With the nation practically shutdown and motorsports completely halted over the Coronavirus threat, racers and car people are gonna do what racers and car people do: work on their car projects. This means spending a considerable amount of time in the garage with all the tools and equipment in your shop.
No matter how many different shops we visit, there is one thing that every shop has, and it seems to be the philosophical center or conscience of the shop. A shop pet. We’ve seen plenty of shop dogs, cats, parrots, and in the case of one Sprint Car team, a rabbit.
Last year, we saw an article from our friends at Goodson Tools and Supplies that dealt with the subject of shop pets. It was a well-written article that pulled information from a highly respected source, the Winona Veterinary Hospital. The complete article can be found here: Taking Care Of Your Best Friend.
If the idea of maintaining your shop’s most essential component is important to you, then read on as we bring you the highlights of Goodson’s article.
There is little doubt when it comes to shop pets, dogs rule the roost. These characters tend to act as if they own the place, and in some aspects, they do. A shop dog adds personality to the joint and boosts morale. They make a good sounding board when you are working through a tough problem, and always provide a furry shoulder to pet when you need one. All they ask in return is a decent place to sleep and maybe a treat from time-to-time.
Vets say that dog treats should be kept to a reasonable level. You don’t want to be in a spot where you need to put Fido on a diet. In fact, making sure your dog eats only what you give them is the most difficult thing to control in the shop. Food is ok, but Vets warn that shops have many different smells, chemicals, and things that dogs can mistake as something good to ingest.
Some of the things identified as having bad side-effects on pets that are common to many shops, include bleach, carpet shampoo and deodorizer, Febreze, grout sealer, mosquito repellent, Swiffer WetJets, and toilet cleaning tablets. These are all potentially dangerous to your pet. If you have mice and use poison to control rodents, this can be very dangerous to your dog or cat.
When ingested by pets, bleach and many other cleaners can cause upset stomachs, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or oral burns. Keep these and other hazards out of reach from your pet.
The Goodson article alerts dog owners to the potential of chocolate poisoning by dogs eating the sweet treat. Chocolate poisoning in dogs can bring about epileptic seizures and can kill. While not dangerous to humans, chocolate contains theobromine, a naturally occurring stimulant. It increases urination and affects the heart and nervous system. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, or hyperactivity. In time, your dog’s heart rate will increase, which can lead to hyperthermia, muscle tremors, seizures, coma, and even death.
Obviously, any pet that has been exposed to chocolate and shows signs of poisoning should be treated by a veterinarian as soon as possible. If it is severe and you don’t have time, you may need to perform first aid on the spot.
To induce vomiting, use three percent hydrogen peroxide, one-to-two teaspoons by mouth every 15 minutes until vomiting occurs. You can also use Syrup of Ipecac. Use two to three teaspoons, only once. You can get Syrup of Ipecac at almost any pharmacy (without a prescription.) Syrup of Ipecac is inexpensive and will keep for several years if stored at room temperature.
After vomiting, feed the dog activated charcoal mixed with water to create a slurry consistency. The dosage is one teaspoon for dogs who are less than 25 pounds and two teaspoons for dogs weighing more than 25 pounds. These are guidelines and should never replace professional treatment from a licensed veterinarian.
Antifreeze (Ethanol Glycol)
Antifreeze is a known dog killer, and it tastes like candy to your shop dog. A horribly deadly combination. The Ethanol Glycol in antifreeze attacks a dog’s kidneys and can cause permanent kidney damage or death. Treatments include intervention with fluids and multiple blood tests to attempt to dilute the poison in the system.
If your dog shows a change in breathing patterns, vomiting, depression, lack of coordination, seizures, coma, and even surprise death, antifreeze ingestion may be the cause. The immediate treatment is to induce vomiting as described above and immediately get the pet to the vet. Call ahead and let them know you are coming and what you suspect happened.
The best cure is prevention. Mop up, clean up, cover and store any liquids that may be harmful to your best friend. Animal Poison Control Center: (888) 426-4435; call if you suspect your pet has ingested anything that may be harmful
Tranny fluid, engine oil, power-steering fluid, grease, and their containers are all a danger to your furry friend. A clean shop says a lot about the owner, but it is also a necessity for your pet. Metal shavings, screws, and other sharp objects can get embedded in paws and cause infections. Cleaning solvents can irritate your pet’s lungs. A good rule of thumb to remember is: if it bothers you, your pets will be bothered even more.
Goodson’s article reminds us that dogs love to chew on things, so trash needs to be put away and lids placed on trashcans to prevent your pet from pulling cans, broken glass, old containers, or other objects from the container.
Remember, dogs rub up against things and often lay down and roll on the floor — often in piles or puddles. Make sure your pet is bathed regularly and pay attention to their paws and between the toes. For all the joy they bring us, our pets deserve at least this much.
Special thanks to the people at Goodson’s Tools and Supplies for reminding us how special these shop dogs are.