September 24, 2018

Interview with Veterinarian Dr. Charles L. Starr III

Charles L. Starr III

Charles L. Starr III

A lab happily pushed through the door, greeting the director of the Veterinary Clinic as we arrived for our appointment with Charles L. Starr III. Interviewing Experts Blog was there to learn how to poison-proof our homes, and we had a list of questions for veterinarian Charles L. Starr III at the ready.

Interviewing Experts: Where do we begin in creating a safe environment, Charles L. Starr III?

Charles L. Starr III: I usually encourage owners to take it room by room. Start in the living room. Plants may seem harmless, but lilies are poisonous to cats. Open dishes of potpourri, dry or liquid should be removed. And, if you have a caged bird or pet, don’t use sprays or fragrances. Ashtrays or similar products need a new, safe location as well.

Interviewing Experts: How should we tackle the kitchen?

Charles L. Starr III: Besides chocolate, you need to remember that the raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, unbaked yeast bread dough, fatty foods, onions and garlic on your counter are poisonous too. So is that pack of sugar-free chewing gum with xylitol.

Interviewing Experts: We would not have thought about the pack of gum!

Charles L. Starr III: Keep trashcans closed or in cabinets. They hold chicken bones, coffee grounds, moldy dairy products, or cigarette butts. And don’t forget to seal all alcoholic tightly.

Interviewing Experts: I know that bathrooms are a danger zone. What are some specific tips?

Charles L. Starr III: Unfortunately, many owners allow pets to drink in that area. Open seat covers mean access to chemical cleaners. Don’t leave medications out on the sink or in ziplock bags. Animals can easily chew through those. Keep cleaning products locked up and keep pets away when you spray.

Interviewing Experts: What about utility rooms or garages?

Charles L. Starr III: Be sure to check labels on chemicals and pesticides stored in the garage. Learn the toxic ingredients. There are no antidotes for certain products. Some dogs love to chew on old batteries, so be careful! Glues and resins should be sealed and antifreeze is also extremely harmful. Check for other auto fluids that are lying around.

Interviewing Experts: How can I protect my pets when they are outside and out of view?

Charles L. Starr III: Make sure that you have secured fertilizers and insecticides away from where your pets can find access. Dogs love fertilizers such as bone or blood meal, and insecticides contain metaldehyde. Also, if you spray the lawns in any way, keep pets off the grass until it is dry.

Interviewing Experts: Do you have any other advice for us, Charles L. Starr III?

Charles L. Starr III: Never self-medicate your pet. And don’t use dog flea or tick products on cats.  Store all medications separately from your pets and always give exact dosages.

If an emergency situation arises, Charles L. Starr III urges pet owner to call the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680). Charles L. Starr III is a veterinarian.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime with ASPCA supervisory special investigator, Annemarie Lucas

The Balancing Act Lifetime

The Balancing Act Lifetime

The following segment aired on The Balancing Act Lifetime Television. Joining the show was Annemarie Lucas from the ASPCA to discuss dog adoption and how you know you are buying from the right type of breeders.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television Host Marybel Rodriguez:  If you’re planning on getting a new pet pooch, you could be paying a higher price than you realize.  Many pet stores and internet vendors are actually selling dogs that were bred in puppy mills.  The ASPCA, which stands for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, wants to warn consumers about this problem before they buy.  Joining us is the top dig in a top-rated TV series, ASPCA’s Supervisory Special Investigator, AnneMarrie Lucas.

Lucas:  A puppy mill is a large-scale substandard commercial dog-breeding operation.  Basically, they house numerous dogs where their sole purpose is to breed over and over and over again, and the results of that breeding are the puppies that then get shipped to pet stores all over the country.  So the ASPCA strongly advices people not to buy puppies from pet stores.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Are puppy mills more prevalent in some areas than others?

Lucas: They are and Missouri is number one.  Followed by Nebraska and Oklahoma–but we also see them in Florida and across the entire country.  No state is without a puppy mill.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: What should consumers know about the puppies sold at pet stores and over the internet?

Lucas: Every time you buy a puppy from a pet store or even over the Internet, if you have no idea where that puppy comes from and the origin and where their parents are from, then you have no idea of the health of that puppy.  So you could buy a puppy for thousands of dollars and then, in turn, spend thousands of dollars in medical bills because that puppy was not bred correctly.  They have hereditary diseases and they are very sickly so that could be a huge problem for you that you certainly cannot afford.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Then how do you know if the papers that you get when you purchase the puppy are legitimate or not?

Lucas: Basically, you don’t because pet stores and anybody can make a breed registry.  You can make one up if you wanted to. A responsible breeder will always invite you to their home. They will want to meet you, interview you, show you where the adults are, how they’re bred and they’ll show you the puppies and how they’re kept. A puppy miller on the other hand could care less about who takes the puppies.  They just want to get them out as quickly as possible and make as much money as they can.  So every puppy in a pet store is from a puppy mill and it is important that you remember that.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: For those people who want to get involved, what can we do to help get rid of these puppy mills?

Lucas: We have to support legislation to protect puppies. You can write to your local legislators and tell them you don’t want puppy mills in your state.  Tell them you want responsible breeders only.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: That is good advice and somewhere that people can start helping.  Can you tell The Balancing Act viewers where the best place is to actually find a pet?

Lucas: You should visit your local animal shelter or your local rescue group.  If you want a specific breed then contact a breed rescue group.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television: Can you tell me more about the animals in the shelters and why they deserve homes?

Lucas:  There are so many fantastic adoptable animals in animal shelters.   A lot of people think hat they’re only abused animals or that they have been abandoned because nobody wants the. That is absolutely not true. They are adoptable, beautiful and healthy.  You can go to aspca.org for more information on puppy mills and also responsible pet ownership.

The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television:  How are you able to deal with the trauma you see in abused and injured animals?

Lucas: It affects me every day and my heard breaks every day with the cases that we deal with.  I rush home at the end of the day and give lots of hugs to my dogs and cats and that seems to get me through the next day because I look at them and see their faces and realize how important my job really is.

The Balancing Act Lifetime Television is the only morning show in America produced by women specifically for women. Every morning, The Balancing Act on Lifetime hosts Danielle Knox and Kristy Villa tackle the issues that face today’s woman. Popular show segments include live weather updates with Mark Mancuso, surprise celebrity visitors, and news about the latest trends affecting your life, home, career and family. The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television airs daily on Lifetime at 7 a.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit The Balancing Act on Lifetime Television’s website at www.thebalancingact.com.

Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers on Puppy Training

Marian Harding of Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers knows that puppy training can be a stressful process. To help new owners successfully train their puppies, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers offers the following tips.

Puppies learn fastest between the ages of 3 and 16 weeks, teaches Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers’ Marian Harding, so owners should introduce new experiences and people during that time. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers instructs owners that consistency will yield the best results. Therefore, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers advises making a plan, then sticking to it no matter the circumstances.

In general, Marian Harding and Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers teaches that it is most effective to reward the dog’s positive behaviors. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers suggests that a keeping supply of healthy treats on hand for every time the dogs behaves – or responds to training – well.

For barking inappropriately or biting, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers recommends using a stern voice and if needed, hold the muzzle together gently. The extreme of physical contact, according to Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, should be a tap on the nose accompanied by a firm “No!” to communicate the message. When the dog obeys, the experts at Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers administer the treat.

According to Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers, a medium size, heavy plastic crate is an excellent investment for house training. To ensure the safety and comfort of the dog, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers recommends a thick pad or pillow for the bottom. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers encourages owners to let the puppy sleep in the crate at night and whenever it is indoors alone. Tossing in a dog cookie or several pieces of dry dog food as the dog goes in will help as a motivator, according to Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers. Far from viewing the crate as punishment, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers notes that the dog will view it as a resting place.

To ensure successful house training, Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers advises owners to take the puppy outside every time it wakes up and finishes eating, as well as frequently while playing. Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers says owners should stay with it to praise correct behavior.

For more information about Marian Harding’s breeding services, please visit the Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers website at www.hardinhaus.com.

Marian Harding Answers Miniature Schnauzer FAQs

Marian Harding has been breeding Miniature Schnauzers for thirty years. Frequently Marian Harding is called upon to respond to potential owners’ frequently asked questions.

How big are Miniature Schnauzers?
Marian Harding says that adult Miniature Schnauzers weigh 10-15 pounds, and reach about 12”-14” at the withers.

Are Miniature Schnauzers good pets for a home with children?
Marian Harding recommends Miniature Schnauzers for family pets due to their sociability and playfulness. For best family integration, Marian Harding suggests having a young dog grow up alongside the children. However, Marian Harding cautions that, while this dog likes to play, it may not tolerate excessive rough activity.

Are Miniature Schnauzers good outside dogs?
In Marian Harding’s experience, Miniature Schnauzers are not content to be outside dogs. Rather, Marian Harding instructs owners to prepare for the dog to be in the house or apartment most of the time. In addition, Marian Harding notes that this intelligent breed can become bored if left alone for long. Marian Harding’s suggestion to prevent this is ample exercise via walks or fenced yards.

Do Miniature Schnauzers need extensive grooming?
Marian Harding recommends routine bathing and grooming to keep the dog’s coat smooth and prevent matting. Even though many owners delegate this task to a professional groomer, Marian Harding notes that owners should also brush the coat daily to maintain its shine.

Do Miniature Schnauzers aggravate allergies?
Actually, Marian Harding says Miniature Schnauzers may be one of the best options for those who suffer from allergies. This breed sheds very little or not at all, and has relatively clean habits, making it a top choice in Marian Harding’s estimation.

Do Miniature Schnauzers have health issues?
Marian Harding alerts all Miniature Schnauzer owners to watch for signs of potential eye problems in their dogs. In addition, Marian Harding notes that Miniature Schnauzers tend to overeat so they may gain weight easily, and can develop diabetes or bladder stones. Upon request, Marian Harding can offer owners tips and diet recommendations to help avert these problems.

For more information about Marian Harding’s breeding services, please visit the Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers website at www.hardinhaus.com.

Or contact Marian Harding at:
Hardinhaus Miniature Schnauzers
4637 Blairwood Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37938
865-922-0522