Sunday, July 25, 2010


Now that we have your undivided attention, let's look ahead at some of our upcoming topics here at Questions On Dogs and Cats.  Helpful Buckeye receives numerous e-mails each week with questions about dog and cat health problems...some of these, we've already covered thoroughly; others, not at all.  That's one of the engines that keeps this blog running so smoothly...reader input!  Remember what Helpful Buckeye said way back when we began this blog: "This blog will be a 2-way street of information flow."

Some of our upcoming topics will cover "Pet Peeves" about pets, Cat wellness care, Cat nursing care, Pet Obesity, and Snake bites.

As a reminder, if you have any questions or comments for Helpful Buckeye, send them to: or post them at the "Comment" icon at the end of this issue.

More than half of our readers have NOT had a pet show signs of heat exhaustion.  That's great!  Almost all of our readers have NEVER shipped a pet by air and the few who did have not experienced a problem in doing so.  That's also great!  The best news, though, is that about 90% of our readers REGULARLY give their dogs heartworm preventative medication.  That's really great!  Be sure to answer this week's poll questions in the column to the left.


Following closely on the heels of Massachusetts, Illinois has become the 14th state to require a different formulation in the makeup of antifreeze.  Their Governor signed the bill this past week.  For more information on this story, go to:

New Hampshire and Ohio still have legislation pending at this time on this antifreeze concern.


One of the most common questions received by Helpful Buckeye is, "Will it hurt for my dog (or cat) to eat....?"  Almost always, the questioner is asking about something usually eaten by a human. 

The ASPCA has put together a pretty comprehensive list of human foods with corresponding health effects on dogs and cats, if any, of each item.

People Foods

Have you heard that a specific product or substance could be dangerous to your pets? Our experts at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center set the record straight. As the premier animal poison control center in North America, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, make the call that can make all the difference: (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.

• Acai Berry and Pomegranate
• Almonds
• Anise Oil
• Apples
• Brazil Nuts
• Canned Tuna
• Carob Chips
• Cheese
• Chocolate
• Cocoa Powder
• Coconut Products
• Compost
• Coriander and Parsley
• Corn
• Cranberries
• Cranberry juice
• Cucumber
• Dog Food Containing Avocado
• Eggs
• Flaxseed
• Food Coloring
• French Fries
• Grapes
• Grapeseed Oil
• Grease
• Green Tea
• Herbs
• Ice
• Juice and other Beverages
• Lemon Seeds
• Luncheon Meat
• Melon
• Milk
• Mushrooms
• Nutmeg
• Oranges
• Pepper
• Pistachios and Peanuts
• Popcorn
• Potatoes
• Pretzels
• Raisins
• Shrimp
• Sorbitol
• Spices
• Spinach
• Steak Fat
• Sweeteners
• Table and Wine Grapes
• Tomatoes
• Treats with Garlic
• Turkey
• Venison
• Water chestnuts
• Watermelon
• Wine
• Yogurt
• Zucchini

As you can see, this is an interesting list of fairly common foods and perhaps many of you have already offered some of these to your pets.  For the really important information on any dangers involved with each of these items, go to:  and click on the specific food.  Helpful Buckeye suggests that you keep this web site as a "Favorite" on your computer for future consultation.


1) As a follow-up of last week's mention of problems associated with air travel by your pets, the US Department of Transportation has listed the airlines considered to be the most problematic for flying pets.  The US DOT says that Continental, Delta, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, and United have had the most reported incidents, in that order.  Read the details at:

Another related article provides more details:

2) How many of you have had a dog or cat get mixed up with a skunk and come back to you smelling like, well...a skunk?  Veterinarians are presented with this problem more than you can imagine.  There have been many remedies proposed over the years, but none of them are perfect.  Listen to this helpful podcast from the American Veterinary Medical Association that will describe the best way to resolve this problem, along with a cautionary advisory about skunks:

Our favorite quote source, Mark Twain, had this to say about polecats (skunks): "While a polecat is undoubtedly a comely and graceful animal to look at, none but an angel can get any real joy out of its company."  From-- "The Chronicle of Young Satan"

3) Many parts of the USA are hot and humid during the summer months and some dog owners wonder about the benefits, if any, of shaving their dog's hair coat for the summer.

As the summer heat escalates to oven-like temperatures, the thought of donning a fur coat may be unbearable. So how can you help ease your dog's discomfort during sweat-inducing heat spells? Paw Nation, at:  spoke with Beth Recchia, Owner and Director of Furry Tails Grooming Salon and School of Pet Grooming and Kathleen White, Owner of The South Carolina School of Dog Grooming about how to groom your dog's fur for optimal coolness.

Here is the question everyone asks: Should pet owners shave their dogs for the summer?

Some dog owners think their pooch would be more comfortable shaved, but many professionals insist that dogs' coats are already equipped to deal with hot temperatures. "I believe that all dogs should be left in their natural coat if possible," said White. "We sometimes have to give in to what the customer wants, but a dog's coat insulates them for hot and cold weather."

If the owner does prefer to pare down the fur, which type of haircut is best for dogs in the hot weather?

Hair styles do vary by breed, but Recchia recommends a generic "buzz cut" for her furry clients rather than shaving. "It's a very short cut which removes excess fur, thus preventing shedding," she tells us. "[Dogs] are much easier to bathe over the summer with less fur, and it's also great for preventing ticks and fleas. You can spot pests much more easily."

White advises her customers to allow the groomer to leave some fur for sunburn protection and insulation.

Are there certain areas on a dog's body that should be groomed shorter or kept longer during the summer?

Dog hair can grow in inconvenient locations, poking your pooch in the eyes, or another area that may become especially annoying in extreme heat. Cutting particular areas shorter during the summer is a personal preference according to Recchia, but she said "a lot of owners like the face taken shorter to prevent hair from getting in their pet's face and mouth."

What are some precautions pet owners can take to prevent sunburn?

Humans aren't the only ones who can suffer from a nasty sunburn! Take precautions to prevent your pet's skin from sun damage. "Avoid direct sunlight and keeping your pets outside too long in the extreme heat," said Recchia. "Baby suntan lotion works well on very [short-haired] breeds and hairless breeds. It also works well on the nose area."

Some people use sun protection designed specifically for animals such as Veterinarians Best Sunscreen for Dogs...available at:


1) For those of you traveling with your pets this summer, a new source for pet travel carriers is available at: 

This web site ties in to one of the topics under "General Interest" just below.

2) Helpful Buckeye recently received a nice complimentary note from the folks at Nice Dog Shop.  Check out their offerings at:


1) An interesting web site has been gaining popularity as more pet owners are either moving and taking their pets with them or just shipping their pets to another destination.  Check out the services and information they offer at:

2) Not only are a lot of families suffering through the agonies of foreclosure of their homes, but also their pets are being victimized by the same crises.  Read about some of the terrible scenarios occurring in the USA: 

3) The prestigious Mayo Clinic supports the benefits of pet therapy in helping humans heal.  One of their experts in palliative care offers this:,%202010

4) Desperado and Helpful Buckeye saw a double rainbow this past the western sky in the morning AND in the eastern sky in late afternoon.  One of those was special, but two in one day made it a very special day!  I know how thrilled we were to see both double rainbows, so it's easy to understand this cat's reaction:

NFL training camps open up this coming week, which is good news for a disgruntled baseball!  Helpful Buckeye and Desperado will be in western Pennsylvania this coming weekend, only 5 miles from the training camp of the Pittsburgh Steelers, but...until the Steelers show how they are going to work their way through our QB's off-the-field problems, I'm not such a big fan anymore.  It's family reunion time anyway....

When we get back home to Flagstaff, the AZ Cardinals will have just opened their camp here in town on the NAU campus.  Helpful Buckeye will be spending at least a few days watching their practices.  The Cardinals have put together 2 really solid seasons and are featuring a couple of very good players from my alma maters: Ohio State (Beanie Wells) and Pitt (Larry Fitzgerald).  If things don't turn out OK with the Steelers, the Cardinals will be a fun team to follow.


It was Benjamin Franklin (also from Pennsylvania) who said, "Family and guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days."  Since we will be in PA for 4 days and parts of 2 others, we will be slightly over the limit.  We'll let you know how that works out.  The chauffeurs (Mr./Ms. Cowpoke) who will be picking us up at the airport upon our return will be the first to know....

~~The goal of this blog is to provide general information and advice to help you be a better pet owner and to have a more rewarding relationship with your pet. This blog does not intend to replace the professional one-on-one care your pet receives from a practicing veterinarian. When in doubt about your pet's health, always visit a veterinarian.~~


  1. Skunk's tail are used in manufacturing perfumes because of it's lasting odor. I'm just sad because they are such cute animals.

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