TRACIE HOTCHNER: BATHING TIP: MAKE SURE YOUR PUPPY DOESN’T GO DOWN THE DRAIN!

newtraciepic2Just when I thought we dog owners had heard every safety warning imaginable, up popped a new one that had never even occurred to me: that you have to make sure your little dog doesn’t slip down your bathtub drain!

Common sense would tell me that puppies and small dogs be washed in a plastic tub in the kitchen sink, like we do with human infants, which keeps them safe from slipping and sliding.

A tub bath in the sink makes it more pleasant and less overwhelming for a pup or get wet and get suds-ed up. She has you right there, nearly eye to eye, and it’s easier on your back, too – plus, if you have a sprayer on your kitchen sink you can do a gentler and more thorough rinsing job.

In “The Dog Bible” I recommend that people rinse and shampoo their dogs regularly, always using gentle shampoos with the pH formulated especially for dogs (like Halo’s Cloud Nine shampoo, which I dilute in an applicator bottle so that it goes on more evenly and rinses out more easily).

DFF-logo-ProudSponsor175x166I also wrote that it’s good to get a dog used to being bathed from puppy-hood, or at whatever age she is adopted, and making it a positive experience for the dog so it is pleasant for both of you.

But there’s a Yorkshire Terrier puppy in Fort Erie who has a long way to go to think good thoughts about getting a bath! Apparently not everyone thinks the sink is the most logical place to give a puppy or toy dog her bath.

An unusual news story came out of Fort Erie, describing how their Fire Department received an unusual call for assistance from someone whose little Yorkie puppy’s leg got wedged in the bathtub drain. The Fire Department called the Fort Erie SPCA, who apparently came and gave a sedative to the frightened puppy, who was struggling unsuccessfully to get it out.

He relaxed enough for the Fort Erie firefighters to cut out the area of the drainpipe where the paw was lodged and free him. The rescue squad and the SPCA took the opportunity to remind dog owners “to practice safety first when giving dogs — especially those with smaller, drainpipe-sized paws — a bath.”

Fortunately the puppy wasn’t injured during the hour-long incident, but I’ll wager it will be quite some time before he’ll want to put so much as a paw into that bathroom again!

Tracie began her fascination with dogs and cats by turning her eye as a former investigative reporter on every aspect of living with them, resulting in her encyclopedic resources THE DOG BIBLE: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know and then the THE CAT BIBLE: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know. Before long, Tracie was established as a leading pet wellness advocate as her all-encompassing books covered everything from medical issues to behavior, nutrition and environmental enrichment.
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Tracie began her career as a radio personality with a live show – DOG TALK® (and Kitties, Too!) – on the local NPR station in the Hamptons, Peconic Public Broadcasting (WPPB) from Southampton, New York (the show is now also carried on the NPR station Robinhood Radio in Connecticut and the Berkshires). DOG TALK® won a Gracie® Award (the radio equivalent of an Oscar) in 2010 as the “Best entertainment and information program on local public radio” and continues weekly after more than 450 continuous shows and 9 years on the air. Tracie’s live weekly call-in show CAT CHAT® was on SiriusXM satellite radio for seven years until the Martha Stewart channel was canceled in 2013.

Tracie lives in Vermont where the Radio Pet Lady Network studio is based, on 13 acres well-used by her all-girl pack – two lovely, lively Weimaraners, Maisie and Wanda, and a Collie-mix, Jazzy.

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