Protecting Your Pup: Summertime Pool and Lake Precautions

In the land of 10,000 lakes, there is a risk that comes with the traditional Minnesotan R & R on the water. With some of the hottest recorded years in the books already and a warm start to 2016, toxic blooms of blue-green algae present a danger for your dog. We’re here to prepare you and your pet by talking about the potential water dangers your dog may encounter this summer. What is Blue-Green Algae? Blue-green algae, or Cyanobacteria, is a type of algae that grows in bodies of freshwater all around the world, including Minnesota. Algae are microscopic organisms that can produce toxins if grown with the right ingredients of heat and fertilizer—toxins that are especially dangerous for pets. Found in nutrient-rich areas in the steamy summer months, a blue-green algae “bloom” can look like blue and green paint on the surface of the water, and/or a light green layer on the surface and shorelines. (see this website for some photos of what is and isn’t blue-green algae: ) Blue-green algae blooms are common in Minnesota and pose a very real danger to both people and animals that swim in, or consume water contaminated with it. Although not every bloom of blue-green algae is toxic, the best choice is to steer clear of areas that host this potential poison. Hot weather and lakes/ponds with fertilizer run off are breeding grounds for this type of bacteria. Signs and Symptoms of Blue-Green Algae Exposure: There are two types of toxins that can be produced by blue-green algae and they cause different effects: liver failure and neurological damage. Physical symptoms of one or both include: Vomiting Diarrhea Bloody or black stool Pale mucus membranes Blue mucus [...]

By |2016-08-23T10:25:31-05:00August 23rd, 2016|Guide|Comments Off on Protecting Your Pup: Summertime Pool and Lake Precautions

Summer Pet Safety & Preventing Heat Related Injuries

Another summer quickly approaches, along with the concerns that come with the temperature and safety of your pets. Whether it be leaving or finding a pet unattended in a vehicle, or walking your dog on hot pavement, we are hoping to inform and change the circumstances that leave so many pets injured or dead during the warmer months. Hundreds of pets die each summer from heat stroke and other heat related symptoms. The main cause? Being left in a vehicle on a warm day. We say warm, because it doesn’t need to reach much more than 70° outside for your pet to suffer and possibly die in a vehicle. When the outdoor temperature is about 75°, the temperature inside your vehicle can rise to 118° within an hour, even with the windows down. Sometimes a harmless stop for milk and bread can unintentionally mean danger for your furry family member. What can you do to prevent overheating? Conditions in a vehicle during the summer can result in heat stroke, brain damage, and ultimately death. Symptoms of an animal in heat-related distress include: Dark tongue and excessive or heavy panting Thick saliva Restlessness Wobbliness and uncoordinated movement Rapid heartbeat Vomiting and diarrhea Watching for these reactions is important so that you can address them immediately. Checking to see if your destination allows pets inside is also a good idea to help you determine if you can bring your pet along with you. Total Dog Company welcomes our customers and their leashed and pottied dogs. is a great resource in the Twin Cities to find dog-friendly restaurants, stores, and more. What should you do if you see an unattended pet? Not only do you need to [...]

By |2017-05-18T11:14:34-05:00June 6th, 2016|Guide|0 Comments

Mid-April Newsletter – Guide to Fleas, Ticks and Your Dog

The first report of ticks came into the store on Saturday, so it turns out my plan for writing about flea and tick protection is very timely. I apologize for the length of this article—I hope there’s information here you find useful. First, fleas and ticks—especially ticks—carry diseases that can kill your dog, or at the very least make its life miserable: Lyme disease, Erlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, etc. They can kill YOU, too, or make your life miserable. So, control these pests! About Ticks Ticks are pests that feed on the blood of animals and humans. The most common types are the deer tick (Black-legged tick), and the American dog tick. Most are reddish-brown to brown in appearance and have eight legs. Ticks are most likely to be seen in the warmer months (Spring through Fall) and they live in wooded, bushy and grassy areas. Learn more about what ticks look like at their different life stages here: About Fleas Similar to ticks, fleas are small pests that feed on the blood of animals (and even humans). Fleas are a nuisance to pets as well as dangerous because they can transmit tapeworms and other diseases, and in extreme circumstances can cause anemia. Fleas breed very quickly and can spread not just on your pets, but in various stages in your carpets, furniture, even bedding! Fleas can be picked up anywhere outside, and since females can lay 40-50 eggs a day, an infestation can happen in a matter of days. Products the Kill, Repel or Prevent Fleas and Ticks You might want to consider natural or non-chemical options if you are not afraid to touch fleas or ticks. I’m not squeamish about [...]

By |2017-05-18T11:14:36-05:00April 17th, 2014|Guide, Newsletter|4 Comments