SUBSCRIBE NOW
$1 for 3 months
SUBSCRIBE NOW
$1 for 3 months

PET PEEVES: PawBoost.com helps people find missing pets

Dara Johns

Dear Readers,

Have you ever heard of PawBoost.com? I had not heard of it either until this week. PawBoost.com is a website created to help people find their lost pets. It utilizes Facebook and email to send out notifications when someone logs in a missing pet. It also has a place to log in found pets.

The story of how PawBoost.com was born is described on their website. It all began in September 2014 with a lost dog named Ramsey. Ramsey was hit by a car and, being spooked, ran off into the night. After a long night of searching, they were very lucky to find Ramsey made his way back home and was unhurt.

Don't give up hope this holiday if your pet is missing. PawBoost.com might be able to help. And if your pets are at home, treating them like family does not mean feeding them human treats. Chocolate, for example, is toxic to dogs.

As they tell the story, this event got the founders of PawBoost.com thinking, “Is there a better way to alert the community instead of relying on methods that have been around since the 1950s?” (That’s my favorite part of the story.) So, they created PawBoost.com. If you have lost your pet, you can upload the information to be sent out as an alert through both Facebook and email in the local area. The email alerts go to a group known as the Rescue Squad. These are members that sign up to receive alerts about lost pets in their area. Many of the members of the Rescue Squad are affiliated with rescues and veterinary clinics.

If you are missing a pet or if you have found a pet, you can get some very “2020’s” help by going to the website and uploading your information. If you want to be alerted when a pet is lost in your neighborhood, you can go to this website and sign up to be a Rescue Squad member.

Chocolate hurts pets

On a totally different topic, it seems the holidays are having their effects on many pets’ diet. When family is home and enjoying a lot of holiday food, it’s not unusual for pets to get in on the action. One common dietary indiscretion at this time of year is chocolate. For a dog, chocolate is like poison.

Keep in mind, not all chocolate is equal. The toxic ingredients in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine, are found in higher concentrations in chocolates that are darker and less sweet. For instance, a milk chocolate candy bar has much less theobromine than a bar of semi-sweet cooking chocolate. White chocolate has almost no theobromine.

Theobromine and caffeine stimulate the nervous system, affecting the heart rate and causing agitation. They can also trigger diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms of toxicity tend to develop six to 12 hours after ingestion. If you suspect your pet has ingested a dangerous amount of chocolate, contact your veterinarian or emergency clinic immediately. They will help you determine if your pet needs to be seen. A good website to assess various types of chocolate is www.petmd.com/dog/chocolate-toxicity#common_household_items.

If caught within an hour of ingestion, treatment for toxic amounts of chocolate include making the pet throw up the chocolate and then treating with fluid therapy and activated charcoal. 

Have a question for Dr. Johns? Email her at JohnsDVM@aol.com. Write to Pet Peeves, P.O. Box 2949, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549. Johns is a Niceville veterinarian.