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The Friends of Alum Creek Dog Park are hosting the 5th Annual Pup-A-Palooza tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, 2011 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Admission is free, however, donations of pet food can be given to benefit the pets of Meals on Wheel recipients. So come join us and many other vendors for a day full of food, entertainment and much, much more!

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On occasion, we hear from customers that their poor dogs have had a run in with a skunk...and lost.  It is a miserable situation for both dog and owner.  The big question, how do you get rid of the smell?

We spoke to a customer just this morning whose dog was unfortunately skunked last week and here is the remedy she swears by:

  • One small bottle of peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 1-2 drops of Dawn dishwashing soap
  • Wash.  Rinse.  Repeat if necessary.

With all the rain of the Spring, many skunks seem to have been displaced as they are running rampant this year.  Best of luck that you are never in need of this article.

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Tomorrow is shaping up to be a great family day here in Hilliard.  After the Bark for Life event, head on over to the Joint Safety Services Building at 5181 Northwest Parkway in Hilliard for the "Spirit of Safety Day".  Our fireman on staff here at DogWatch promises that it will be a fun and educational event for children of all ages.

This event runs from 9:00 until 3:00.  We will not have a booth at this event, but it is one we plan on enjoying as a family.  We hope to see you there showing your support for our local firefighters and policemen.

Please see that website below for further information:

www.hilliardohio.gov/police/educationalprograms/spirit_of_safety_day.aspx

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Please join us at the Bark for Life of Hilliard tomorrow, Saturday May 21, 2011 at 3800 Veterens Memorial Drive from 9:00 until 12:00.  This is a one mile dog walk that honors the caregiving qualities of canine companions. They will have games, raffles, and entertainment. Other pet vendors from Hilliard will also be at the event to show to show our support! Please join us for our 3rd annual event with all fundraising dollars benefitting the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Hilliard, Ohio.

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Did you know that approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year and children are the most likely victims?  May 15 through May 21 is Dog Bite Prevention Week.  We, at DogWatch of Columbus, feel it is extremely important to not only train your dog, but train your children as to the do’s and do not’s of dog safety.

We’ve compiled our 19 years of working with dogs into a few tips below that can help keep your children safe.  Check out these tips and be sure to share them with your kids.  Who knows, it might prevent one of them from being bitten some day.  Teach your children:

  1. To never approach a dog they don’t know.  Be especially wary if the dog is behind a physical fence.  Never tease a dog that is behind a fence.
  2. To always ask the owner before they pet a dog.  Teach them to then ask how the dog prefers to be petted (behind the ears, on his back, etc).
  3. To slowly put their hand in front of the dog’s nose before they pet a dog.  This way the dog can get their scent and it will help to put the dog at ease.
  4. To never put their face in the face of an unknown dog.  Bites to the face are the most heartbreaking.
  5. To never attempt to hug or pick up a dog.  On the opposite side, never attempt rough play with a dog your don’t know.
  6. To avoid eye contact with an unknown dog as in dog talk that means a challenge of authority.
  7. To always approach a dog so they can see you.  Never “surprise” a dog from behind as a scared dog is more likely to bite or nip, if only for self defense.
  8. Signs that a dog may not want to be approached.  An unapproachable dog may have his ears back, the hair on his neck may be raised, his teeth may be showing, and he may be growling or skittish.
  9. The signs of a friendly dog.  A wagging tail, tongue lolling out of his mouth, a dog “smile” if you will, eagerness to interact, and ears perked are all signs that a dog is ready to be approached, so long as permission has been granted by the owner.
  10. To never approach a dog that is off leash without an owner present. This is doubly important if the dog appears skittish, aggressive or confused.  Tell them to find an adult immediately so that the adult can call animal control.
  11. To never to run from a dog even if it is charging them.  It is far better (though harder) to stop and stand with your arms in and head down.  Avoid eye contact so that the dog does not feel threatened. The child will no longer seem like a threat to a dog if they are still and quiet and the hope is they will not attack.  If the child continues to run, the dog will pursue until the “prey” is caught.
  12. A tip from one of our customers, Bridgett Shoemaker, who is an avid runner.  While running, slow to a walk if you are approaching a dog on a run.  Dogs get nervous when someone is running towards them and should relent if the runner approaches more slowly and avoids eye contact.

Obviously, it is important to properly socialize and train your dog as well, but we feel it is just as important to teach your kids about other dogs because you never know how well other dogs have been trained.

We hope this helps educate you and your family and helps to create awareness during National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

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