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A PET SAFE HALLOWEEN IS A HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Posted by saskatoondogrescue on October 24, 2015 at 3:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A PET SAFE HALLOWEEN IS A HAPPY HALLOWEEN

 

It’s that time again. For goblins and ghosts, pumpkins and pranks, and things that go bump in the night. But as responsible pet owners, please ensure that your dogs and cats aren’t innocent victims of Halloween’s fun and frolics.

 

Consider the following suggestions to keep your pets safe not sorry.

 

1. Keep candy out of reach of your pet. Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can prove toxic for both dogs and cats. Candy containing the artificial sweetener, xylitol, can also cause problems. If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

 

2. Although pumpkins and decorative corn are considered relatively non-toxic, they can still produce an upset stomach if nibbled on by your pet.

 

3. Keep wires and cords from lights and other decorations out of reach of your pet. If chewed, your pet might be cut or burned or receive a potentially life-threatening electric shock.

 

4. Although festive, carved pumpkins with candles inside can be easily knocked over by your pet and a fire started. Curious kittens in particular run the risk of being singed or burned by a candle flame.

 

5. Keep costumes for your children and away from your pets unless you’re certain they’re comfortable being decked out, not stressed out, by putting on the “glitz”. Or opt for a Halloween-themed bandana draped round your pet’s neck.

 

6. Keep all but the most social dogs and cats in a separate room when “trick or treaters” come to call. Even then, take care that your pet doesn’t dart outside when the door first opens.

 

7. Should your pet “pull a Houdini” and vanish, ensure that he/she has either been micro chipped or is wearing a collar and tags for proper identification and a swift return to your anxious arms.

 

With some strategic planning beforehand, you and your pet can be assured of spending the safest and happiest of Halloweens together.

HOLIDAY HOOPLA AND HEALTH HAZARDS

Posted by saskatoondogrescue on December 9, 2014 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)


 

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to think not only about celebrating, but also about dog safety.

 

To ensure that the season stays merry and bright, plan ahead and start early. Change the appearance of your home from everyday to holiday gradually, over a period of several weeks. This will allow your dog time to grow comfortable with everything from new or additional furniture and tabletop arrangements to wall and window decorations. To encourage your dog to view this as something positive, reinforce the sentiment by keeping him occupied with Kongs filled with cheese spread or peanut butter, or puzzle toys to puzzle over while you slowly transform the space around him. Maintain your dog’s normal feeding and walking schedules. Ensure that your dog’s “go to” place for security remains the same, unless you know from past experience that his doggy bed, crate or favorite blanket should be moved to a room far from the festivities.

 

Whether you’re hosting a single event or several, follow the same routine to minimize your dog’s potential uneasiness. Ask any unfamiliar guests and all of the children to calmly ignore your dog. Monitor your dog for any signs of anxiety or stress, and lead him to his “safe” place if necessary. On the other hand, if he appears relaxed and is eagerly going from guest to guest, provide them with some of his favorite treats so that they can keep him happily fed.

 

Be conscious of and careful about the greenery you bring into your home. The sap of the Poinsettia plant is considered mildly toxic, and can cause nausea or vomiting in your dog. Holly is considered moderately toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, whereas Mistletoe is severely toxic and can cause everything from gastrointestinal disorders to cardiovascular problems. Christmas trees are considered mildly toxic. Their oils can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach, causing excessive drooling and/or vomiting, while their prickly needles are hazardous to your dog’s entire GI tract. Wherever possible, keep all plants beyond your dog’s reach, or else watch him carefully for signs of curiosity, interest, or the impulse to either lick or chew. To err on the side of caution, buy artificial plants instead.

 

As appetizing as holiday fare is for people, it can prove agonizing, even lethal for pets. The most notorious offenders are:

GRAPES: Although the precise substance which causes the toxicity in grapes is unknown (some dogs can eat grapes without incident, while others can eat one and become seriously ill) keep them away from your dog.

HAM: High in salt and fat, it can lead to stomach upsets and, over time, pancreatitis.

MACADEMIA NUTS: Within 12 hours of eating macademia nuts, dogs can experience weakness, depression, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia (increased body temperature), lasting between 12 and 48 hours. If your dog is exhibiting any of these symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

BONES: Whether rib roasts or lamb chops, turkey, chicken or duck, they all have bones. Thick ones and thin ones. Brittle, fragmented and splintered. Whatever the size, shape or texture, they all spell the same thing: danger. From throat scratches to stomach perforations to bowel obstructions. To safeguard against these painful possibilities, all leftovers, particularly bones, should be carefully wrapped and disposed of promptly.

ALCOHOL: It’s traditional to celebrate the holidays with more alcohol than usual – both in cooking and in drinks such as eggnog and fruit punch. For safety’s sake, keep these temptations (including partially eaten plates of food and half-empty glasses) out of the reach of your dog.

CHOCOLATES: Although chocolate has long been taboo for dogs, most chocolate comes gift-wrapped in foil for the holidays. Now, not only can your dog get sick from eating the chocolate, the wrapper itself can get stuck in your dog’s throat or cause problems as it works its way through your dog’s digestive tract.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING, CAKE AND MINCE PIE: All three are filled with currants, raisins and sultanas (the “dried” version of grapes) and therefore pose the same health risk. They are also made with fat and suet, and laced with alcohol -- from scotch and brandy to sugary liqueurs – all of which can cause severe stomach upsets.

 

With some strategic planning beforehand, you and your dog can be assured of spending the happiest and safest of holidays together.


Article by Nomi Berger

 

 

 

NO PETS AS PRESENTS AT CHRISTMAS

Posted by saskatoondogrescue on December 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)


With the approach of the holidays, everyone’s thoughts turn naturally to the happy chore of gift giving. While most people opt for the tried and true, hoping another gift certificate isn’t too impersonal or another scarf or bottle of perfume isn’t too predictable, they’re much safer choices than those being considered by some this season: the purchase of a pet.

 

The gift of a dog or puppy is not the same as the gift of a large, stuffed plush toy. More often than not, wrapping a red ribbon and bow around the neck of a living, breathing dog signals only one thing: trouble. Dogs are NOT toys, and should never be anyone’s holiday surprise. Unlike other holiday purchases, there are no refunds or exchanges on dogs. Only serious, possibly dire consequences. Although the idea of a dog as a gift may sound thoughtful, it is, in reality, thoughtless.

 

Why? Because the gift OF a dog means accepting the responsibility FOR that dog. It must be more than a well-meant whim, the desire to be different. It must be a carefully considered choice. An informed decision made by everyone involved in what may ultimately be a 10 to 15 year commitment.

 

Such decisions require homework and due diligence. Research into dog breeds most appropriate for your family, your lifestyle and your environment; house, condo or apartment; fenced yard or no yard. Intelligent questions asked of owners of those particular breeds and of a knowledgeable veterinarian.

 

Does anyone in your family suffer from allergies? Does everyone even WANT a dog? Do they understand what it means to share in the training, feeding and raising of a dog? Because adding a dog to your family not only involves time and money, it means providing that same dog with a loving and stable home.

 

Children should NEVER be presented with a puppy at any time of the year. Typically, they will be charmed by such a furry, little plaything that leaps and yips, squeals and nips, and rolls over onto its back for tummy rubs. For the first few days. Until the novelty wears off and reality sets in. The reality of helping care for their cute, squirming little gift. Puppies are not so cute when they have to be trained to potty outside or walked outdoors in the rain and snow.

 

Those well-intentioned gift givers – the parents – will now be that puppy’s full time caregivers, and, sadly, many of them weren’t prepared for this eventuality. The result: one more puppy either abandoned by the side of the road, dropped off at a pound, or surrendered to a shelter. Probably to be euthanized. Neither respectable breeders nor responsible rescue groups will either sell or adopt out a puppy or a dog as a holiday gift. They are all too familiar with the heartbreaking results of such dangerous impulse buys.

Never purchase a puppy or a dog for someone else – whether it’s a close relative or an even closer friend. The same rules apply. Only doubly so. What you consider an act of generosity may, unfortunately, be seen as an imposition. If any of them want a dog, it’s up to them to make that choice. That same, carefully considered choice and intelligent, informed decision.

 

To ensure that your holidays are happy, ensure that your gifts do NOT include pets.


Article by Nomi Berger