• Working Paws

Common House Killers

Over the last couple of years we have all turned into house plant nurturers (or killers) and veggie patch kings. But, have you considered your pets when planting?


Not every dog (especially puppies) are tuned into the smell of danger and some dog pawrents are unaware that common garden and house plants can do some serious long term damage to their dogs liver and kidneys. Seizures and possible death await in an un pet friendly outdoor garden or pots of indoor plants.

The common pelargonium geranium (as pictured) is one of the easiest plants to grow in any garden and certainly prolific in their will to grow but if your new puppy starts chomping on them, you can expect the following: skin rashes, vomiting, dehydration, lethargy and loss of appetite. Even brushing their skin again a broken stem or leaf will result in severe skin rashes and an emergency trip to the vet is definitely required.

Even your common every day tomato plants are a serious problem. If your dog ingests the stem, leaves or too many green tomatoes they will experience the same symptoms as geraniums. Make sure your tomato patch is higher than the pup can jump and well fenced.


So lets talk about Peace Lillies, the perfectly pretty indoor house plant will cause diarrhea, vomiting, and your dog will exhibit excessive drooling. In severe cases, your dog may appear to have trouble breathing due to an inflamed airway. The symptoms can be very distressing.

If you have a dog and any of the following then its time to rehome your pot plant:

  • Aloe Vera. Ivy (Hedera Helix)

  • Jade (Crassula Ovata)

  • Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)

  • Elephant Ear (Caladium)

  • Pothos/Devil's Ivy (Epipremnum Aureum)

Some of the above will lead to paralysis, a coma, slow your dogs heart rate, swell their tongue and cause long term liver and kidney damage. Take a critical journey around your house and garden through the eyes of your dog and remove all of the plants that could harm or kill them. You can find more dog dangerous plants here: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/livestock-and-animals/animal-welfare-victoria/dogs/health/toxic-plants-for-dogs


One way or another....

With foster carers in three states and the ACT, adopters and pounds from inland, coastal and everywhere in between, we often need to move dogs, dog food and medical supplies around a state and between states. One of our options used to be air travel but that still has not returned to available or affordable since Covid.

How do we do it?

We do rely heavily on volunteers, people who want to help out in animal rescue but can not foster themselves. This takes pressure off foster carers as most have jobs, families and their own dogs as well.

When a big bag food donation comes in, we like to get the bags out to carers as soon as possible as its usually close to or just on expiration date and food in a shed does not feed hungry bellies. If you would like to be a transport helper then we have vacancies in ACT, NSW & VIC and would love to hear from you. Simply hit the link and complete the form stating Transport Volunteer Only: https://www.workingpaws.com.au/volunteer

Our Recommended Transporter

When you are looking for someone to transport your animals, you really need to do your homework. How many animals do they take? Do they all have their own separate crate? Does the transport stop to toilet them? Is water supplied? Does the driver have a heart?

Yes an animal heart - does he care about the animals?

Byron is our guy and we have certainly so much to thank him for, especially in the last few weeks when he has been working so hard for us. Not all doggies travel well, not all doggies want to travel but when you have a driver with a heart, you know that they will arrive safely and have had the care that they individually needed along the journey.

Another aspect you must consider when looking for an animal transporter is do they do door to door or do you have to meet them on the outskirts of town, other side of the city at midnight or at a spot on the highway! The animals comfort and safety is absolutely paramount so do your homework, book well in advance and confirm and confirm again.


Snuffle Balls

What is their purpose? For dogs who gulp their food, you need a way to slow them down. Snuffle balls are just one of the many tools you can have in your slow feeder arsenal.

Better still, this is the perfect school holiday project for some clever young hands and besides making them for your dog, they could also make them for friends, neighbours and extended family. All you need is some poly fleece material, zip ties, some scissors and a side plate to trace around.

Here’s how you can make it: I used fleece to make the snuffle ball, that’s easy to work with, because it doesn’t fray. > Cut 32 circles with a diameter of 20 cm (or 24 circles of 16 cm) - the diameter of the ball will be about the same as the diameter of the circles you use. > Fold the circles into quarters and punch a hole in the tip (you then have 4 holes in the circle, see dots on the first picture). I use the scissor tip to make the holes and you could also use a leather hole punch.

> Take 4 zip ties (cable ties) and put 8 circles (or 6) on each zip tie. > Close one zip tie loosely and attach the other three zip ties from different sides on the first. > Then close the zip ties very tight and cut the ends off as far as possible. > To make the end less sharp use some sandpaper. Circles of 20 cm make a ball with a 20 cm diameter. So you can adjust the size of the ball by cutting bigger or smaller circles. I find a side plate is the perfect size to use as a template.

Place kibble in between the folds and let the dinner play begin. The bigger the ball, the easier it is for them to get the kibble out so smaller is better. If they get grubby from too much play, just throw them in the washing machine. Have some doggo fun! PAWS UP until next time....


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