Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prepare your dog for a fiesta

What are your plans this Cinco de Mayo?  We all love to have backyard Barbeques with family and friends.  We stock up on drinks, clean off the lawn furniture, and fire up the grill to cook tons of food for our guests.  What we don’t think of, however, is how all of these guests will interact with the dog.  Here are some basic safety tips to enforce at your next party to ensure everyone has a good time, including the dog.

1.  Take your dog for a long walk or run before the event.  Your dog is less likely to be hyper, disobedient, or stressed out once guests start coming to the door.
2.  Don’t let anyone feed the dog.  Giving a dog table scraps after dinner is one thing, but having 15 different people, who don’t know your dogs regular diet, giving your dog whatever food they want is dangerous.  There are many human foods that dogs simply cannot digest or may be toxic.  Be sure to keep the following foods away from your dog on any occasion:
            A. Onion and garlic - can cause haemolytic anaemia in both cats and dogs.
            B. Raisins and grapes - can cause kidney failure.
            C. Avocado - contains a substance known as persin which is toxic to both dogs and cats.
            D. Mushrooms - the toxins in these can cause shock and can even lead to death.
            E. Chocolate - this contains theobromine which is toxic to both cats and dogs.
             -Courtesy of Jane Grishaw’s article “The dangers of feeding table scraps to cats and dogs”
3.  Don’t let anyone give your dog any drinks.  Whether it is alcoholic or not, caffeine, sugar, and alcohol can make a dog very sick.  You may think letting your dog get drunk is funny but you are putting your dog’s life in danger, not to mention, potentially costing yourself a large vet bill and animal cruelty charges.
4. If you plan to set off fireworks or crackers (anything that might startle our dog) put your dog in a quiet room on the other end of the house and turn on calming music to avoid upsetting him/her.  A frightened dog will become irrational and unpredictable in their behaviors and may also become aggressive.
5.  Be sure all doors and side gates are properly closed after each guest arrives.  You may be too wrapped up in a party to notice your dog is missing.  By the time you realize your dog is missing, he could have been hit by a car, been picked up by a stranger, or picked up by animal control. 
Whether it’s a backyard Barbeque or a day out on the town, your dog would love to be included.  Just remember to keep you dogs safety in mind whenever you are around a crowd of people. 

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