The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
Massachusetts reporter Joe Reppucci's news and resources for those who love pets
The Ruff Report: Dogs and Safety
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About this blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School ...
The Dog Blog
Joe Reppucci of Lexington, Mass., writes about dogs and keeping them a healthy part of the family. He has worked as a reporter and editor on major daily newspapers in the Boston area for more than 30 years and is a graduate of Lexington High School and of Suffolk University in Boston. He writes often about nutrition, behavior and saving money on pet supplies and insurance.
Recent Posts
March 23, 2013 11:20 a.m.

Behavior and Safety
The secret to getting you dog to behave
A leading animal behaviorist says a pet parent must display leadership and take responsibility to help a dog lead a happy, safe and productive life. More
Dogs always mouth off before they bite
An animal behavioral expert says pet parents need to understand the subtle ways that dogs communicate their frustrations, dislikes and fears and take remedial action before the behavior escalates into biting. More
A fun place for dogs where fighting often erupts
The neighborhood dog park - or play area - is the perfect setting for skirmishes to suddenly erupt between normally well-mannered pets, a behavioral expert warns. More
Dogs feel no guilt about misbehaving
That "guilty look" your dog displays when you admonish him for misbehaving is not really remorse after all, because dogs are incapable of feeling sorry, a study has found. Your pet's demeanor is merely a reaction from the tone of the language you use. More
Hey dummy, your dog's smarter than you think
The average dog can count, understand 165 words, solve complex problems, and a dog's intelligence level is on par with a 2-year-old child, according to Stanley Coren, a psychologist and professor at the University of British Columbia. More
Your dog really is clever enough to outsmart you
Juliane Kaminski, a psychology professor at the University of Portsmouth in England, says her study founds that dogs, who have much better nighttime vision than humans, wait to perform their most mischievous deeds - like stealing food - under the cover of darkness. More
Help your pet cope with back-to-school stress
Many dogs will spend more time alone as children go back to school and parents go back to work, which can result in boredom, separation anxiety and unusual behavior. A leading dog trainer offers some tips to ease the transition. More
Tips to help your pet cope during fireworks season
Anxiety and fear from fireworks will cause pets to hide, chew on household items and even run away, but pet parents can take actions to keep their dogs and cats safe. More
Many dogs suffer from thunderstorm phobia, and pet parents need to take precautions to help their dog cope, a leading animal behaviorist says. This phobia puts many dogs at a much higher risk of serious injury and can even cause a dog to run away from home. More
Food & Safety
Chocolate, candies mean danger for dogs
Chocolate and other candies are potentially poisonous to dogs, so pet parents need to make sure they keep these delectable delights away from their companions. More
Toxic levels of chemical found in dog foods
A study has found that many dog foods contain toxic levels of fluoride and those excessive levels are putting pets at a higher risk of cancer, neurotoxicity and other life-threatening diseases. More
Poisons and Safety
Grapes, mushrooms, pot are leading pet poisons
A survey has found that the leading causes of plant-related poisonings in pets is grapes/raisins, mushrooms and marijuana. Grapes/raisins are so toxic that even a tiny number can cause acute renal failure in dogs and cats. More
Are your pet's items on the high-toxin list?
An environmental research organization says testing has found that many popular dog and cat play items have detectable levels of lead, polyvinyl chloride (PVCs) and flame retardants, putting pets at risk of liver and brain damage, kidney problems and cancer. More
Pet poisons bloom everywhere in the springtime
Animal welfare advocates warn that springtime is an especially dangerous season for curious pets who unknowingly nose around in plants that are poisonous if ingested and the fertilizers used to help them grow. More
Tips for protecting pets from accidental poisoning
An animal welfare organization says the best way to protect pets from accidental poisoning is to keep human medications, household insecticides and people food out of reach. More
Knowing signs of poison could save your dog's life
A behavioral therapist says a dog chance's of recovery and survival after ingesting a poisonous substance may depend on a pet parent who knows how to recognize signs and who takes appropriate measures. More
Overlooked household item causes most pet poisonings
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says most poisonings involve prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Pets often snatch pill vials from counters and nightstands or gobble up medications dropped on the floor. More
This common activity can injure - even kill - your pet
An estimated 30,000 car accidents occur each year because people travel with unrestrained dogs, according to Bark Buckle Up, an organization that promotes the use of safety belts for pets. And according to a survey by AAA and Kurgo, a maker of pet travel products, only 17 percent of pet parents use any form of pet restraint system when driving with their dog. More
Living room item a leading cause of pet injuries
Many pets like to jump on and off the household furniture. But - believe it or not - that seemingly harmless activity is one of the top causes for pets to break bones, and pet parents are urged to take preventive measures. More
Most wildlife attacks on pets occur in yards
Pet parents are being advised to closely monitor their dogs and cats even when they are in their own seemingly safe backyards, because skirmishes between pets and wildlife like snakes, coyotes and raccoons often occur there. More
In emergency, your pet's survival depends on you
The American Animal Hospital Association says that a pet parent knowing simple first-aid procedures - like how to apply pressure to a source of bleeding and placing a temporary bandage - can make the difference between life and death for an animal. More
Ways to keep pets safe in storms, disasters
Careful preparations by pet parents can make the difference between life and death for a pet during a major storm or natural disaster, a leading animal behaviorist says. More
No ID means death for 800,000 pets a year
The American Humane says providing a beloved pet with proper identification is a matter of life and death because most lost dogs and cats that end up in animal shelters are euthanized. More
Protect your pet from theft and torture
Animal welfare officials say owners need to be aware of the magnitude of the problem - nearly 2 million pets nationwide are stolen every year. More
Pets capable of swallowing strange objects
Veterinary organization urges dog parent to take a safety inventory of their homes after its research found that items removed from pets stomach include a tent peg, a man's wig and a rubber duck. More
Halloween is most dangerous day of year for pets
Animal welfare experts say that pet parents need to be vigilant about keeping their dogs and cats safe during what is perhaps the most dangerous time of the year. More
For pets, Halloween is time for bizarre injuries
An official with a leading pet insurance company says many unusual injuries and accidents involving dogs and cats occur at Halloween, and he is urging owners to take precautions to keep their pets safe. More
Tips to keep pets safe during Thanksgiving travel
Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest four-day travel period of the year, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advises pet parents to make sure their companions have proper identification, are healthy enough to make the trip and to bring all pet medications. More
Your pet deserves this priceless holiday gift
The best present you can give your pet during the holiday season is so large that it cannot fit in a box, needs no fancy ribbon, costs absolutely nothing and can be delivered only by you. More
Warm weather & Safety
Summer's hidden dangers can kill your pet
Many pet parents may be surprised to learn that pets are suspectible to less obvious dangers like high-rise syndrome falls, drowning and food poisoning, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. More
For dogs, heat stroke really is no sweat
A leading animal welfare agency warns that dogs are especially susceptible to deadly heat stroke because they lack sweat glands and can only pant to cool down. Simply walking in the sun on a hot day can lead to trouble. More
Backyard ritual can sicken - even kill - your pet
The backyard barbecue, as common activity that is so enjoyable to people, can be quite dangerous - or even fatal - to your pet, animal welfare experts warn, and pet parents are being advised to take steps to keep their dogs and cats safe. More
Swimming pool safety tips for pet owners
According to Gamma 2, a maker of products designed to keep pets safe, the odds of a pet drowning in the United States are 1 in 1,028. HomeSource, a homeowner advocacy in Sydney, Australia, says the main danger for a pet is that it will be unable to get out of a pool, become exhausted trying to stay afloat and drown. More
Tips for safe boating with your dog
Dog owners must make sure their pets know basic obedience commands because they can be easily distracted and jump overboard when they see floating objects like a buoy, stick or water birds, Natural Dog magazine advises in its complete guide to holistic dog care. More
Cold weather & Safety
Winter is most deadly time of the year for pets
Animal experts urge pet parents to take precautions to keep their dogs safe by limiting their outdoor activities in extreme cold and snow, and using sweaters to keep them warm and treatments to protect their feet during outdoor activities. More
Don't be in the dark about this pet threat
A natural phenomenon that happens each year puts your pet at a much higher risk of injury or even death, and dogs and cats need careful guidance to deal with it, an animal welfare agency warns. More
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