Holiday Dog Safety Checklist

We’re just a few days away from our Thanksgiving celebration and as we are gathering with family and friends, we must be mindful of our furry family members. The holidays present many dangers to dogs and cats.

The fine folks at PuppySpot provided me with a Holiday Dog Safety Checklist (see the graphic below) which highlights not only the the most common dangers, but some you may not have been aware. Please take a moment to look it over and be careful in keeping your animal companions safe this holiday season.

I can attest to the consequences of giving well-meaning “treats” to a dog. Several years ago, I came home from a Thanksgiving dinner with containers of yummy left-overs. I thought the dogs would appreciate a sampling of our Thanksgiving goodies and when I fed them that evening, I gave just a little spoonful of stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey and a drizzle of gravy. Well, as you can imagine, they LOVED it! It made me so happy to see them really enjoying their special holiday meal.

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That happiness was short-lived however, when my Maggie suddenly became ill the next day. She vomited all over the house and I took her to the vet right away where she was diagnosed with a moderately severe case of pancreatitis. That little spoonful of Thanksgiving dinner stuffs had way too much fat content for her system to handle and it threw her into that very dangerous condition. She was in the hospital on IV fluids for several days. What I thought would be a nice treat came at a very high cost, not only to sweet Maggie but to me as well. The vet bill was quite expensive.

I learned a hard lesson all those years ago. Ever since, I’ve been hyper-vigilant about the food and treats that I give my dogs. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “just a little bit won’t hurt them”. It could very well kill them.

This coming Thanksgiving weekend is the time when many start putting up their Christmas decorations. Be mindful of the ornaments that you hang on your tree, especially on the lower branches. Those dangling ornaments are very inviting to some animals. I highly recommend putting a gate around the tree so the dogs or cats can’t get to the ornaments. My Luca was quick on the draw last Christmas before I had a chance to get the gate around the base and he nabbed a glass ball off the tree and bit into it, shattering the glass shards in his mouth. Luckily he wasn’t injured but that could’ve turned out quite differently. Keep those glass ornaments up high and get that gate around the tree as soon as possible!

Thanks to Rachel at PuppySpot (who have a wonderful No Puppy Mill Promise) for providing this comprehensive Holiday Dog Safety Checklist. Please share with your animal-loving friends.

Holiday Safety Checklist for Dogs

Be careful, be safe and be smart!

Happy Thanksgiving to all…

Do You Know How to Do CPR on Your Dog?

This just came in my Inbox from Trudog.com and I thought I’d share it with you. You never know when you’ll need it. I wonder, had I known how to do this, could I have saved my sweet Maggie who died of a massive heart attack right next to me in bed one morning? I gave her mouth-to-nostril resuscitation but not chest compressions. Wish I had had this information all those years ago:

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It’s hard seeing your dog in a life or death situation, especially when you’re the only one that can save his life. Desperation and fear may cause you to panic in circumstances like this, but having the tools and skills you need to change the situation will arm you with confidence. If your dog is unresponsive or not breathing, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR may be necessary.

Indications that CPR may be needed include your dog not breathing, blinking, moving, or unconsciousness. These signs can be a result of the dog choking, cardiac arrest, electric shock, drowning, choking or many other traumatic situations. The CPR maneuver will artificially pump blood and oxygen to your dog for a short period of time until you are able to get veterinary help. Although there is no guarantee that this will save your furry friend’s life, it certainly increases their chances at survival.

If you have to perform CPR on your dog or a friend’s dog, it’s important to try to stay calm. Remove any immediate dangers to you or the dog before beginning. If necessary, move the dog to a safe area before beginning. Have someone get on the phone with an emergency veterinarian right away while you perform compressions.

Knowing what to do in an emergency can save lives, and you never know when you’ll need this life-saving information. You can also keep the Red Cross Pet First Aid app on your mobile phone for use during an emergency.

Unfortunately, if there is no oxygenated blood flowing to the brain for more than 10 minutes brain damage is almost certain and the chances of recovery are grim, so be sure to rush your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Sometimes performing CPR for a few minutes will give the dog enough time to recover just enough to start breathing on his own again.

Always be prepared for an emergency. Act quickly but decisively. And don’t forget to ask your angels for help!

Notable Quotable – Wide Open

Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open

                                           ~ Unknown

My good friend Lisa came by last week for a visit to introduce me to her new baby and she brought my Christmas presents. One of them was this fabulous wall-hanging (which is currently hanging on my Christmas tree) with this inspirational quote.

Live Like Someone Left the Gate Open

It reminded me of the day two of my greyhounds got loose. This happened years ago when I had my sweet babies Maggie, Bella and Dodge. I had let them out in the backyard to play and was doing something in the house when I suddenly heard tags jingling at my front door. I opened the front door and there stood Dodge! Shocked, I brought him in and said “How did you get out here?!”

I ran into the backyard and was horrified to discover that the lock on the gate had broken off and it was wide open…with Maggie and Bella nowhere in sight. I panicked and jumped in my truck and started driving around the neighborhood. I’m cruising down the road and checking all the cross streets when I spied both of them, nose to the ground, sniffing something in the middle of the road. I pulled up, jumped out of the truck and went over to them. They were sniffing a dead worm. Figures that. I said “C’mon. Get in the truck!” and they loaded up.

I’ll never forget the looks on their faces. They were panting like crazy and literally had the biggest grins on their faces. It was like they were saying, “pant pant pant, “This was fun Mom! Can we do this again?? Huh? Can we??” Pant pant pant…” It was obvious that they had had so much fun on their little adventure.

There were two great lessons there. One: Always be sure the locks on your gates are secure. And two: Live like someone left the gate open…

 

Do you live like someone left the gate open?

 

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