Adopters’ Checklist for the New Year

Since the new year is coming, we thought it would be a good idea to make up a check list of things that would help you get through the year and make sure your hound is safe, healthy, and happy.

_____Always be vigilant and look for signs that your hound is not feeling well. Consider a medical reason for sudden behavior changes first.

_____Use heartworm/flea and tick preventative; add a reminder to your calendar monthly so you don’t forget.

_____Check gate latches daily; place a sign on gates warning contractors or visitors to keep gates closed. Lock gates that are not used daily.

_____Check fence lines for holes and depressions where a hound can crawl or slip through. Make repairs.

_____Check all doors to make sure they close correctly or don’t fly open accidentally. Add a baby gate to doors where a hound can jump out accidentally (i.e., screened
doors) when you come and go.

_____Check the yard often to make sure nothing harmful has been dropped or thrown in it that your hound could eat.

_____Make sure your hound does not get too cold or hot outdoors. Be watchful for signs of distress when you are outdoors with your hound.

_____Wash and change water in water bowls daily and make sure there is always a fresh supply of clean water available.

_____When changing your hound’s food, make sure it’s done slowly and wait an entire month before changing his/her diet again.

_____Check vaccination records and make sure all are up to date; add the date the shots are due on your calendar so that you can make an appointment to see your vet.

_____Check collars monthly for wear and tear and loose hardware. Replace worn collars.

_____At all times, keep your own ID tag as well as the FFGR, Inc. ID tag on your hound(s).

_____Inspect leashes often and replace leashes that have slits in them or are fraying.

_____Make sure no tags are on the D-ring that tightens the collar. Use a tag collar or place tags elsewhere where they can’t tighten the collar if they get caught in anything.

_____Check weekly to ensure the collar is adjusted to fit snuggly. Test by bringing the collar up to behind the ears. Pull D-ring to tighten collar. You should be able to place two fingers inside the loop at the dog’s neck.

_____Inspect all toys often and throw away any that are torn. Keep fiberfill from beds and toys away from your hound so it can’t be ingested.

_____When repairing plush toys, use only upholstery or breakable thread; don’t use nylon or polyester thread that, when swallowed, can be caught in the digestive tract.

_____Throw away all rubber toys that can be easily chewed up into small pieces and swallowed.

_____Regularly inspect bones and rawhides; throw away all small and old pieces; replace with new ones.

_____Keep your hound’s nails clipped; don’t allow them to get so long that your hound has a hard time walking. Adhere to a schedule for nail clipping.

_____Check ears monthly to make sure they are clean; watch for scratching and pawing at the ears and head shaking (sign of infection).

_____Check constantly to make sure that any cleaning products, medications, etc. are high up on shelves and out of the way of your hound. Keep counters clear of same.

_____Put together a contingency plan NOW for boarding your hounds, etc. in case an emergency comes up and you have to leave your home immediately.

_____Consider NOW what would happen to your hound(s) in case you get sick, die, have an accident, lose your home, etc. Give the information to someone you trust.

_____Love your hounds as they love you!!!!!!

Rainbow Bridge – Mana Nada (Mana)

April 13, 2003 – December 1, 2012

We are sad to report the loss of another very special greyhound named Mana.  Mana was adopted by Alaina in early 2006.  Alaina worked every day; therefore, she found a doggie day care center to take care of Mana so that he would not be alone.  Over the years Mana and Alaina remained close companions.  Alaina constantly kept in touch with us and provided us with photos and updates.

Recently Mana became ill and after vet visits and much careful thought, it reached a point where Alaina rightly felt that it was best to let Mana go to the bridge.  She said goodbye to her beloved greyhound December 1.

Mana had two homes; one with Alaina and one at his day care center.  Mana loved the staff at the day care center and they loved him.  He also loved being around the other dogs.  According to Alaina, ” Mana’s presence at daycare was very bright indeed and he quickly became one of the top dogs there.  His normal routine was to go in, greet various dogs, and then start “choir practice” which was basically a howling session.  He was the director and his choir would assemble in front of him – just like a human choir would do.”

Now that Mana is gone, he is not only greatly missed by Alaina, but by all of the day care staff and other dogs.  Mana’s loss has been hard on everyone and it’s been much quieter because there is no more choir practice.

Mana was a very happy (and lucky) dog thanks to Alaina’s love.  We know how much he is missed.  We would like to think that Mana is conducting choir practice at the Rainbow Bridge.

Rest in sweet peace precious soul.

 

 

Holiday Hints for Hounds

Once again theHolidayseason is upon us. Each year we try to remind families about the “Hazards Of Holidays and Hounds”. Everyone is so busy during the holidays that sometimes we forget to watch our hounds. We feel it is important to remind you of this advice.

 INSECTS

Fleas & ticks are looking for a warm winter haven at this time of year. Take extra care to use prevention on your hounds to prevent them from finding a home in their fur and especially in your home.

 FOOD

Turkey  – That tempting morsel of turkey, left over on your plate, is best left on your plate! Turkey, turkey skin and gravy can cause extreme gastrointestinal problems for hounds. Onions have also been found to be toxic o some hounds so resist the temptation to share your holiday fare with your hound. Turkey bones are so numerous that one or two will hardly be missed UNTIL an emergency vet visit is needed. Be kind to your hound and yourself…”Leave IT” for the outside trash.

 Chocolate can be a killer! There is an ingredient in chocolate (Theo bromine) that can cause severe illness and even death. Keep it locked up tight and in a safe place, far away from hound hunters.  This ingredient can also be found in the red cocoa mulch that has become so popular in recent years.

 COUNTERS CANNOT BE HOUND-PROOFED.

There has not been a counter made that a hound cannot conquer. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by placing items in the sink either. A hungry hound will manage some way to get to food in a sink if it’s determined enough.

 CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS

In today’s high tech world, decorations keep getting more sophisticated. Be aware that even battery or transistor operated lights can be hazardous to your hound. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but there have been hounds that came close to the same fate. Batteries have caustic acid inside of them and when chewed, can cause severe burns to the mouth and throat. Transistors can cause shocks which cold burn the mouth or throat, even short circuit the heart and circulatory system which can lead to death. These can lie in the stomach for long periods of time before they erode and begin to cause trouble.

 Twinkle lights are beautiful on trees and shrubs, not all tangled up in long hound limbs and torsos. Keep cords out of hound pathways. Also, resist the temptation to hang those cutesy ornaments made out of dog biscuits or the clay look-a-like dog treats on your tree. Hang only your unbreakable bulbs on the lower half of the three. Better yet, hang no decorations at all on the bottom part. Some hounds have never seen a tree decoration before and may be tempted to taste them. Remember the words “LEAVE IT!”

 Remember to quickly teach your hound that the inside tree does not need to be watered by the boys or it may be a long yellow holiday season for some of you.

 Tinsel, Ribbons, and Foil wrapping papers are like candy to some hounds. They can cause serious problems if ingested, some of which may require surgery to remove from hound intestines.  Place these items in the proper receptacles to eliminate the temptation to snack.

 Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly Berries and Pine Cones are all toxic to your hounds. If you must have them in your home, place them high where your hound cannot reach them.

Holiday Parties are fun, but they may stress your hound with all the noise and commotion. Be sure your hound has a quiet place to go to if company gets to be too much for them (i.e., crate, bedroom with the door baby gated, not closed) until the party’s over. Be sure all guests understand the importance of keeping outside doors and gates closed so your hound does not get out.

WINTER HAZARDS

 Snow and Ice –Of the two, ice is more dangerous to hounds. Some of our hounds have never seen snow or experienced ice and slippery sidewalks. Use extreme caution when dealing with these two elements and your hound.

 Snow can be fun if limited to short exposures. Hounds do not have fat layers to provide insulation in the cold weather. If you are taking your hound out in the cold weather (below 50 degrees) for more than a few minutes, put a jacket, sweater or coat on your hound. Watch hound feet for frostbite and cuts from sharp ice.

 Firewood & Snow –Take care not to pile firewood or shovel snow too close to a fence. This will make an easy escape route for a slick hound to get out of the yard. Be aware of snowdrifts also providing an escape ramp.

 Snow Melt – Use caution when using heat producing chemicals to melt the snow and ice around your home. They can quickly burn hound feet and have them hopping as if their legs are broken. When in doubt about using any products, contact your vet for recommendations.

 Fire, Fireplaces & Candles – We all love a roaring fire in the fireplace but fires and lit candles should never be left unattended, especially with a curious hound in the house. Hounds love warmth and in their attempt to get warm, may get to close and singe hair and body parts. Flying embers may also jump out and blister tender places. Overturned candles and hot candle wax can spell disaster.

 Check firewood for spiders and wasps that have come to life after being brought into a warm home environment.

 ANTIFREEZE IS DEADLY!!  USE CAUTION AND CLEAN UP SPILLS IMMEDITELY. ONE LICK CAN KILL YOUR HOUND AND CAUSE IREVERSABLE KIDNEY DAMAGE WITHIN MINUTES.

 We at FFGR, Inc. want you and your hounds to have a safe Happy Holiday season. With a little thought and reviewing the above advice…We wish you a Happy Holiday and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!!

News Update

We just added a number of NEW items to our Greytdogs Store!  We now have over 300 products for sale in our store.  All of the sales from our store go toward helping us find homes for our hounds.

We have just mailed a Christmas newsletter to all of our adopters and volunteers.  We hope that you enjoy the yearly update and Christmas greetings.  If you do not receive your newsletter it may be because we do not have an up-to-date address for you.  Please contact us through our web site Contact Us page so that we can get a newsletter to you.  In this newsletter, we have included a form for you to fill out and return that updates all of your information.  We realize that many people change email addresses and/or change land lines for cell phones.  We like to keep in touch with all of our adopters and volunteers.  Please take the time to update your information.

Thanks!

Health and Nutrition – Obesity

When we take our greyhounds to meet and greet events, we often get remarks about how skinny our dogs are!!  We have to explain why the greyhound is slim naturally.  However, we do notice at times that some greyhounds are heavier than they should be and we tell our adopters that it’s not healthy for them to put on too much weight.  Now that winter is here and we don’t have the chance to get outside for exercise as much, we need to be more mindful of what and how much our hounds are eating.  The following article is reprinted from the Morris Animal Foundation’s Animal News (Volume 12, Issue 4, November 2012).  We hope that it makes us think about how our actions impact our hounds’ health.

 Packing on the Pounds Increases Risks for Portly Pets

By Elizabeth Devitt, DVM

 When Shadow was rescued, only the plume of his wagging tail moved with ease. At 136 pounds, the outgoing Golden Retriever had to pause frequently to catch his breath before he lumbered into his new foster home. He had been surrendered to a shelter, in part because he could no longer fit through his doggy door. Shadow’s weight cost him his home and nearly his life. He isn’t alone.

 Obesity in pets parallels the problem of widening waistlines in people. In an alarming trend, body weight has increased by 37 percent in dogs and 90 percent in cats in the past five years, according to the BanfieldState of Pet Health 2012 Report.

 Pets rely on their people to fulfill their nutrition needs, but we’re failing our pets in the food department by overfeeding them food and treats. What’s worse is that we don’t even realize we are doing it.  The term “fat gap,” coined by Dr. Ernie Ward, founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, describes the discrepancy between a pet owner’s perception of his or her pet’s weight and reality. This gap is more than a cosmetic problem—it’s causing major medical issues for animals. Pudgy pets don’t live as long as their slim friends.

 The results of Nestlé Purina’s Life Span Study, released in 2002, proved that living a lean life can add two years to a dog’s life span. In contrast, extra pounds can lead to many health issues, including glucose intolerance, diabetes, increased wear and tear on the musculoskeletal system, increased stress on the heart and lungs, high blood pressure, skin conditions, and exercise and heat intolerance. Excess body fat is also a source of inflammation, meaning it can contribute to the development of some cancers and chronic degenerative diseases, such as arthritis. The general recipe for maintaining a healthy weight is simple: work with your pet’s veterinarians to determine the right amount of calories for your pet’s age, breed and lifestyle. Scientific studies, like those Morris Animal Foundation is funding, are also discovering that factors beyond diet and exercise also play a role in pet obesity.

Shadow was lucky. He embarked on a weight loss program that gradually honed his physique so that he was a mere shadow of his former self. He also found a forever home.

15 obesity-related problems

• Reduced life span

• Heart disease

• Diabetes

• Joint problems, including arthritis

• Knee problems (ruptured ligaments)

• Fatigue

• Labored or difficulty breathing

• Greater risk for heatstroke

• Immune system problems

• Pancreatic problems

• Increased risk of mammary cancer (dogs)

• Increased skin problems (especially for cats

that can no longer groom themselves)

• Increased reproductive problems

• Digestive disorders (particularly constipation in

less active pets)

• Increased surgical and anesthetic risks

 Sources: American Animal Hospital Association and www.peteducation.com