Muzzle Up Against Bufo Toads

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The word “muzzle” should not be a bad word as it is just a safety tool that if trained properly can be perceived by your dog to be a treat dispenser. A muzzle is versatile because it can be used for reactive dogs, dogs who suffer with pica (eating disorder involving non-eatable objects), coprophagia (poop eaters), or anxiety that causes them to self-mutilate and over groom.  If you live near water, if your dogs spend a significant amount of time outside, if they are prone to chasing creepy crawlers, PLEASE consider muzzle training them for their safety. Bark B.O.T.S. uses and recommends basket muzzles as they allow panting better than cloth muzzles. A “leave it” command should also be trained since it is now Bufo toad season but sometimes our dogs see them before we do which is why a muzzle is still needed. It is also important that you are aware of poisoning symptoms in dogs especially if you are unsure if your dog has made contact with a poisonous plant, toad, etc. Wash your dogs mouth out immediately if you suspect any contact as Bufo toad poisoning symptoms can occur 15-30 minutes post-contact which include foaming at the mouth, deep red gums, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Although these toads are potentially life threatening, please practice kindness to all living creatures as they are only trying to protect themselves and live in an environment we introduced them to to control other pests. PLEASE don’t spray them with bleach or stomp them to death. HopStop is a spray that humanely euthanizes them after only 2-3 seconds of direct contact or recent research (Shine et al. 2015) suggests that cooling them in a container with air holes in a refrigerator for 12 hours and then freezing them for 24 hours will put them into a coma first, and then kill them as humanely as possible. Be kinder to nature and muzzle up.

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