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Canine Sense - Did You Know

Check out these articles by Dr. Stanley Coren (BC, Canada) Canine Corner

Friday, December 18, 2009

Holiday Safety Tips for Our Canine Friends

It's the festive time of year for many of us, and with it comes keeping our pets safe. There are some different items we bring into our home, which we need to take heed with our furry friends around. The one we all know of is chocolate, and in the festive season we forget the dog is loose during those entertaining times and we are likely to have food on tables that are at nose level. The bridge mix, those coconut chocolate balls (at least I remember my mom making them), and all those speciality chocolates our guests might bring, that may also contain raisins, we need to remember where they get laid and that our dogs can't get into them.

The tree is decorated with tinsel & ornaments (that can break into small pieces), which can cause real serious stomach issues if your dog decides it is something fun to play with and ingests it.
The pretty Christmas plants, like Poinsettias, mistletoe berries, and Christmas Cactus can all cause serious stomach upsets.
Keep them safe with visitors arriving. It only takes a moment for them to dash out under family/friends arriving with Xmas gift bags, so consider either crating them or tie them to a banister or couch until everyone is in the house. Ask your guests not to feed your dog, or offer them a sip of their alcoholic drink ... a drunk dog isn't funny, and could potentially send them into a coma. Remember you're going to be the one cleaning up after your dog, or facing an emergency trip to your vet. If your guests must offer your dog treats, have a special bowl set aside with special treats just for your dog.
Make sure any gifts that might contain food aren't put under the tree tempting your pooch to open them ahead of time! Ensure you clean up wrapping, ribbons etc after the festive day so nothing is consumed.

Lastly, it might sound funny, but those ladies with their purses on the floor or kids with it in their pockets ... gum is what I'm talking about. A lot of sugar-less gum now containing xylitol. Just 2 pieces for a 13lb dog can send them into insulin shock/hypoglycemia pretty quickly along with liver damage, and if medical help isn't sought fast, it is deadly.

Please, keep your dog in mind during this festive season .....
and you'll have a happy time with your best bud.



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