Advice for pet owners
Miss Terrier Speaks
as told to Adrienne Kristine
Miss Terrier barks her advice to her driver, cook and traveling companion, solo RVer Adrienne Kristine. Here are some of the best from her past columns.
TRAVELING WITH YOUR PET
For those of you traveling with your dogs to visit family and friends over the holidays, here are some helpful hints from my friends at PETA:
Dogs thrive on healthy routines. This doesn’t change just because you’re away from home. Provide regular walks, playtime, access to fresh water at all times, and food, preferably the kind they eat at home (if you need to switch, do it gradually to avoid upsetting your dog’s stomach). Wash bowls with soap and warm water daily.
Help show that dogs make good guests by being one yourself. Follow leash laws. If your dog barks a lot, don’t leave him or her alone in a hotel room or your RV (if you do leave your dog in the room, for safety reasons, let the front desk know).
Emergency: Illness or Injury
The American Animal Hospital Association (1-800-883-6301) can refer you to a local veterinarian. Better yet, be prepared by asking your dog’s veterinarian for a reference in that area before you go. Print a map from the Internet and take it on your trip so you can get there quickly in the event of an emergency.
If Your Dog Becomes Lost
1. File “missing” reports at veterinarians’ offices, the police department, and animal control. Follow up in person to make sure that a case of mistaken identity is not hampering a reunion with your dog. Give them several phone numbers, if necessary (e.g., your hotel phone number, the number of a friend or relative in the area, your home number, your office number, and your cell phone number).
2. Comb the area, paying special attention to spaces under porches, shrubs, and cars, as well as checking sheds, drainpipes, and other hiding places that might attract your frightened friend. Cover at least a 2-mile radius.
3. Ask delivery people, local restaurants, and offices if they have seen your dog running at large, and leave your name and phone numbers with them.
4. Post “missing” fliers, including a current photo that accurately portrays your dog. At the top of your flier, write “Reward,” and at the bottom, list your phone numbers (e.g., your hotel phone number, the number of a friend or relative in the area, your home number, your office number, and your cell phone number).
Keep the description vague, or you may inadvertently cause someone who has seen or rescued your animal to think that the animal described is not the same one. For example, many lost animals lose their collars, so someone might think that your dog isn’t the one on the poster simply because he or she is no longer wearing a red collar.
Do not list the animal’s name or behavioral traits. Lost animals often do not respond to their names or may behave differently when they are frightened.
Post your fliers at veterinary offices, animal control, pet and grooming shops, dog parks, schools, libraries, grocery stores—any place that displays a public bulletin board. Use sturdy tape or staples to place them on utility poles at busy intersections. (You may wish to check with the utilities department to find out if such postings are legal.) You’ll need plenty of copies of your flier—plan to put up at least 200 posters the first day.
5. Visit the local animal shelter and animal control departments every day in person to see if your dog has been turned in. Do not be satisfied with telephone inquiries. Shelters receive dozens of animals every day, and the person who answers your phone call may have missed seeing your dog come into the facility.
6. Place “lost” advertisements in all the local and weekly newspapers. Many publications will place such ads free of charge. Check the “found” ads every day.
7. If two weeks pass, update your flier. A rain-soaked, tattered flier can look months old to someone who might think the animal on your flier is long gone and can’t be the same animal he or she has just rescued from busy traffic.
8. Don’t give up. It’s not uncommon for lost companion animals and their guardians to be reunited weeks or even months after becoming lost. It can be frustrating, but your perseverance will increase your chances of finding your lost friend.
ASPIRIN V ADVIL
Dear Miss Terrier:
My older dog Oswald is having some trouble with arthritis and joint pain when he gets up from his bed and walks. Is it all right to give him aspirin? Hugo
Thank you for asking. I assume you’ve already taken Oswald to the veterinarian. What treatment did the vet recommend? NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs) have been used successfully on many dogs with few side effects. You might ask him or her about them.
Please don’t give aspirin to your dog. It could cause bleeding problems and might harm his stomach.
Dear Miss Terrier:
My dog Blossom seems to choke every time I give her lamb. It’s fresh and I usually feed it to her when I cook it for myself. What could be the problem? Your avid reader Barbara
Dear Barbara and Blossom:
It just so happens I was reading an article in “Storey’s Country Wisdom” about this:
Just like humans, dogs can have food allergies. If your dog has never been exposed to an ingredient in a recipe or store-made treat you want to try, introduce the treat very slowly. Start with a simple recipe that has few ingredients. (If you introduce many new ingredients at one time and your dog has a bad reaction, it will be hard to pinpoint which of them caused it.)
1. Give your dog a small piece of the treat—less than half—and wait a few hours, watching the dog for any sign of allergic reaction. This can be as simple as scratching more than usual or as dramatic as vomiting, swelling of face and/or throat, and diarrhea. If any of these more dramatic symptoms develop, contact your vet immediately.
2. If no reaction occurs, give your dog the rest of the treat and wait a few hours. If one does occur, make note of which ingredients were used in the treat, and try making and testing different versions, keeping track of which ingredients are used in each case and which recipes cause your dog to have a negative response. With time and patience, you should be able to isolate the ingredients to which your dog is allergic.
In your case, Blossom has already shown signs of allergic reaction to lamb. Just remove it from her diet and be sure any commercial dog food you feed her has no lamb in the ingredients.
MORE ADVICE ABOUT FOOD
Dear Miss Terrier:
I know you like food as much as I do. Did you know there are certain foods that dogs can’t (or shouldn’t) eat? I think many of your readers already know that chocolate and ice cream are really bad for us. Did you also know that avocados can make us sick? So can salt, onions, grapes, raisins and diet candy. Will you let your readers know?
Your buddies Bear (and Terry who read this to me)
Dear Bear and Terry:
Thank you for reminding us about foods we should avoid and I hope our readers make a note about keeping the foods mentioned above on the people table, not under it for us.
DOG BISCUIT RECIPE
Dear Miss Terrier:
My name is Zelda and I’m a Jack Russell terrier. I’m very lucky because my human is a chef. She makes many treats for me and I think it would be a good idea to have her make some dog biscuits for me. Do you have a recipe you can share? Thank you.
Thank you for asking. Here is the recipe my cook uses. She found it in the Storey’s Country Wisdom calendar. The biscuits are yummy. It’s hard to wait for them because I can smell them cooking in the oven. I hope you like them as much as I do:
Liver and Cheese Biscuits
Your dog will love the biscuits, which are much better for him than the store-bought kind—and taste better, too!
3 1/4 cups (19 1/2 oz/553 g) whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 oz/173 g) wheat germ
1/2 cup (118 ml) freeze-dried liver (available at pet-supply stores)
1 cup (8 1/4 oz/228 g) low-fat cottage cheese
- Preheat the oven to 300° F (149° C). In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.
- On a floured surface, knead the dough until it is firm.
- Roll the dough to a 1/2-inch (12 mm) thickness. Cut with the cookie cutter of your choice.
Transfer biscuits to a baking sheet.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the biscuits are dry and firm to the touch. Turn off the heat; let the biscuits stand in the oven until hard, 1 to 2 hours.
- Store them in a tightly-covered container.
Adrienne Kristine is a full-time RVer and editor, with several RV books to her credit.She is also the author of Frugal RVing or Pinching Pennies without Getting Bruised and Other Advice from the Road and co-author of I've Got a Convection Oven in My RV. Now What? available through Pine Country Publishing. She writes the Women RVers blog. She is forum administrator and contributing editor to several RVTravel.com Web sites.