Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Along with the fun and excitement of seeing family and friends, Thanksgiving can also be stressful for both humans and canines. This busy day can disrupt a dog’s routine and present potentially dangerous circumstances. But by following a few common-sense tips, Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time enjoyed by all.
- Make no bones about it. Cooked turkey and chicken bones are not for dogs as they can easily break, causing choking or bone shards to get stuck in your dog’s gums. Stick with “dog bones” specifically designed for dogs to chew. Ask your local veterinarian for suggestions.
- Holiday sweets are not dog treats. Candy, cookies, cakes, peppermints—and especially chocolate. Keep all sweets away from your dog and in a place where they cannot be reached.
- Seasonings: Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste great, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Onions and onion powder, widely found in stuffing and used as a general seasoning, will destroy your dog’s red blood cells, which can lead to anemia
- No Bread Dough
Don’t spoil your pet’s holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal’s body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.
- Mistletoe, poinsettias and amaryllis can be toxic. Be aware of these poisonous holiday plants and keep your pets away from them.
- Garbage: Keep an eye on the garbage and keep it securely fastened! If your dog gets into it, he may think he’s hit the jackpot, but all he’ll be winning is health problems from something as simple as gastric disturbance, vomiting and diarrhea to the worst-case scenario – death.
- relaxed dog is a good dog. Most dogs are excitable when guests arrive. Exercise your dog prior to the arrival of guests. As a general rule, it’s best not to allow the family dog to greet unfamiliar guests because commotion and unusual circumstances can cause stress for dogs. Allow your canine companion to join the festivities after the initial commotion of arrival has subsided.
- Keep the liquids flowing! When pets are stressed by unfamiliar circumstances, they typically pant more, so keep fresh water readily available for them to drink.
Pets won’t be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.
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 and northern Chester County. For more information, call 1-877-500 BARK (2275) or visit www.barkbusters.com.
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