Safety Tips for Super Bowl Sunday

Like almost everyone else, we’ll be tuning into the Super Bowl this Sunday (Snacks galore! Half-time show! Oh, and football!). However, certain foods and drinks typically consumed during the “big game” can be dangerous to your pets.

Play safe! The following are no-no’s for dogs and cats:

Alcohol — Plain and simple, alcohol is a toxin and even small amounts can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, coma, or death in pets.

Chips & Dip — Most dips contain onions and garlic, which destroy pets’ red blood cells and can result in anemia. Salty foods, such as potato chips, can cause excessive thirst, urination, and sodium poisoning.

Guacamole — Avocado contains persin, a substance that can prove fatal to birds. For dogs and cats, it’s unclear how toxic it is, but it is recommended that avocados or anything made from them not be fed to your pets.  The pit also causes concern for dogs, as it can lead to an intestinal obstruction or can even become lodged in their throats.

Ice Cream — Everyone loves ice cream, including — unfortunately — pets. Dairy products can upset their digestive tracts and cause stomach distress and diarrhea.

Nuts — Besides being a choking hazard, certain nuts like macadamias can poison your pets.  As few as six can cause your pet to experience muscle tremors, weakness, vomiting, fever and an elevated heart rate.  Eating chocolate with nuts can exacerbate these symptoms.

Chocolate — Chocolate contains dairy (see above) and a chemical called theobromine, which can be fatal to pets.

Fat Trimmings — Fat trimmed from meats like barbecued ribs can cause pancreatitis in dogs.

Bones — While you might think it is second nature to give a dog a bone (or chicken wing, as the case may be), bones can cause obstructions in pets’ digestive tracts and also lead to choking. They can also break off and puncture the animal’s stomach lining.

Caffeinated Beverages — Sugary sodas are a staple at any party, but not for your animals.  The caffeine in soda, coffee, tea, and iced tea can be toxic to pets and lead to abnormal heart rhythms, seizure, and death.

Guests should be aware of the dangers that certain food and drinks could have on your pets. Ask your guests not to feed or sneak food to them. If you notice that your dog or cat has ingested something they shouldn’t have or are acting sick, bring them to our office as soon as possible.

Enjoy the game!

 

Share

Dog Walking 101

Because January is “Walk Your Pet Month,” we would like to share some tips with you from ASPCA to help you and your dog have the most enjoyable time when taking a walk.

Dog Walking 101

It’s the Leash You Can Do

What’s the best type of leash? “Use whatever you feel most comfortable holding,” recommends the ASPCA Animal Behavior Center’s Kristen Collins, CPDT.

  • Flexi-leads are best reserved for walks in the park, when it’s safe for a dog to explore a bit further away from her pet parent. They are NOT a good idea if you’re walking in an area with high foot traffic or off-leash dogs, as the long line may get wrapped around your dog, a person’s leg or another dog.
  • Many people think chain leashes look nice, but they are much heavier than nylon or leather, and they can be very hard on the hands. Even so, they sometimes work well for dogs who like to tug or bite the leash. “Metal doesn’t feel nearly as nice in a dog’s mouth,” explains Collins.
  • Leather leashes are a good option because they are easiest on the hands.
  • Nylon leashes can cut into hands or give a pet parent “leash burn” if a dog pulls a lot or unexpectedly lunges forward. But they come in many stylish colors and designs, and they hold up well after repeated exposure to rain and snow.

Pull Over, Rover!

Constant pulling on the leash makes walks stressful for both of you. “It’s a common problem that can happen for a number of reasons,” says Collins.

  • If your dog darts after local wildlife, it may help to walk him when critters are less likely to be out and about; avoid dawn and dusk.
  • If the problem is simply pulling on leash due to natural canine enthusiasm for all the exciting signs and sounds you encounter on walks, you’ll find help in our article Teaching Your Dog Not to Pull on Leash.
  • Try using a head halter to walk a dog who’s excitable on leash. “They provide power steering for dog parents!” says Collins. “The Gentle Leader® by Premier® Pet Products is my personal favorite.”

Stay Off the Grass (and Out of the Flower Beds!)

Our experts at the ASPCA Poison Control Center want you to keep your walks toxin-free:

  • During the warmer months, it’s important to keep your pet safe from toxic lawn and garden products. Insecticides and certain types of mulch can cause problems for our furry friends—during neighborhood strolls, please be sure to keep your pooch off the lawns of others.
  • Even though popular spring bulb plants like tulips and daffodils add much to our landscape, they can cause significant stomach problems for our furry friends. If your pooch likes to stop and smell—or nibble—the flowers, please keep him on a short leash during your walks.

So Nice to Meet You!

It’s great that your friendly pooch loves meeting people during walks—but not so great that she jumps up on them. “The basic idea is to teach your dog how to sit on cue and then require her to sit to interact with people,” says Collins. “No sitting, no greeting. But if she sits, she gets to enjoy the reward of greeting her friends.” It doesn’t hurt to reward the dog with a treat—or ask the person whom she’s greeting to offer a treat.

Three Things To Bring

  • If you’re planning an extended walk, be sure to bring water for your dog—especially if it’s warm outside.
  • Don’t forget the goodies! Walks are great training opportunities. Bring Fido’s fave treats along, and practice tricks and obedience while you’re out in the world. “This will solidify your dog’s skills and convince him that going on walks is fantastic fun!” says Collins.
  • Don’t get caught without extra poop bags, particularly if you’re going on a long walk.  (P.S. This is a great way to recycle all those plastic grocery bags!)

Watch for Creepy Crawlies

Depending on the time of the year and the area of the country you live in, sneaky critters like snakes, spiders, scorpions and bees can be a serious concern for pet and parent alike. If you’re walking in a densely wooded area, take extra care to keep an eye out for hidden dangers.

To Be Free or Not to Be Free—That Is the Question

Taking a walk to a dog park or other fenced-in area that’s safe for canines to romp freely? Make sure your dog is prepared for off-leash play. “Your dog must know how to come when called,” says Collins, “so the most important thing to do is teach a really reliable recall.”

Take It Up a Notch

Here are some suggestions for making walks more fun for your dog:

  • Mix it up! Try taking your dog to new places. He’ll love experiencing the new sights, smells and sounds at a novel location.
  • Choose fabulous destinations. If possible, walk to fun places, like friends’ houses or the dog park.
  • Walk with buddies. If your dog likes other dogs, consider group walks. You can either borrow a friend’s dog to accompany you, or invite family and friends who have dogs to meet you somewhere.

What’s Bugging You?

Walking in humid, mosquito-friendly areas? Spray yourself, not your pooch! Even though it’s tempting to share insect repellent with your pooch, it can be a grave mistake. Insect repellent should never be applied to dogs, who can suffer neurological problems from the toxic ingredient, DEET. Instead, ask us for a suitable, pet-specific alternative.

Share

January is National Train Your Dog Month

Dog tip for 2015: make training a part of your everyday life with your dog!

 

 

 

From the Association of Professional Dog Trainers:

For the fifth annual National Train Your Dog Month, we will promote training the family dog with everyday manners – the behaviors found in the APDT’s Canine Life and Social Skills program!

We will offer a variety of free webinars to the public with tips and tricks for teaching the “basics” – sit, down, stay, wait, coming when called and walking on a loose leash.

Please visit them at www.trainyourdogmonth.com for more information.

About Train Your Dog Month

In 2010 the Association of Professional Dog Trainers began the National Train Your Dog Month campaign. The APDT thought it was long overdue to dedicate a month to bringing awareness to the importance of socialization and training, and most of all, to inform the public that training your dog can be easy and fun! We selected January as the perfect month because so many dogs and puppies are adopted or purchased from breeders and brought home during the winter holidays. Our desire is to help these new pet parents start off the new year right with their newest family member.

The event is designed to promote the importance and benefits of training dogs to become happy and healthy companions. Too many dogs are turned into animal shelters each year for behavior and training issues that could be easily solved with proper socialization and positive, gentle, science-based methods of training. Moreover, we want the public to know that training your dog is not just beneficial, it’s FUN!

Puppy tip: Socialize your puppy right from the start to create a healthy, happy adult dog!

Share