Category Archives: dog care

Performance Puppy Tips

  Welcome to Performance Puppy Tips!

This is a performance puppy tips program and all content will be posted in a closed Facebook group.  The content of this group will only be for members.  Members will see video, be a part of discussions, learn training concepts, see my puppy plan photos and pictures of my new puppy as she grows up. NEW PUPIf you would like to learn more about clicker training, have fun, learn important behaviors/things to train puppies (or dogs if you don’t have a puppy), then this program is for you.

To become a member of this group, please send me a direct payment through PayPal using my email address ( to purchase a membership.  Once you purchase a membership, you will be able to send a request to join this Facebook page and I will add you as a member.

$25 for each 8 week part
Sign up for one part at a time or all five parts for $100 and save $25.

Performance Puppy Tips: Part 1 (8 Weeks)

Performance Puppy Tips: Part 2 (8 Weeks)

Performance Puppy Tips: Part 3 (8 Weeks)

Performance Puppy Tips: Part 4 (8 Weeks)

Performance Puppy Tips: Part 5 (8 Weeks)

In this group, I will share puppy performance training tips (videos, concepts, discussions, photos of my puppy plans and photos of my puppy) as I work with my new puppy. When something important comes up and I feel that others should know about it, then I will share the tip here on this page only.

The tips in this program will be specific for puppies. However, all of my training methods, games and training in general can be used with a puppy or dog.

Anyone building a working relationship with their dog for a specific dog sport will benefit from being a part of this group. I am calling it “Performance Puppy Tips”, because you will see me work with my new puppy as well as discuss important topics that come up as I train/work with my puppy.  You will also see how I work with and incorporate my other dogs into the training process along side my new puppy.

Members will be able to ask me questions and engage in discussions that pertain to specific posts. However, I will not answer training questions! If you have a training questions/issue and would like help solving it, I offer “One on One Online Training Classes”.  2 weeks for $40 and I will help you with your training needs through video and written plans. Pam’s Dog Academy also offers Online Classes:  Clicker Training Basics, Loose Leash Walking, Rock Solid Stay, Play-N-Train Recalls and Insider Secrets to Canine Freestyle. If you are a CPDT, you can earn CEU’s when you take my online classes.

This group is for ANYONE: Trainers, pet dog owners, those preparing for competition and those that just want to have fun and build a better relationship with their dog!

If your goal is to compete or simply just to have fun with your dog, the most important thing you can do is build a strong positive relationship with your dog.  A relationship that is built on trust and cooperation.  Once you have a great working partner/relationship with your dog, the sky is the limit as to what you both can accomplish.

I look forward to sharing my insight and ultimately helping you train your performance puppy or dog through throughout this program.

A few categories that I will be working on with my puppy:
Focus Building
Learning Methods
Trick/Behaviors Training
Sport Foundation Training
Safety Behaviors
Recall Games
Building Calmness
Proofing Behaviors

All training methods are force free, positive and without punishment/intimidation!

Welcome to Performance Puppy Tips!
Pamela, Isabelle, Bandit, Twix and my new puppy (that does not have a name yet)

A Rattlesnake Training & Safety Class

POSITIVE Training Methods ONLY!

Train your dog to be safe around rattlesnakes through the use of sight, sound & scent. Train impulse control, recalls, stay, leash walking and attention games for safety around snakes. Build a close working relationship with your dog for snake awareness, as a lead up to dog sports and to have fun with your dog.

Learn about snake behavior, safety, first aid and prevention. Learn how to create a safe snake free backyard.

Dates: July 12, 19, 26 & August 2

Classes are limited to 5 working spots. If you would like to learn about snake safety but don’t want to bring a dog, that is fine, too. Auditing spots are limited to 5.

Working Spots $150 for 4 weeks
Auditing Spots $100 for 4 weeks

What you will need:
Harness & regular buckle or safety snap collar for your dog
Crate for when your dog is resting and not working.
Dog Water
Dog Treats (High value: Real meat/cheese)
Chair for your comfort
Comfortable shoes with toes (NO SANDALS)
Mat for your dog to settle and relax on
Note pad & pen or pencil (However, I will email you a PDF with the basics of what we cover in class.)
A copy of your dogs shot records or titers
Signed waiver/registration form (will be completed the first class)

If interested, please email Pam at

Rattlesnake Flyer

Zinc: You Call It a Trace Mineral, But It Could Be Fatal for Your Dog

Zinc: You Call It a Trace Mineral, But It Could Be Fatal for Your Dog

By Dr. Becker

Zinc is an essential trace mineral that plays a role in several important biologic processes. Zinc is abundant in nature and exists in many forms. Unfortunately, ingestion of some forms can lead to the creation of toxic zinc salts in the acidic environment of the GI tract.

Zinc poisoning occurs in humans and a wide variety of large and small animals. It is most often seen in family dogs, thanks to the availability of zinc-containing substances around the home, coupled with the canine tendency toward dietary indiscretion.

Common sources of zinc include:


Hardware used in pet carriers

Automotive parts

Coating on galvanized metals


Staples and tacks

Zinc-oxide creams


Herbal supplements



Certain cold remedy lozenges

Board-game pieces

U.S. pennies produced after 1983

Another source of zinc not frequently mentioned is deliberate supplementation by pet owners who believe their dog or cat needs extra zinc in their diet. There is a rare skin condition called canine zinc-responsive dermatosis that occurs in some northern breed dogs. Some pet owners wrongly assume supplemental zinc will help with their pet’s dry, flaky or allergic skin and begin supplying zinc pills, which can cause fatal toxicosis in some cases.

Another way owners can accidently feed their pets too much zinc is in the form of additional multivitamins. Good quality, commercially available, balanced pet food contains adequate zinc. Some well-intentioned pet owners assume their pets will benefit from adding a multivitamin, and instead of buying one specifically for pets, they share their own vitamins with their pets, which can cause a toxic overdose of many nutrients.

According to dvm360, in 2010 there were over 4,600 cases of zinc exposure in dogs and 250 cases in cats. Most sources of zinc in these cases were metallic objects, multivitamins, and creams and ointments containing zinc oxide.

Case reports and retrospective studies indicate that ingestion of pennies is the primary source of zinc intoxication, and small-breed dogs are the most frequent victims.

How Zinc Turns Toxic, and Signs of Zinc Poisoning

Most of the toxic effects of zinc occur when free zinc is released by stomach acid. Free zinc forms soluble zinc salts that damage the intestinal mucosa and are absorbed and quickly distributed to the liver, kidneys, prostate, muscles, bones, and pancreas. Zinc salts have irritant and caustic effects on tissue, interfere with the metabolism of other minerals such as calcium, iron and copper, and inhibit the production and function of red blood cells.

The median lethal dose of zinc salts in cases of acute toxicity has been reported to be ∼100 mg/kg. Also, diets containing high levels of zinc (>2,000 ppm) have been reported to cause chronic zinc toxicosis in large animals. A toxic dose has not been established in dogs. However, normal zinc serum concentrations are between 0.7 and 2 μg/ml.

Symptoms of zinc toxicosis begin to appear within a few days of ingestion, and the severity depends on the amount ingested. Clinical signs can range from mild vomiting to death. Early symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, black tarry stools, and loss of appetite. Additional symptoms include lethargy, depression, orange-colored feces, jaundice, shock, cardiac arrhythmias, and seizures.

Diagnosing Zinc Toxicosis

A physical examination of a dog with zinc toxicosis will often reveal pale mucous membranes, irregular heartbeat, heart murmur, dehydration, jaundice and abdominal pain. Neurologic signs can vary from mild lethargy to significant depression. There may be weakness, and in severe cases, seizures.

Routine laboratory tests should include a biochemistry profile, electrolytes, urinalysis and a complete blood count (CBC). The CBC may show anemia as the result of zinc-related destruction of red blood cells, granules in red blood cells (Heinz bodies), and/or variations in red blood cell coloration known as polychromasia.

The biochemistry profile may point to high levels of hemoglobin and bilirubin. If there are also high levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, liver or pancreatic enzymes, it is indicative of multiple organ failure.

Another test called the packed cell volume (PCV) is necessary to calculate the number of viable red blood cells to determine whether a blood transfusion is warranted.

To confirm a diagnosis of zinc toxicosis, laboratory tests to measure the levels of zinc in the dog’s blood must be run. These tests can also provide information about blood clotting activity.

X-rays are also often taken to confirm ingestion of a zinc-containing material.

Treatment of Zinc Toxicosis

Treatment primarily involves supportive care and removing the source of the zinc. Initial efforts should be focused on treating dehydration, shock, and electrolyte imbalances, and increasing urine output.

If a zinc-containing foreign object is found in the animal’s GI tract, it must be removed once the patient’s condition is stabilized. If the object is in the stomach, it can be removed by endoscopy. If it has moved into the small intestine, a laparotomy must be performed to remove it.

Drugs to lower stomach acidity and promote the release of zinc will be given. These typically include proton-pump inhibitors like omeprazole, or H2 blockers to decrease production of stomach acid in order to limit systemic absorption of zinc salts from the GI tract. If there is gastric irritation or ulceration, gastroprotectants may be given, and anti-nausea drugs and painkillers may also be indicated.

If there has been severe red blood destruction, blood transfusions may be required.

Prompt treatment is necessary to save the life of a pet with zinc toxicity. Often, the levels of zinc in the blood drop quickly once the source is removed. Unfortunately, dogs with severe complications like multiple organ failure have much less chance of survival.