As Father’s Day and the beginning of summer approaches, many of us spend time outside entertaining friends and family. Here are some tips to enjoy your summer cookouts with your four-legged family member:
• Traditional Bar-B-Que foods, like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and corn on the cob, are NOT good for your pet. Keep all food out of reach from your pooch. The temptation can be too much when snacks are in reach and they smell so good. Be sure to feed your dog before company arrives to ensure that she eats the right foods.
• Keep grilling materials such as charcoal, matches, lighter fluid, or propane tanks, where your dog can’t reach them.
• Alcohol is not good for pets, so keep your margaritas out of her reach. Dogs do not absorb alcohol the same way people do. It is very toxic to them, so leave the libations to you and your people friends.
• Many cookouts revolve around our summer holidays. Try a festive costume such as a patriotic bandana. Everybody loves decorations, but make sure they are not choking hazards for the dog or that they are up high with the food.
• Having friends over can be fun for your pets too, but sometimes it is a little overwhelming. Always supervise children playing with your dogs. Make sure your dog has a safe place to go if she wants to get away.
• Ensure ID tags are on and readable. With people coming and going during parties, your dog or other pets may get out. Make sure they get home safe with proper ID tags and microchips.
Jeri Wagner is a canine behavioral therapist and master trainer. Jeri uses a natural training system leveraging the same communication methods – body language and voice control – that dogs follow as part of their instinctive pack mentality. Training takes place in the home where the problems generally occur. Jeri trains in western Montgomery County, northern Chester County and eastern Berks County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
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