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When Critters Attack: How to Prevent and Treat Your Dog

For dogs that have been cooped up inside all winter, there is excitement in the air as the spring season means more chances to go outdoors and have some fun. This means that other critters are also out and about, some of which may unfortunately pose a risk to your pet. The common culprits are:

Hawks

People don’t often think that their dog would be considered a victim of a hawk attack, but I know for a fact that it is possible. My mother-in-law’s miniature pinscher, Louie was recently the target of a hawk attack.

Mr. Louie was out on the front lawn running around and chasing the butterflies that were fluttering near the flowerbeds. Suddenly this huge hawk swooped down and tried to snatch him up. Luckily Louie is a quick little dog – he was able to run right past the hawk’s razor-sharp claws and evade his attack. However, the hawk was persistent. He flew a large circle in the air then dove down for another attempt. Louie seemed to think it was a game as he ran a huge circle across the lawn and evaded yet another attack. The hawk was no match for Mr. Louie and he eventually flew up to the roof of the neighbor’s house and watched him for a few minutes no doubt dumfounded to this little dog’s quick thinking and fast legs!

Skunks

Rambo is a regal golden retriever and a longtime BARF World fan. A couple of years ago, he encountered a skunk in his backyard. Before his mom, Pai Pai had a chance to stop him. Rambo leapt into action and attached the invader. Pai Pai was frantic as she thought Rambo was going to be injured or bitten by a possibly rabid skunk. The skunk unfortunately lost his life but not before he hit Rambo with his pungent skunk spray.

Pai Pai knew that the old wives tale of tomato juice or sauce would not work and would only turn her gorgeous golden’s fur orange. So she went online and found a recipe for skunk odor removal which did the trick in removing the foul smell from Rambo’s glorious coat. She swears by this recipe and over the years it has helped get rid of skunk odor from many of Rambo’s other dog friends. Here’s the recipe:

  • Mix 1 part 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1 part baking soda in a plastic bowl.
  • Apply mixture only to the affected areas. Make sure to avoid the eyes, ears and nose as it can burn.
  • Leave mixture on for 10-15 minutes then rinse off with of warm water and liquid dishwashing soap. Make sure to gently wipe the areas near the eyes, ears and nose so the mixture does not penetrate or burn.
  • Rinse repeatedly until all of the mixture is completely removed from the fur.

Porcupines

Like Rambo, most dogs have a natural instinct to attack an animal they see as a threat or food, especially if they are invading their “territory”. Porcupines are yet another animal, which dogs seem to often get into altercations with. Much to the dismay of the dog owner, these animals are well equipped with about 3,000 quills to help them stand up against a dog’s attack.

If your dog happens to be the target of a porcupine’s quill, here are a few tips on how to handle the situation:

  • Don’t panic. Take some Rescue Remedy and give some to your dog to help calm you both down to be able to handle the situation properly.
  • The best thing to do is take your dog to the veterinarian so they can safely remove the quills from your pet. However, if it’s only a few quills and you feel comfortable with handling it yourself at home read on…
  • Ask a friend to help you hold your dog down as you remove the quills from your dog. You’ll need to have some rubber gloves on to prevent sticking yourself with the quill.
  • Take some needle-nose pliers and grab the quill as close to your pet’s wound as possible and pull straight out. Make sure you don’t break the quill off in your pet.
  • After the quills have been removed, apply some Sovereign Silver First Aid Gel to the wound to help speed up the healing process and also prevent bacterial infection. You can also give your pet Traumeel Oral Drops (a homeopathic pain reliever) for pain.

Rattlesnakes

While humans know to instinctively be weary of snakes, dogs are however not as inclined to shy away from them. In fact, they will often approach a snake and “investigate”. That’s why the statistic that over 150,000 dogs fall victim to rattlesnake bites each year may not be very surprising to hear1.

While there isn’t much that you can do to treat a rattlesnake bite at home, you can definitely start by dosing yourself and your pet with Rescue Remedy while in route to the vet. The best thing to do is take the appropriate steps to avoid a rattlesnake encounter from happening in the first place. Keep your pet on a leash, stick to the trails and avoid high grass areas or places where snakes can hide such as rock or woodpiles.

The best way to minimize the risk of critters attacking your pet is prevention. Make sure to keep your yard well secured so intruders can’t sneak onto your property. Keep your pets leashed and in sight so that if they do encounter a possible threat you are able act swiftly and avoid a major catastrophe.

1: UC Davis website (http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=7763)

Amber Keiper is the Marketing Coordinator and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud “BARF brats” – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.

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One Response

  1. Thank yo so much for these wonderful tips Amber.Will surely keep my dog always in sight and on leash.

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