HOLIDAYS CAN BE FUN – BUT HAZARDOUS FOR OUR PETS
Thanksgiving is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with family and to be appreciative for all that we have in our lives. Sometimes we forget all of the blessings we have and enjoy on a daily basis. Things like family, friends, a home, fresh air, nature, the fact that the sun comes up every day and of course our unconditionally loving four legged best friends. Thanksgiving can also be a potentially dangerous or fatal day for your dog. With a few preventative measures you can keep your pup safe.
THANKSGIVING SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR PUPS
If you are having company be sure to keep your pup from having unrestricted access to the front door. With people coming and going, and trying to entertain, cook, serve, etc., it’s easy to lose track of your dog and easy for them to slip out unnoticed. Either have your dog in a bedroom, laundry room or on leash. You can also set up a barrier like a gate or a pen that restricts direct access to the front door. The biggest threat to your dog is the turkey bones. Ingesting cooked (therefore brittle) bones can splinter if chewed and can be fatal. Remind guests not to give any leftovers to your dog and place remaining bones in an enclosed garbage can preferably behind a closed door. Be careful putting them in an enclosed garbage can anywhere where your dog can have access to it. Dogs smell millions of times better than we can so they can smell those leftovers through the can. Many of us like to share some of our Thanksgiving dinner with our pups ( I prepare a plate for my babies). If you do want to share and if your dog is not used to eating human food, be sure to keep their portions very small (unless you enjoy cleaning up vomit or diarrhea) and be sure there are no bones.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and know that we are very thankful and appreciative for all of you! Brad & the Dogological Team
Photo credit: MSVG / Foter / CC BY
HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR PETS
We all love Halloween, the scary and funny costumes, the meeting with neighbors and of course the candy! That’s not always the case with our dogs. The continual ringing of the doorbell can put your dog in an overly aroused state and can trigger a territorial response to the innocent trick or treaters. The costumes are entertaining for us but your dog can become very frightened at the site of painted faces, masks, ghosts and even princesses. The costumes can be very frightening to unsuspecting doggies so unless your dog is desensitized to Halloween it’s a good thing to give them the night off and keep them inside, safe and sound.
The constant opening of the door can be an opportunity for Fido to bolt out and with all of the scary costumes and the cars following their kids around, Fido can panic and run, run, run, and get lost or worse risk getting by getting hit by a car.
If you have an outdoor cat please bring the cat inside as people do strange things to cats they find on Halloween, especially black cats.
And if you want to enjoy every morsel of chocolate that you’ve gathered or are handing out, avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian; keep your bag of goodies well out of reach of prying paws and jaws. If you suspect that your pup has partaken of your chocolate call your veterinarian. Have a nice and safe Halloween!
Photo credit: mccun934 / Foter / CC BY
DOG PARKS – BEWARE – DOG PARKS CAN BE DANGEROUS
The concept of a large fenced in space for dogs to be able to run freely, meet other dogs and play together; a place where dogs can exert all of that stored up energy and come home happy and tired sounds like heaven to many dog parents. It kind of reminds me of the TV show “Leave it to Beaver” with the Cleavers being the perfect middle class family, in a perfect little town with each episode always with a happy ending for all. Just like in our real lives, things can get messy sometimes and not turn out as we may have expected. Unfortunately that’s what happens in dog parks if you’re not careful – so think “dog parks – beware. The concept sounds great, but without the proper understanding of dog behavior and dog body language, tragedy is bound to happen. Bringing five, ten, fifteen or more dogs that don’t know each other into an enclosed area can and unfortunately does result in disaster. I’ve visited many dog parks and without exception I witnessed either an act of aggression, intimidation and on one occasion a Chihuahua that was swarmed at the entrance gate and had it’s back broken by a labrador retriever. The lab was not an aggressive dog, but pack mentality and primal instinct kicked in and in a frenzy all bets are off. This is not a rare thing at dog parks.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE AT DOG PARKS
I do not recommend going to dog parks but if you do decide to bring your dog to a dog park here are some tips to help in keeping your dog safe.
How to utilize dog parks safely:
- Without your dog visit the dog park that you would like to bring your dog to. Observe the behavior of the dogs, the energy, see if the people are paying attention and managing their dogs behavior.
- How are the dogs acting, are they extremely aroused, are they out of control, are there any dogs bullying other dogs?
- Are there too many dogs to keep track of? Try to visit at the time of day that you would like to bring your dog.
- Talk to the other dog parents about their experiences. A closed in gated community dog park where everybody knows each other and are responsible and are paying attention to what’s going on as the dogs are playing is a good option. We’ll discuss alternatives to dog parks in upcoming blog posts.
Photo credit: tunaboat / Foter / CC BY-ND