It is holiday season and treats are everywhere. Some of my patients have already raided the stocking stash and after Santa comes, even more goodies will be lying around. We are baking and snacking and our dogs are a part of the family. Why can your dog not be a part of all the merry making like everyone else? Well, there is a very good reason. Many of our treats and goodies contain chocolate. Dogs are different from humans. There are ingredients in the chocolate that can make them very ill, or could even be fatal.
There are two ingredients toxic to dogs in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine. Caffeine can cause tremors, increased heart rate, and other cardiovascular side effects. Theobromine is actually the more dangerous of the two, as even low doses of it will require medical treatment.
Each dog will react differently to the ingestion of chocolate, so if you see your dog eat it, don’t waste time searching for the answer online. If your regular vet is open, they are your first stop. If not, then call the animal ER, or even the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. If suspect your dog ate chocolate, you need to call!
It will help if you know what type of chocolate it was and how much was in the package. Different kinds of chocolate contain differing amounts of the toxic components. White chocolate and milk chocolate are the least hazardous. Dark chocolate and Baker’s chocolate are the most hazardous, since they contain the highest amounts of theobromine.
Your vet will need to know how roughly much was consumed and then will then be able to calculate the toxic dose to use as a guide for the aggressiveness of treatment. Also, bring the label because it contains information about any other ingredients, like xylitol (which is toxic on its own). It helps to know what kind of wrapper might have gone down with the chocolate too, in case it could cause a physical obstruction.
Also, if you can remember how much of the chocolate was left in the bag, the vet would appreciate an idea of how much was consumed. Ask your family members if they know before you leave. If you are not sure, it is always better to assume the dog ate more than he did and be aggressive in treatment, rather than be sorry because you were too conservative.
Chocolate is not the only holiday offender, but is one of the more common ones. Other kinds of “people food” can cause problems too. Be overly cautious about keeping things out of reach of nosey canines. Have a happy and safe holiday with no visits to the animal ER!
The FDA has issued a warning to dog lovers. Check this out!
In the face of all the natural disasters we have faced across the country, have you ever thought about how you might fare evacuating people and pets from your home? You should! Planning can make all the difference. On the show today, we have Debbie Martin, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, LVT, VTS (Behavior) who has lived through Hurricane Katrina with ALL of her pets. She has expert and real life advice for everyone to plan and react to dangerous natural disasters. Hear what she says made all the difference for a happily FUR ever after! Click the link below to listen for FREE.
Of course! My local Humane Educational Society is hosting a 2018 calendar contest and we all need to enter our pets. Tell your friends to vote so your pet might be on the cover! Here is the link:
Your dog might bug you occasionally, but guess what…you irritate him too! The most common cause of annoying your dog is when you expect him to be something he is not (or won’t let him be who he is).
1.Lack of discipline and structure
Normal dogs naturally live in a group. They understand rank and hierarchy. They love structure and order, but people can be random and inexplicable. We have to take steps to afford our dogs with routines and boundaries they can count on. They adore knowing where they stand in the pecking order (which is best to be below the humans in the household for everyone’s safety) and they want to be able to know what to expect. Having a predictable schedule with consistent bonding and playtime makes dogs feel in control and getting regular exercise helps balance their brain chemistry.
2.Placing value on things
Dogs understand the value of resource, but resources are things like food, water, and shelter. They will never understand why we would upset that they destroyed our possessions. Don’t enforce your value system on your dog, but instead try to understand the way he sees life. Shoes, pillows and house plants are just “stuff” to him. Don’t punish him if he doesn’t value items like you do. If an item is important to you, make it inaccessible to him, but don’t expect him to know not to damage it.
3.Imposing her friendships
We all have friends and they often have dogs. We imagine our dog wants to be friends with our friends’ dogs as well, but it may not work out. Dogs understand the value of coordination and teamwork, but they see you and your family as their pack. The family pack may not include your friend’s dog. If your dog doesn’t play well with a dog that you wish he would, give him space and keep everyone safe. Allow gradual acclimation and understand that some dogs are never going to get along. If the dogs must interact, keep them on leashes and carefully observed. Always reward your dog for ignoring or pleasant to the other dog and distract him from defensive or aggressive behavior. Stay safe in the event of a scuffle and never put your hands or body parts between fighting dogs.
Dogs are dogs and they have a different way of seeing the world than humans. Humans are supposed to be the brains of the operation, so make it your business to learn as much as you can about how your dog thinks. Think about life in a wolf pack. Our dogs are not wolves, but they share some similarities in their social structure. The more you know about your dog’s instincts and behaviors, the better friend you can be to him.
Do you love dogs? Join “the pack” on Facebook by clicking here and becoming my “fur-iend”.
There is a brand new initiative called Fear Free Happy Homes and it is available to all pet owners at now charge. Knowledge is power and this knowledge comes free! All you do is register and you get access to LOADS of great info!
- What puzzle toys to buy for your pets
- How to set up routines for training
- How to get rid of skunk smell
- How to safely pet proof your home
- Teaching your cat not to damage your furnishings
- And more!
Check it out by clicking HERE.