Menu

Do’s and Don’ts of House & Shelter Plants and Pets

A lost dog or lost cat is agonizing for the human who loves them. Once our furry baby is home safe we start thinking of all the ways we can keep them safe. Plants in the home add fresh air, beauty, and positive energy to our environment.  We just have to be certain that they do not pose a danger to our pets!

 

Here are three  houseplants to avoid and some suggestions for safe alternatives.

 

Don’t #1:  Aloe Vera        2016-05-15_152953

 

This one was the biggest surprise for us!  Aloe Vera has a reputation for healing, but the outer skin is far from healing. Best to keep this one out of reach. Instead try this…

 

Do #1: Baby Rubber Plant   2016-05-15_153016

 

If succulents are your cup of tea, then this little houseplant will satisfy you and keep your pup and kitty safe!

 

Don’t #2: Azalea    2016-05-15_153030

 

Azalea’s are also known as Rhododendron and are a well-known and beautiful houseplant. If you have pets, however, keep azalea’s away from them. They can cause disruption to nerve and muscle function and can lead to death in severe cases. If you are looking for a pretty, safe alternative try …

 

Do #2: African Violet    2016-05-15_153044

 

These blooming houseplants come in a variety of colors including white, pink, purple, and blue. There are variations to their leaves as well. If you are looking for a blooming houseplant, look no further! These offer all the variety you need to decorate your home with living blooms.

 

Don’t #3: Sago Palm   2016-05-15_153055

 

This is not the palm to pick if you are looking to add a palm to your home. In extreme cases these plants, also known as cardboard palms, can lead to liver failure. A palm to pick as a safe alternative would be…

 

Do #3: Golden Palm     2016-05-15_153108

 

The Golden Palm is also called an Areca. Palms are a favorite of many households and these are a safe choice for homes with pets.

 

Having pets doesn’t mean we have to forego houseplants. If we just put a little extra effort into researching their safety we can rest assured that our fur babies are safe. We can reap the benefits of both plants and pets like your dog and cat!

 

Written By: Stephanie Titone

Dogs Who Dig Digging

digging dog 2

 

 

alert-packages-35

 

 

Dog owners tend to dislike the habit of digging, to put it mildly. Apart from the damage to an otherwise well-kept lawn, there is the dirt that your canine charge tracks through the house, the encrusted mud in the coat you just finished grooming and there is also danger. Discarded building materials, electric wires, rusted metal. Who knows what lurks beneath the grass of suburbia?

Dogs dig for different reasons, and we’ll go into those in a moment, but in the meantime, these are the breeds identified as the most consistent movers of earth:

  • Dachshund
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Beagle
  • Basset Hound
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • West Highland
  • Siberian Husky
  • Alaskan Malamute

The first thing that should strike you is a preponderance of terriers. This is not surprising, as their name derives fromdigging dog 3 the Latin for ‘earth’. Even the Miniature Schnauzer and the Dachshund, though not strictly speaking terriers, are very terrier-like. Many terrier types were bred specifically to dig down and eliminate ‘vermin’ such as rats (in the case of the Miniature Schnauzer or the Jack Russell) or even badgers, in the case of the Dachshund (yes, badgers!). These dogs are comfortable in the earth and may seek it out at the slightest hint of subterranean prey. When digging is in your DNA, the behavior may be hard to eliminate. Before you start covering your back yard in concrete slabs, let’s examine the reasons for digging.

Why they do that digging that they do so well

  1. She’s expecting some little guests

Dogs evolved as predators, but they were seldom the biggest kids on the block. A pregnant female dog is likely to recognize that she’s not in fighting shape during, or even for a few days after, labor. She’s looking for some kind of tactical advantage over any would-be puppy-killer which might come calling. She will therefore want a burrow or some form of den in which to oversee the first few weeks of her pups’ lives, a confined space with a single entrance that she can guard against intruders. If a suitable kennel, barrel, item of household furniture or hollow tree is not available, she tends to take the do-it-yourself approach and make her own. The key here is to provide her with choices. A warm, snug, cave-like object such as a kennel is ideal, and lining it with her blankets is a clear sign from you that you are helping her find one that meets with your approval. Not too clean, please: she’s likely to associate her smell and yours with safety.

  1. Nothing else to do

Bored dogs have to find a way to burn off that energy, and if your dog is of a breed that is generally predisposed to digging already, the workout of choice is probably going to involve your flowerbeds. Take every opportunity to make sure your little digger is mentally stimulated and physically tuckered out. This may require considerably more effort with some breeds than others (Jack Russells and Dachshunds in particular seem to have caffeine for blood), but if you don’t want to play with dogs, why do you own one?digging dog

  1. There’s something down there

Many of these breeds were used for hunting, sometimes for centuries. A few years in a family home is not going to change them. If you have rats, field mice, moles and so forth on your property, Fido is likely to take the direct approach to getting his paws on them. One solution to this is to call an exterminator, because it is extremely unlikely that any amount of squirts with a water bottle is going to remove this urge, particularly when you are not around.

  1. It’s hot/cold

Certain breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, will burrow into the earth for protection from weather they don’t enjoy. This trait kept them from freezing in the Arctic Circle, but it also keeps them from overheating in more temperate climes. Though we are unlikely in this day and age to leave our dogs outside during a cold snap, if you come out and find that little White Fang has dug himself a snug cave in your vegetable garden, you only have yourself to blame. Likewise, if these dogs get too warm, they like to dig down and expose the cool, soothing earth. Lawn sprinklers, doggy paddling pools, or even a nice shady, dark and spacious kennel are all options which can ameliorate this behavior.

In short, nature may have predisposed certain breeds to love the feel of dirt under their nails, but the right amount of nurture can eliminate such urges, or reduce them to a manageable level.

 

Written by: Karyn C. Byrd

Golden Retriever Puppy Receives Shiny New Braces


Many times canines need to have their teeth fixed for health purposes. Thanks to a set of braces, a six-month-old Golden Retriever puppy is getting much-needed relief in his mouth. And despite the new mouth addition, he’s still smiling.

Harborfront Hospital for Animals in Spring Lake, Michigan posted photos of the dog, Wesley, outfitted with his braces on their Facebook page. The Hospital posted the picture to celebrate National Pet Dental Health in February. The post has received more than 283,000 reactions on Facebook and shared over 288,000 times.


The puppy belongs to Molly Moore, the daughter of the clinic’s veterinarian, Dr. James Moore, who put the braces on the Retriever. Dr. Moore is known to his followers as the “doggie dentist” and sees a lot of “unique cases” in his practice. He does a lot of oral procedures and different orthodontia for dogs.

“He wasn’t able to fully close his mouth and chew well and he stopped playing with his toys because of the pain and started losing weight because he couldn’t eat,” Molly Moore told ABC News of Wesley. “I think the only way he realizes anything is different is because we had to take his toys away so he doesn’t pull the braces off,” Moore said. “He’s still as puppy-ish as ever.”

“This is Wesley and he needed tooth alignment because he could not close his mouth completely, otherwise,” the animal hospital wrote on that Facebook post. “It obviously doesn’t bother him one little bit (if you look at the “after” photo). He’s a happy little guy,” the post said.

The pup only needed the braces for a few weeks. A spokeswoman for the American Veterinary Medical Association told ABC News that, as with people, dental problems for dogs can lead to other, more serious health issues.

"Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of animals' teeth and all other aspects of oral health care in animals," the spokeswoman said. "Veterinary dentistry is a function of veterinary practice because it requires diagnosis and treatment, and, to be fully effective, demands extensive knowledge of anatomy, anesthesiology, pharmacology, physiology, pathology, radiology, neurology, medicine, and surgery that is part of the graduate veterinarian's training."

Dog Breeds That Escape

Wandering dogs: which breeds are most likely to run away

 

At some point in every dog guardian’s life, there is that sickening moment when you realize your canine companion is not home. An anxious search of his usual haunts follows, and you spend hours flinching every time you hear brakes squeal, dreading that call from the vet or the pound. Then the little object of your affection comes romping into view, as if he hasn’t caused you to age ten years in an afternoon, and blithely gets back into your formerly dog-proof yard through a new hole, gap in the fence, freshly-dug tunnel or whatever diabolical machination his little mind has invented to circumvent your plans to curb his freedom. We all know that no dog is more intelligent, resourceful, determined or athletic than when that dog wants to be somewhere he isn’t supposed to be, whether it’s outside your loving home or in the embrace of that gorgeous pedigree female dog next door.

The usual suspects

So how do you know whether that beautiful puppy giving you Bambi-eyes at the adoption agency or the registered (hopefully) breeder’s kennel is likely to give you gray hairs by pulling a Great Escape on a regular basis? A series of Googling revealed the same ten names again and again:

  1. Labrador retriever
  2. Chihuahua
  3. Bull Terriers (American Pit, Staffordshire, English)
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Dachshund
  6. Jack Russell Terrier
  7. Border Collie
  8. Siberian Husky
  9. Poodles
  10. Golden Retriever
  11. Of course, this list is not very helpful if you, like a growing percentage of dog owners, opt for a cross-breed or mutt. So what factors do these dogs have in common?

Common traits of wandering dogs 

Help, I Lost My Dog! What Should I Do?

Get the Word Out Immediately

Post your phone number, the location where your pet was lost, and a description with clear picture of your pet on social media such as Facebook or Twitter.  Make sure to use a picture that shows as many of your pet’s markings as possible.  If you are offering a reward, don’t mention how much the reward is. Ask your friends, groups and businesses such to share your post.

Always Include Your Contact Information

Every poster should have the words LOST DOG as clear and large as possible so they can be seen from a moving car.  The details and contact info can be in a smaller font, but a passerby should be able to tell at a glance that your pet is lost and have an idea of what your pet looks like.  Put your poster up in your home neighborhood and in the area where your dog was lost.  You can also post your poster in local veterinary offices, police stations, animal control, pet stores, and shopping centers.

Contact your vet and let them know your pet is missing.  Ask if you can put your poster up in the waiting area. If your pet is microchipped, contact the company it is registered with and make sure your details are up to date. Contact the local Animal Control and all the neighboring Animal Control Offices.

Be prepared to give proof of ownership if your dog is found.  Proof of ownership can be vet bills, registration paperwork, a bill of sale, or photographs of you and your pet together.

Don't Stop Looking For Your Pet

Return to the area where your pet was lost, set up a ‘safe area’ for your pet as close to that location as possible.  Place some sort of box or solid sided crate that is open for your pet.  Line it with dirty laundry that smells like you and your family. Leave food and water at this location. Return at dawn and dusk and call for your pet.  Pets tend to circle back to where they were originally lost and are most active at dawn and dusk. Drive around the area with your windows down.  Periodically turn off the car, call for your pet, and listen.

If your pet is continuously spotted in a new area set up a new ‘safe area’ there.  If your pet continues to run away from you and other helpers, don’t feel bad.  Quite often when a pet is lost or frightened they go into flight mode where everything appears dangerous to them.  The pet is quite likely not even registering that it is you or other friends and family members.  You will find that once your pet is caught, he will return to his old personality like nothing has happened.  This is a survival trait, and not a sign that your pet hates you or blames you.

If your pet seems to be afraid, do not chase them. Instead, speak in a normal calm tone while sitting on the ground. Try using phrases your pet might recognize or tossing his favorite food towards him. Try asking him to sit.  Invite your pet to go for a walk or a car ride if that is something that usually excites him.

Let Us Help You Bring Your Pet Home

At FindToto.com we know how horrible it can be to lose your furry family member. That's why we created the Toto Alert! This is how our targeted lost pet alert system works:

  • We enter the exact address you provide of where your pet was last seen into our mapping system, serving as the center point of the search area, which then pulls the data of phone numbers in a radius starting from the center point out.
  • The phone numbers are then uploaded to our automated calling system where thousands of calls are made in minutes.
  • Our calling system is designed to call each number up to 4x to leave the Toto Alert message.
  • Toto Alert's can be left on answering machines, voicemails, and of course a live recipient.
  • The recipient can hear the Toto Alert again by either calling back the number displayed on their Caller I.D OR if answered by a live person, this option is voiced at the end of the Toto Alert recording.

"To Issue a Lost Pet Alert in a targeted area, click this icon below"
alert-packages-35

Dog Breeds That Escape

Dog sneaking out

 

Wandering dogs: which breeds are most likely to run away

At some point in every dog guardian’s life, there is that sickening moment when you realize your canine companion is not home. An anxious search of his usual haunts follows, and you spend hours flinching every time you hear brakes squeal, dreading that call from the vet or the pound. Then the little object of your affection comes romping into view, as if he hasn’t caused you to age ten years in an afternoon, and blithely gets back into your formerly dog-proof yard through a new hole, gap in the fence, freshly-dug tunnel or whatever diabolical machination his little mind has invented to circumvent your plans to curb his freedom. We all know that no dog is more intelligent, resourceful, determined or athletic than when that dog wants to be somewhere he isn’t supposed to be, whether it’s outside your loving home or in the embrace of that gorgeous pedigree female dog next door.

The usual suspectsdog behind fence

So how do you know whether that beautiful puppy giving you Bambi-eyes at the adoption agency or the registered (hopefully) breeder’s kennel is likely to give you gray hairs by pulling a Great Escape on a regular basis? A series of Googling revealed the same ten names again and again:

  • Labrador retriever
  • Chihuahua
  • Bull Terriers (American Pit, Staffordshire, English)
  • German Shepherd
  • Dachshund
  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Border Collie
  • Siberian Husky
  • Poodles
  • Golden Retriever

Of course, this list is not very helpful if you, like a growing percentage of dog owners, opt for a cross-breed or mutt. So what factors do these dogs have in common?

Common traits of wandering dogs

 

Written By: Karyn Bird

New Year – New Puppy – Now What?

It's that time of year...

...when folks are contemplating bringing a rescue dog or new puppy into the family. Training a puppy when you first bring them home is critical. The first few days are extremely important. Everyone wants to feed the puppy, play with the puppy and hold the puppy. Many people will spoil their new puppy which, in the long run, can spell disaster. Allowing your new dog to get away with certain things encourages annoying and sometimes even dangerous behavior.

It is obvious that you need certain physical items such as toys, a leash, collar, puppy chow, food and water bowls, dog bed or crate, etc. Equally as important, all family members must decide and agree on routine, responsibility and rules.

While you may think...

...you are doing the right thing by allowing the new dog to eat from your plate, climb onto the sofa, and sleep on your bed, such behaviors can become a pain several weeks into the new relationship. Unfortunately, easier said than done as most people, with rescue dogs especially, allow them this freedom out of pity or to help them adjust to their new environment. Pre-established rules are easily broken. Everyone agreed that puppy will sleep in her crate but as soon as she's home, someone melts and insists that puppy will sleep in bed. Everyone previously agreed not to let puppy jump up on them, but in the excitement, no one even notices that puppy is jumping up. No one sleeps the first night. Puppy wins and gets to sleep in bed. The next morning we find puppy has eliminated all over the bed. So the following night puppy is banned to her crate and screams all night. No one sleeps tonight either.

As time goes by...

...and the rules have changed, it becomes terribly unfair on dogs and only serves to cause upset & to lengthen the settling in process.

Make life easy on your new dog and if you love them, please don’t fuss and spoil them to start with, only to change the rules of the game when they are settled, to upset them again with new routine. This is profoundly unfair on your dogs and will, in the long term, work out to your disadvantage too! From the moment your new puppy walks through the door, he needs to be shown the rules of the house. Even if your new dog is a rescue who has been terribly neglected, emaciated and somewhat lacking in home social skills, you need to make it clear to him what is expected from the start. After several days of enforcing the rules, everyone should be back into their daily routine, without much fuss or upset.

And lastly, it is not uncommon for a new dog to get out and become lost in their new surroundings. If this happens, don't panic. Contact us at FindToto.com and let us start the process of bringing your new pet home safe and sound.

We will create a digital lost pet flyer that will appear on a Facebook user's news feed and only in the targeted area near the location you input on your order form. We try to keep it as concise as possible, starting with the smallest 1 mile radius but will adjust up to 10 miles if need be to make sure the purchased amount of views will be reached over a 24 hour period. We have an account with Facebook to ensure this happens and they have a system that allows us to reach potential fb users by not only their address listed on their "profile information" but through their logged on "ip address" as well! Here at FindToto.com we care about your furry family members and want you and them to have a safe and happy home!

Top 10 Dog Breeds That Will Steal Your Heart!

dog image

There has always been the debate: the mutt (or as I like to call them, ‘limited editions’), the mixed breed (or ‘designer’ dog) or the pure breed.

There has been some debate as to which of the three has fewer health issues than the others. Some of the arguments in favor of mixed breeds do make sense, as in order for vitality to prevail, good genetics are essential. And one way to ensure that, is to diversify. This way, recessive genes, which cause the hereditary diseases/ailments, are suppressed.

Pure breeds and, to some extent, ‘designer’ dogs (both of which need to be bred responsibly) will suit you if you are looking for specific characteristics like specialized skills such as hunting or herding as well as unique looks. With “limited editions”, some of these features may be missing and you may feel you have lost out on certain characteristics. But adopting a dog from a shelter can be one of the most satisfying and worthwhile experiences you may have.

At the end of the day, though, the day you adopt a dog (no matter what its breed) is the day your life is changed for the better. Although a big responsibility, the rewards are exponential. Here are some of the top 10 breeds (in no particular order) that have stolen the hearts of many Americans:

  • Cockapoo – the Cocker Spaniel crossed with a Poodle can be described as the “original” designer dog. Some argue that nothing is missing in this breed.
  • Great Dane – contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a giant yard to accommodate this giant dog! This gentle giant is just as comfortable in a smaller space, as long as they receive regular exercise.

great dane

  • Cheeks – a Chihuahua and Pekingese mix. A great combo of two adorable small breeds, guaranteed to steal your heart.

Cheek

  • American Bulldog – a national favorite. This dog is all about devotion to and the protection of his pack family.

American Bulldog

  • Puggle – the delightful mix of a Pug and a Beagle, ready to puggle… I mean cuddle.Puggle
  • Cur – These come from a mix of breeds but are still recognized by the United Kennel Club. They may be great hunting dogs, but they are just as comfortable splayed out on your couch.

cur

  • Shihpoo – The result of a Shi Tzu and a Toy Poodle mix. It is a case of pot luck when mixing these two breeds, as they may end up with the curly coat of the Poodle, or the shiny straight coat of the Shi Tzu. Either way, they are a favorite.

shipoo

  • French Bulldog – A combination of size, affectionate temperament and intelligence. They thrive in a variety of living conditions, from small apartments to farms. The French Bulldog is a popular choice.

french bulldog

  • Schnoodle – A cross between a Schnauzer and a Poodle, this dog is small enough to be a lapdog but smart enough to perform those dog tricks to wow your friends.

schnoodle

  • Boxer – As the name suggests, the Boxer used to be a fighter. But through the centuries, it has lost this dominant streak and become a much-loved family dog that is both gentle and protective.

Boxer

In the end, does it matter what your dog looks like? If he or she has stolen your heart with love at first sight, there is no turning back. Love is blind. As it should be when it comes to picking your best friend.

Written by: Karyn C. Bird

 

alert-packages-35

How to Choose the Right Dog Trainer

Finding the right dog trainer is a lot easier said than done. In order to get a dog trained, you will have to find the right dog trainer in your area. Though keeping a dog obedient will take a bit of time and energy, it will be more than worth it in the end. Afterall, dogs are some of the most loving and loyal animals in the world. Here are a few tips to use when trying to find the right dog trainer.

What are the Methods Used?

The type of methods a trainer uses to teach your dog is the first thing to consider when looking for the right dog trainer. By taking the time to research the various methods of training out there, you will be able to get a handle on what type is best for you and your animal. The more you can find out about the process and how it works, the easier it will be for you to get the right results from this experience.

Look Into Their Background

A dog trainer's background is another important thing that has to be considered when choosing the right trainer. Usually, you are better off with a trainer who is well educated in their field. Even better are those trainers who are constantly continuing their education to keep up to date with the latest methods. The best place to find out this type of information is by going online and doing a bit of research. The time spent finding out about a particular trainer will be more than worth it in the end.

Do They Offer a Followup Session?

When trying to find the right trainer you need to make sure that there are some follow up sessions offered. Although the training will help, you may need to have your dog looked at from time to time to make sure they remember what they were taught. Even if you have to pay a bit more for this service, it will be more than worth it. Most of the trainers you contact will be more than willing to offer this type of follow up service to make their customer feel more at ease.

For tips on how to train your dog yourself, click here.

 

The Truth About Dog Teeth

Ella 3Oh no! My puppy just lost a tooth! Am I a bad dog guardian? FindToto.com is here to reassure you that you did nothing wrong. All puppies lose their teeth. Just like human children, puppies are born without teeth, develop milk teeth (or deciduous teeth) and then, during the course of their first year, lose their milk teeth and replace them with permanent ones.

These teeth are made for chewing, and that’s just what they’ll do…                                             alert-packages-35

As in humans, losing a tooth can be a painful experience. We give teething toys to our human babies to ease their discomfort and this is something we should keep in mind with our four-legged charges when they are going through the same thing. Because chewing helps to relieve the irritation and discomfort, this is often the “chew everything in the house” stage, including your new pair of shoes. And the legs of the dining room table. And the carpet. And the hosepipe. It may drive us a little nuts, but knowing what is going on in your pooch’s mouth may help with the frustration of having to throw away your new pair of Louis Vuitton’s.

Growing up is not for sissies

Not only does a growing pup have to lose their teeth, but they have to make space for a bunch of new ones! As puppies, dogs have 28 milk teeth: 14 in the lower jaw and 14 in the top jaw. At around four months of age, these start to fall out and new teeth grow in their place. The first permanent teeth to develop are the incisors, followed shortly by the canines (the pointy ones). After that, the molars start appearing. When your pup has become a fully-fledged dog, she will have now have 42 teeth: 20 on the top jaw and 22 on the lower jaw. That’s 10 more teeth than humans have!

Keeping teeth clean and gums healthy

Those toothpaste advertisements with advice about how to keep your teeth clean offer good advice for your dog, too. Regular brushing and good diet will ensure that your dog will have a healthy mouth for years to come. Always use a toothpaste recommended by your vet and be sure to take your furry friend for regular checkups. No more death-breath during those big sloppy kisses!

Written by: Karyn C. Bird

68010bc83df214c86f793dd2c4c3feb5