with you rather than in a crate, be sure your door is closed or gated, so that you know where she is, and have a crate stashed in your closet for easy access. You have a much, much better chance of saving your pet if it isn't loose in the house at night. The crate should be the kind with a handle on top so you can just grab it and run. Keep a collar and leash, food and water bowls and a small bag of food either beside the crate (so it can be grabbed at the same time as the dog) or out in a detached garage or anywhere away from the house. Include medications if your dog is on any. This way if you do leave the house in a hurry you are prepared. Your pet has a crate to be in while you are at a motel/friend's house, and you can safely take him/her for walks, feed their usual food and keep their medications on schedule.  

First Aid

Assembling a pet first aid kit for home or travel use is a really good idea. However, it should never replace you seeking proper medical for your Silky from a veterinarian. Having a well-stocked pet first aid kit can help deal with minor problems and give immediate first aid (as directed by your Vet) in the event of an emergency. The following is a collection of suggestions, compiled from various breeders and dog owners over the years.

THINGS TO PUT IN THE FIRST AID KIT

·         Cotton gauze bandage wrap  
·         Vet Wrap -- 1 inch width, and 2 inch width
·         Ace bandage
·         First aid tape
·         Cotton gauze pads
·         Regular band aids
·         Cotton swabs or Q-tips
·         Benadryl
·         Ascriptin (buffered aspirin)
·         Kaopectate
·         New Skin liquid bandage (useful for patching abrasions on pads)
·         Oral syringes (for administering liquid oral medicines)
·         Safety pins in several sizes
·         Mini battery-operated clippers (to shave an area around a wound)
·         Matches (for ticks)
·         Styptic powder (to stop bleeding)
·         Tweezers or tick remover
·         Haemostat (useful for pulling ticks, thorns, large splinters, etc)
·         Small blunt end scissors
·         Canine rectal thermometer
·         Antibiotic ointment
·         Saline solution (simple mild eye wash)
·         Bottle of hydrogen peroxide
·         Bottle of rubbing alcohol
·         Alcohol or antiseptic wipes (in small individual packets)
·         Jar of Vaseline
·       Specific prescription medications YOUR dog may need (for allergies, seizures, etc.) ALWAYS consult your own vet about the correct usage and doses before giving your dog any medications. And be sure to read about possible side-effects before use. Although those named above are usually considered safe for dogs, some dogs might have allergic reactions. A small tackle box or a plastic box with a handle are good choices for a container for your first aid supplies. It's a good idea to label the box in very large letters: FIRST AID so that it's always easy to spot. Tape to the inside of the box lid, a card with the following information:

·         Your name, address and phone number.
·        Name and phone number of someone to contact in an emergency, who will take care of your dogs if you are unable to.
·         Your dog's name and any information on any medications it takes, allergies or any significant medical conditions it may have, plus tattoo numbers to identify who's who if you have more than one dog.
·         The name and phone number of your vet. 

Also tape to the inside of the box lid, a card with a list of common medications, their general dosages, and the specific dose for the weights of your own dogs. Check with your vet to confirm dosages before using. If symptoms persist, consult your vet ASAPDo NOT continue to try to treat at home, the problem might be more serious than you think! You also might want to ask your vet about having a small amount of a general purpose antibiotic (such as Amoxil) on hand so that you could administer immediately (upon your vet’s instructions) should the need arise. This is especially important if you live in a rural area and it takes a fair amount of time to get to your vet. Be sure to clearly LABEL all medications and supplies with their name and expiration date. Be sure to replace medications that may have exceeded their recommended expiration date. Go through your kit at least once a year, replacing expired medications, replenishing used supplies, etc. Always do this before travelling with your dog/s so you know everything is up-to-date and complete when you are travelling and away from your vet. 

NEVER EVER give Tylenol (toxic to liver) or Ibuprofen (Nuprin, Motrin, Advil, etc.). Ibuprofen is very toxic and fatal to dogs at low doses. Only aspirin is safe for dogs, and buffered aspirin or ascriptin is preferred to minimize stomach upset. 

Give liquid medications using an oral syringe tucked into the side of the dog's mouth, holding jaws closed (rather than poking straight down the throat and risking getting liquid into the lungs). 

It's a good idea to keep copies of your dog's vaccination records, including a copy of the Rabies Certificate, in the first aid kit and always carry the kit with you (in the car, on holidays etc.). In addition, your emergency contact person and your vet information should be posted on your refrigerator or home bulletin board where anyone who needs it can easily find it—you never know when you may be injured in an accident, or even just away for the day,  and your dogs may be in the hands of a complete stranger who will need this information.