A Publication of WTVP

Keep Your Pet Safe
Whether it’s a new, curious puppy or a mature, stubborn fixture on the couch, pets are at risk for exposure to unhealthy substances both inside and outdoors. In 2010, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana, Illinois, fielded more than 167,000 phone calls about pet exposure to possible toxins. Over 25 percent of these calls concerned animals ingesting human medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers, ADHD medications and antidepressants.

Always read labels when applying flea and tick prevention to your animals. Serious poisonings of cats have occurred when insect control medicine not designed for felines was applied to them. Rodenticides can also cause serious poisoning in animals, as they are grain-based and could attract your beloved pet. To prevent exposure to household cleaning toxins like bleach, detergents, batteries and liquid potpourris, keep them locked away from curious noses and paws. Better yet, switch to a non-toxic all-purpose cleaner to take care of everyday cleaning.

People food—such as grapes, raisins, onions, garlic and the artificial sweetener, Xylitol, which is found in sugar-free gum and mints—can cause serious health issues in dogs, such as kidney failure, anemia and low blood sugar. Chocolate is a canine poison that contains methylxanthines; the darker the chocolate, the more methylxanthines.

Outside, plants such as lilies can cause kidney issues in cats, and sago palms can cause liver problems in both cats and dogs. Herbicides used on the lawn, garden and landscaping can have a salty taste, making them appetizing for your pet. Follow pet exposure directions on the herbicide package. Avoid exposing your pets to ice melts and automobile fluids such as antifreeze, and keep these substances out of reach if housed in your home or garage.

Call the Animal Poison Control Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-888-426-4435 if you think your pet may have been poisoned.

TOP 10 Pet Toxins of 2010

  1. Human medications
  2. Insecticides
  3. Rodenticides
  4. People food
  5. Veterinary medications
  6. Chocolate
  7. Household toxins
  8. Plants
  9. Herbicides
  10. Outdoor toxins

Get Ahead This Summer!
While other companies, namely your competitors, take it easy this summer, use this time to focus on your business and get ahead, suggest authors Tom Hall and Wally Bock. Here’s how they propose you keep your team focused during these “lazy days.”

  1. Vow to make this the “Summer of Strategy.” Make your core strategy the focus of everything—meetings, projects, client communications and prospects. Be able to succinctly describe how you will beat the competition.
  2. Plan the work and work the plan. Create and carefully manage a company-wide to-do list and encourage employees to make individual lists as well.
  3. Don’t let people use their vacation as a get-out-of-work-free card. Pending vacations shouldn’t be an excuse for not getting work done, but a red flag that urges employees to be mindful of deadlines, rearrange flexible projects and ask for help when necessary. 
  4. Update clients once a week. Don’t allow yourself or your staff to communicate less frequently with clients. Make sure to meet their goals and improve your overall service.  
  5. Leverage the freedom of summer to generate fresh ideas. Hold a contest that will get employees to brainstorm creative ideas for the company, such as new ways to help clients, save money or improve the business as a whole. Encourage creativity by holding the brainstorming session outside. 
  6. Look for ways to keep people refreshed. Infuse the spirit of the summer into your organization, letting your employees enjoy the season with a relaxed dress code, providing lemonade, or adding fresh flowers throughout the office.

Improve Your Stride
While many athletes turn to energy drinks, performance-enhancing supplements, or even drugs, a recent study showed that one of the most effective ways to run faster and longer is both legal and very accessible—music. By listening to songs whose tempos match a runner’s desired stride, Australian triathletes increased their energy efficiency by one to three percent, and their endurance by up to 15 percent. Even amateurs, the study reported, can see these gains. So the next time you head out for a run, match your music to your stride, and you could see marked improvements.

Easing the Migraine Battle
Adult migraine sufferers now have another tool in the fight against chronic pain. The FDA has approved the use of Botox injections, formerly used only for cosmetic purposes, for chronic migraine patients. Those whose debilitating attacks last four or more hours on 15 or more days each month are prime candidates for the new treatment, which involves 31 injections in seven locations in the head and neck. Based on two studies of nearly 1,500 people, those who received Botox in the specified locations saw positive results that lasted for up to three months.

Learn Names for Better Service
Have you ever considered that simply learning a service provider’s name could get you better service?’s Erin Doland says it works. After moving to a big city, Doland missed the small-town, everybody-knows-your-name atmosphere, and decided to learn the names of her butcher, hair salon receptionist, bus driver, and mail and package carriers, showing her appreciation for them and their services. Not only did she receive better service, she found her interactions with them more enjoyable. Try it yourself, and see if your trips to the mailbox or grocery store are enhanced by this simple touch. iBi