Educational Information
Health and Safety


Children and Pups

Q. Should children and puppies be left together unsupervised??
A. No. Although children and pups may naturally go together well, and form a close bond of love, it is not wise to leave them alone together, for safety reasons. The instinct of a child is to think of a puppy as a toy, which they may try to climb, ride, poke, or pinch. This could lead to an accident, unless the interaction between the child and the pup is monitored by an adult.

Q. What rules should children be taught about handling puppies? 

A. First of all children must be taught that a puppy is a member of their family (not a toy), that must be treated gently, and with kindness and respect. Other important rules that children should be taught are:

  • Never attempt to take away food or a bone when a puppy is eating.
  • Never startle or sneak up on a puppy that is sleeping or resting. As the saying goes humans should "let sleeping dogs lie."
  • Children should never handle a pup roughly, pinch or poke him, tease him, or pull his ears, legs, or tail.
  • Children should never growl, stare, or bark at a puppy. (even in fun)
  • Children should be taught that puppies don't chew gum or eat candy.
  • Children should be taught never to pick up a pup by his front legs (this can permanently damage the pup's shoulder) 

Remember, if you don't protect your puppy from children, you will be forcing your puppy to protect himself. Threatened pups may react by growling, snapping, or biting.

Q. Can children be taught to play appropriately with a pup??
A. Yes.  Hide and seek, fetch, catch, etc. are all appropriate games for children to play with pups.



Heat Stroke

Q. What is heat stroke?
A. Heatstroke is a dangerous condition that a dog gets when it retains too much heat in its body. Unlike humans, dogs do not perspire through the pores of their skin. We dogs perspire through our tongues, by panting.

Q. Is heatstroke dangerous? 

A. Yes. Heatstroke can be a swift killer. We dogs cool by panting, and panting only works for a short period of time, especially in very hot areas that are humid where we are confined, such as inside an automobile. For example,
on a moderate 75 degree day, overhead sun on a parked car can quickly push the car temperature over 120 degrees. Please don't leave us dogs in such a dangerous place, anymore than you would leave your baby or child there!

Q. What are the symptoms of heatstroke?

A. The symptoms of heatstroke include heavy panting, glazed eyes, unsteadiness, dizziness, rapid or shallow breathing, excessive salivation, vomiting, discolored tongue, body temperature of 104 degrees F. or higher.

Q. What is the treatment of heatstroke?  

A. Move the dog to a cool, shady, ventilated area. Give the dog small sips of cool water.  Soak the dog with wet towels or cold compresses. Place cold compresses on the dog's head, on the back of the dog's neck, and another on his abdomen.  Get the dog to a vet as soon as possible to get oxygen, and intravenous glucose and saline injections.

Q. How can canine heatstroke be prevented ?

A. Provide your dog with access to clean fresh drinking water at all times. Avoid strenuous exercise during hot weather (especially between 10 am-2 pm) when the sun is the strongest. Never leave your dog unattended in a car or closed room on a hot day. Never leave your dog outside for a long time without access to adequate shade and water.



Puppy Proofing Your Home

Q. Should I puppy proof my home?
A. Absolutely! A pup's motto is "if it's on the floor, or I can get to it, it's fair game." Remember,  pups don't know what is allowed and what isn't, and they love to play with just about anything within reach. As young pups, no one has taught them yet what is safe or unsafe.

Q. How do I puppy proof my home? 

A. It is very important to puppy proof your home by keeping everything out of our reach that you don't want pups to chew or eat. This includes putting all solvents, chemicals, medications (over the counter as well as prescription meds), and anything potentially harmful or dangerous behind closed doors, or otherwise out of our reach. 

Q. What products can be potentially harmful or dangerous to dogs?

A. Many products such as toothpaste, perfume, soap, mouthwash, deodorants, antifreeze, chocolate, grapes, aspirin, vitamins, household cleaning compounds such as detergents, bleaches, floor cleaners, toilet disinfectants, weed killers, insect sprays, etc. can be poisonous to pups. Please keep these items properly stored. Also, make sure caps and lids on all containers are firmly tightened. 

Q. Can pups swallow things by accident? How can I prevent this?

A. Yes, To most pups, a rubber band on the floor is irresistible.  Ditto for string, needles, pins, plastic bag ties, paper clips, and other sharp items, including children's toys. Because these items appear to us to be edible, pups may chew and swallow them. To prevent this from happening, keep these items away from your pup.

Q. Can household furniture or plants present a hazard to a pup?
A. Yes, floor lamps, hanging potted plants and anything else that can tumble over are a potential hazard to a pup. Please keep these items anchored so they will not fall over and injure your pup



Spaying and Neutering

Q. Do dogs that are spayed or neutered get fat and lazy?
A. This is false. While it is true that spaying and neutering changes the metabolism of a dog, there is no reason for a dog that has been spayed or neutered to become fat or lazy. As the dog's owner you just need to be responsible and make sure that your dog gets adequate exercise. Also, make sure that you do not overfeed your dog. If your dog begins to gain excessive weight, reduce his/her food intake. Your veterinarian can advise you in this matter. As to the question of laziness, many dogs that have been spayed or neutered are active in agility contests, and search and rescue work. 

Q. Is it not safe or smart to spay a dog before it has a heat?
A. Multiple studies have shown that early spaying or neutering is safe, and in fact younger pups may have a faster recovery than older dogs being spayed.  Most vets recommend that dogs be spayed before they have a heat. According to Doctors Foster and Smith, " spaying a dog before her first heat is the best way to significantly reduce the chance your dog will develop breast cancer, a common condition in female dogs. The risk of malignant mammary tumors in dogs spayed prior to their first heat is 0.05%. It is 8% for dogs spayed after one heat, and 26% in dogs spayed after their second heat."

Q. Do the pros of spaying or neutering your dog far outweigh the cons?

A. Yes, according to the Anti-Cruelty Society's web page, we've posted their information below.

  • "Spayed or neutered pets are typically better behaved, calmer, and more affectionate than those that are not altered. 
  • Male animals are less likely to mark their territory by urinating or spraying and less likely to run away in an attempt to find a female; no, this does not mean you should leave your neutered animal outside unattended.
  • Spaying an animal eliminates their heat cycle and the undesirable elements of a heat cycle such as bleeding, crying, and nervous behaviors.
  • Want to take your dog to that fun dog park down the street or the daycare around the corner? Then your dog needs to be spayed or neutered as most dog parks and daycares require it. 
  • Every year approximately 4 million animals, the vast majority of which are medically and behaviorally adoptable, are euthanized. By spaying or neutering your pet you are directly helping to reduce this number. 
  • Due to the fact that it helps reduce the incidence of some of the most common types of cancers (breast, uterine, prostate, and testicular), your animal is likely to live a longer and healthier life.
  • Spaying and neutering decreases the number of stray animals which results in a decrease in animal bites (to both humans and pets), car accidents, and destruction to property. 
  • Spayed and neutered animals get along better with each other and exhibit less aggression issues towards animals of the same gender." (These Spaying and Neutering Facts are located at



Traveling by Car with Your Pup

Q. Is my pup a good candidate to travel with by car? 
A. Most likely, yes. However, a small percentage of dogs are not cut out for car travel due to illness, age, car sickness, or problems with excessive barking.

Q. What items should I pack?

A. It is recommended that you bring along a food and water bowl set, food, water, dog toys, a leash, a brush, a dog bed and blanket, waste removal bags, an old towel, disinfectant spray, disinfectant wipes, and a doggy first aid kit. Also, make sure you bring a picture of your dog, and a copy of his rabies tag, and license number, in the unlikely case that he gets lost.

Q. What are some tips for traveling safely with my dog by car?

  • Train your dog to ride in the car. Train him gradually, with short trips first. Use treats, and praise. Don't wait until the day of your trip to give your dog his first car ride. 
  • Use proper restraints for your dog when driving, for safety reasons. Confine him to a carrier, tether, or harness, properly attached to a seat belt. 
  • Take periodic rest stops so your dog can get a drink of water and go potty.
  • Never open your car door unless your dog is leashed..Your dog may  get scared and try to run away. 
  • Prevent car sickness. It may help to feed your dog 4-6 hours before you depart, instead of when the car is moving. If your dog does get sick, try feeding him part of a ginger cookie.
  • Never let your dog ride in the back of a pickup truck. He may jump out or fall out by accident.
  • Never leave your dog in a car when it is hot outside.
  • Research in advance and find the right place to stay.  Helpful websites with pet friendly travel information include: •

  • We recommend you purchase, "Traveling with Your Pet", a AAA book that has listings for more than 13,000 pet-friendly AAA approved hotels and campgrounds.


Tom Rimmer & Young at Heart Cotons © 2015