Archive for October, 2014

Safe Toys For Your Pampered Pooch

If you’ve ever been inside a pet store or wandered through the pet aisle of your local discount store, you’ll notice a plethora of dog toys. However, just because it’s labeled and tagged as a toy for dogs doesn’t mean it’s a good option for your pet. Before buying a toy for your dog, there are several factors to keep in mind regarding safety.

Why buy toys at all?

Dogs are people too, right? They get bored and need some form of entertainment, especially if their humans are busy or away at work. Some toys give a dog something to do, while others provide comfort. It’s good to have a variety of each type and hide them around the home or rotate for play time.

The size of the toy and dog matter.

A small lightweight toy is going to be destroyed quickly by a large dog and pose a choking hazard as well. A large heavy toy may be harmful to a small or toy breed by being too much for little jaws to carry around. Make sure to get toys appropriate to your dog’s size and jaw strength.

Dogs and kids are eerily similar.

Just like kids, dogs are often attracted to dangerous things. Anyone that has ever had a dachshund for instance, knows they love to silence the squeaky toy. The squeaking mechanisms can be the equivalent of giving a marble to an infant. In the mouth it goes, where it can easily cause a choking hazard or lodge further down in the digestive tract. I wouldn’t recommend making a habit of giving squeaky toys to dogs and strongly suggest constant supervision when doing so.

For comfort

Many dogs love a ‘lovie’ of some sort. Many female dogs will treat a stuffed animal like a puppy by carrying it around, licking and putting one paw over it for sleeping. Just make sure the stuffed animal doesn’t have button eyes that pose a choking hazard and check frequently for rips that might lead to lost stuffing. The stuffing can cause choking and vomiting so either sew it up or replace when it starts to come apart. You’ll save yourself and your dog an extra trip to the vet.

Make-do dog toy

If you’ve had to toss all your dog’s toys and haven’t been able to pick up new ones, make one from old laundry. And old t-shirt rolled up and sewn or tied in knots makes a good toy and probably smells great to your dog!


Rawhides should be given with caution. Dogs that race to finish their treats are at risk of swallowing big chunks that can get lodged in the esophagus, so supervise your dog and ensure he chews appropriately. Not all rawhides are made with strict manufacturing principles so they can cause stomach upsets due to E.coli or Salmonella. They are also high-fat and high salt treats (this is what makes them tasty!). Depending on what you purchase rawhides can also support unethical trades such as the fur industry, so consider what animal the rawhide comes from and whether you want to support the industry and company that made it. That being said, rawhides are a great (relatively) natural treat that can be excellent for dental health and satisfy your dog’s urge to chew.


Vet recommended toys for active dogs:




  1. Ezydog Dogstar Flyer – Made of durable nylon, this frisbee is recommended for two reasons. It floats and is durable yet soft enough not to cause trauma to teeth or gums.





  1. Kong Puppy Wubba Toy – Whether playing a gentle game of tug-o-war or fetch, this toy is sturdy enough for hours of interactive play.





  1. Omega Paw Tricky Treat Ball – This is a toy designed to entice dogs with the scent of a treat inside or can be used for playing fetch.




  1. Jax and Bones Good Karma Rope Toy – These toys are sturdy yet comforting for dogs to carry around and keep nearby.




  1. Zogoflex Hurley Dog Chew Toy – Dogs love the flexible chewiness of this toy. Humans love that it’s very long lasting, practically indestructible and floats.

Most importantly, enjoy time with your furry friend. Remember, you’re his human for life. Make it count.




Eloise Bright is a mom to Duster, the Pomeranian, and Jimmy, the cat. As a Sydney based veterinarian of 7 years currently working with Love That Pet, Eloise has taken the opportunity to volunteer at charity clinics and is now completing her Masters in Small Animal Practice.


Popular Dog Breeds: Great Danes

Despite their enormous size, Great Danes are a very popular breed. They rank in the top 20 of the American Kennel Club’s most popular breeds each year. Strong, elegant, and friendly, Great Danes are, nevertheless, energetic dogs and they do require plenty of room and regular exercise.

Great Danes are a mastiff or molosser-type dog which is a very large family of dogs containing all kinds of powerful dogs found all over the world. Dogs similar to the Great Dane have been known for several thousand years. However, today’s Great Dane seems to trace to the Irish Wolfhound and the Mastiff from the Middle Ages. The breed as it is known today is about 400 years old. Great Danes are not actually from Denmark but come from Germany where they were bred to hunt wild boar which can be ferocious. When boar hunting was no long necessary, the breed became an esteemed companion and estate guard dog. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1887.

Great Danes are true gentle giants and they make excellent family dogs. They are sweet, loving dogs in the home and they get along great with children. However, because of their great size, owners need to be especially careful about letting children play with the dogs. It’s very easy for a playful Great Dane to knock a child over or pin a child to the ground while playing. They mean no harm but someone can get hurt. The same is true when a Great Dane plays with smaller dogs. Parents should always supervise when their Great Dane plays with small children or small dogs.

Otherwise, Great Danes make wonderful pets. They require regular daily exercise and they do eat quite a bit. You can expect your food bills and other bills associated with dog ownership to be somewhat higher when you have such a large dog. They require minimal grooming since they have a short, smooth coat. In the U.S. their ears are usually cropped.

Great Danes have a striking appearance and most people recognize them on sight. In addition to their great size, the dogs are regal, dignified, strong, and elegant in appearance. They should be spirited, courageous, friendly, and dependable. The head is rectangular, expressive, and distinguished. Eyes are dark with a lively, intelligent expression.

Minimum height of 30 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 28 inches tall for females. Males can weigh between 120-200 lbs; and females can weigh between 100-130 lbs.

The coat comes in a number of colors: Brindle, Fawn, Blue, Black, Harlequin and Mantle (similar to a Boston Terrier).

As a giant breed, the Great Dane has some special needs, especially as a puppy. It’s important to make sure that puppies do not grow too fast or they can develop musculo-skeletal problems as adults. Feed your Great Dane puppy an appropriate large breed puppy food. Make sure that you don’t overfeed a large breed puppy or allow him to become overweight since this can result in joint and hip problems later in life. Slow growth from a moderate diet if always recommended for large and giant breed puppies.

You should also take care that you don’t allow giant breed puppies to over-exercise when they are young. Repetitive actions (such as jogging with an owner on a bike) or allowing a puppy to leap from high places can lead to bone and joint injuries. It takes a long time for a giant breed puppy’s growth plates to close so try to keep your big puppy from over-doing things and injuring himself.

Like some other large and giant breed dogs, Great Danes can have problems with bloat, or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). It’s usually recommended to feed such dogs several smaller meals per day rather than one or two large meals. You can find other recommendations about how to try to avoid bloat online. Hip dysplasia can also be an issue for Great Danes. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can also occur in the breed.

Many giant dog breeds have a shorter lifespan than other breeds. The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 6 to 8 years. Even the healthiest Great Danes don’t usually live past 10 years, though some dogs have been known to live to be 12-13 years of age.

While you may think of Scooby Do and Marmaduke when you see a Great Dane, they really aren’t that hard to train. They are BIG but they still think and act like other dogs. If you have a Great Dane puppy or rescue, training is very important. Otherwise, you could find yourself chasing a rambunctious dog when he ignores your calls to come back. So, do plan on puppy kindergarten or puppy preschool for your puppy, followed by a good basic obedience class. If you have a rescue dog, sign up for the first obedience class you can. When a dog weighs 120 pounds, you really want him to listen to you.

Be sure to socialize puppies and young dogs well. Some Great Danes can become anxious and too glued to their owners if they don’t have enough socialization training when they are young.

If you have to leave your dog home alone everyday, make sure you provide him with lots of chew toys and other things to keep him amused. Otherwise, he will find his own ways to amuse himself and they will probably include eating your sofa. When a Great Dane is bored, you will know it. For this reason, make sure you are providing your puppy or dog with enough play time and exercise each day.

Great Danes can learn to do the same dog activities and sports as other dogs. You can have fun with obedience, agility, rally, and tracking, for example. Great Danes have a good nose and they can have fun with tracking exercises.

You can learn more about finding a Great Dane and what to expect here:

Winter can be tough on all of us, and that includes your dog. Cold weather, snow, ice, dry air in the house, shivering wind chills when you take your dog for a walk – all of these wintry elements can leave your dog’s coat in desperate need of care. You might be left wondering what happened to the fluffy pup or sleek canine you were petting last summer.

Here are some grooming tips to help your dog survive the winter and keep his good looks.

Groom your dog regularly. Dogs need to be groomed on a regular basis in the winter. This is especially true when they are shedding old coat and growing new hair. Brushing your dog often will also stimulate the skin which spreads the natural skin oil over your dog’s body. These natural oils are good for the skin and they help condition the coat. Remember to clean your dog’s ears regularly and brush his teeth, too. When grooming your dog you should use your hands to feel all over his body. This will help you find any lumps or bumps when they are small so a vet can take care of them before they become serious.

Keep your dog’s coat clean
. Many people think that it’s not necessary for a dog to get a bath in the winter but it’s important to keep your dog’s coat bathed and clean. It’s easier to brush and groom a clean coat. A clean coat won’t smell bad. And keeping the coat bathed and clean will also cut down on the amount of hair that is shed in your home. When you bathe your dog, remember to towel dry or blow dry your dog so that he is completely dry after the bath to avoid skin irritations and hot spots.

Use the right conditioners. A good conditioner can be very important for your dog in the winter. For example, if your dog spends a lot of time playing in the snow, use a silicone based spray-in conditioner to repel snow from the coat. If your dog’s coat is dry and straw-like, trim the ends and use a good conditioning shampoo for his coat type.

Take care of your dog’s paws and nails
. Long hair around the paw pads will accumulate ice and snow when your dog is outside so keep this hair trimmed short. Check your dog’s paws for snow and ice when he comes inside the house. If he does have ice between his toes, you can remove the ice comfortably by placing his paws in warm water. Be sure to check your dog’s ear tips and pads for frostbite, too, especially if he spends a long time outside in low temps. Make sure you keep his nails trimmed regularly, too. If your dog’s paws or nose becomes chapped, you can soothe them with some lanolin. Avoid letting your dog walk on salted or chemical-treated sidewalks, if possible. You can also invest in some dog booties to protect your dog’s paws.

Dry your dog when he’s been outside.
If your dog has been outside playing in the snow, be sure to towel him off until he’s dry when he comes inside. Or use the blow dryer to dry him and warm him up.

Beware of sunburn! Yes, dogs do become sunburned, even in winter. Dogs with white coats, especially short, thin coats, are especially prone to sunburn, or winter burn. You can apply sunscreen to your dog to help prevent this burn. Hairless dogs will also need sunscreen to protect them from burning.

Put a coat or sweater on your dog if he needs one. Lots of people are uncertain whether their dog needs a coat or sweater. While dogs can usually tolerate normal winter temperatures, it’s important to remember that many breeds are now living in places where they didn’t develop. Chihuahuas, from a warm area in Mexico, get cold in northern cities. The same is true of many other small breeds who were bred to live in the home and be companions. A large Newfoundland who can jump into icy waters probably won’t ever need a coat; nor will a Siberian Husky; but there are many breeds who can use some extra warmth on a cold day. If you have a breed with a thin coat such as an Italian Greyhound, for example, and your dog shivers when he’s outside in the cold, go ahead and get him a coat or sweater.

Finally, keep your dog well-hydrated in winter and provide extra calories if necessary. Cold weather usually causes dogs to use extra energy just to stay warm so they often need some extra calories, especially if they spend much time outside. Feeding a nutritious dog food is one of the best ways to help your dog have a healthy skin and coat. Remember that snow and ice are not adequate sources of water for your dog. Be sure to provide plenty of fresh water for your dog in the winter. Clean water to drink will help your do maintain healthy skin and coat, too.

Pampered Celebrity Dogs

Celebrities may live a grander lifestyle than many of us, but it’s obvious that they love their pets just as much as the most down to earth person. Many celebrities even post about their pets on their Twitter feeds and take them with them wherever they go. Here are some famous celebrities who have gone to the max to pamper their beloved canine companions.

The Queen
We’re not sure if Queen Elizabeth II has a Twitter account, but there’s no shortage of stories in the press about the Queen and her famous Corgis. The Queen is a devoted dog lover and has had dogs all her life. She currently has about 10 Corgis and Dorgis (a cross between her Corgis and her late sister’s Dachshunds), as well as some of her late mother’s remaining Corgis. Needless to say, these dogs live in royal style. Nothing but the best will do for Her Majesty’s beloved dogs. We’re told that the dogs eat restaurant quality dinners prepared specially for them by the royal chefs. The Queen personally prepares Christmas stockings for each of the dogs.

Kate Middleton

Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, is not only a new mother, but she’s a dog lover, too. She and Prince William share their Kensington Palace home with the adorable black Cocker Spaniel named Lupo. Lupo was supposed to keep Kate company while William was away on military duty but now he’s a firm fixture in the family. He’s lately been photographed with the royal couple and baby George. They look like the perfect family with the ideal family dog.

Bo Obama
Bo Obama could be considered America’s “First Dog” since he belongs to the First Family. This Portuguese Water Dog first made a splash when he was only six months old. He was a gift from Sen. Edward Kennedy to the Obama family. The Obamas were concerned about getting a dog that would be suitable for kids with allergies and Portuguese Water Dogs are often recommended for people with allergies because of their relatively non-shedding coat. (No dogs are completely hypoallergenic. If you are allergic to dogs you should always meet the dog you are considering first to be sure you can tolerate being around him or her.)

Since his arrival, Bo has been modeled by a soft toy maker and he’s been featured in several children’s books, so he’s a celebrity himself! Bo now has a canine friend at the White House – Sunny, a female Portuguese Water Dog, who arrived in August 2013. There won’t be any puppies, however, since Bo is neutered.

Anne Hathaway
Actress Anne Hathaway, star of Les Miserables and many other hit films, has a beautiful chocolate Labrador Retriever named Esmeralda. According to reports, Anne has been known to take her dog with her to the set when filming her roles.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman may be a hunk, playing roles like Wolverine, but he’s a family man, too. His family chose an adorable French Bulldog named Peaches for a pet. The Australian actor and his daughter Ava have been sighted taking little Peaches for a walk to get some exercise. How adorable is that?

Will Smith
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith seem to be ardent dog lovers. The family has four Rottweilers, including a dog named Indo. All four dogs have had obedience training with the “dog whisperer” himself, Cesar Millan. The family reportedly spent about $1600 on a treadmill to exercise the dogs when they can’t take them for other exercise.

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah is a well-known dog lover. Some of the dogs she’s had that are known to her audiences are Golden Retrievers Sophie, Gracie, Solomon, and Luke. She’s had some of the best dog trainers in the U.S. work with her dogs. Oprah has also told insiders that she has left $30 million to her dogs in her will. Her current dogs are English Springer Spaniels Sunny and Lauren.

The Beckhams
David and Victoria Beckham’s dog Coco has been well-known in Hollywood. Coco is a Bulldog who was a Christmas gift from Victoria to David. The dog is also a playmate to their sons. Coco has been spotted walking around Hollywood with bright pink toenails. According to sources, the nails are really soft nail caps that help prevent scratches to the couple’s expensive furniture and carpets. The nail caps have become popular with many pampered dogs in Hollywood and come in all colors.

Tinkerbell Hilton

We can’t close out an article on pampered dogs without mentioning Paris Hilton and her little Chihuahua Tinkerbell. Paris Hilton at one time had 17 dogs on her estate, so she’s a real dog lover. We don’t know if she still has that many dogs, but Tinkerbell has always been close to her heart, literally. She’s been seen everywhere carrying the little dog in her designer handbags. When she’s not being carried, Tinkebell spends her time in the $325,000 dog house in the garden of Hilton’s Beverly Hills home. Now, that’s pampering.

Honorable mention has to go to Britney Spears’ Chihuahua Bit Bit who dines out in restaurants with her mistress and wears a diamond-encrusted collar. Then there are the three Jack Russell Terriers owned by singer Mariah Carey. When several airlines refused to allow Carey to take JJ with her in first class because of his size, she had him travel around the country in his own personal Mercedes. Pampered? Yes!

Finally, there’s Jinxy Longoria, the Maltese belonging to Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria. According to reports, Jinxy’s hair gets even more attention than Eva’s!

There’s nothing wrong with pampering your dog. Whether you’re a celebrity or you just enjoy reading about famous dogs, you can spoil your dog in fun ways. Just remember to always keep your dog’s best interests in mind and don’t do anything that would make them fearful or cause them distress.

Popular Dog Breeds: Miniature Schnauzers

Smart, trainable, and always cheerful, this smallest of the Schnauzer breeds can easily adapt to living in a city apartment or running around in his own yard in the country. Their double coat sheds very little but it does require regular trimming. Miniature Schnauzers can make a good choice for people who are allergic to dogs.

The Miniature Schnauzer is derived from his larger cousin, the Standard Schnuzer. He comes from Germany where he was first seen as a separate breed around 1899. Originally bred to be a small farm dog, the Miniature Schnauzer was also bred to go to ground after all kinds of vermin. Small Schnauzer-type dogs are seen in German paintings as far back as the 15th century. It’s believed that the Miniature Schnauzer was produced by crossing small Standard Schnauzers with Affenpinchsers and Poodles. The breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1926.

Charming and handsome, the Miniature Schnauzer loves to be home with his family. He is hardy, healthy, intelligent, and fond of children. Mini Schnauzers are very adaptable and enjoy city life as much as living in the country and having their own yard to explore. These dogs usually prefer to avoid a fight but they will stand up for themselves when necessary.

Miniature Schnauzers make good small guard dogs and will give a proper alarm when someone or something comes near the home. These dogs do require regular exercise or they can get into trouble. They are described as alert and spirited dogs, but obedient to command. “Friendly, intelligent, and willing to please…never overaggressive or time.” They are considered easy to train and they have a good territorial instinct but they are more likely to bark than harm someone. They are usually reserved with strangers until they know they are welcome.

Mini Schnauzers do have a high prey drive which means they can hunt other small pets in the home such as hamsters, rabbits, snakes, and birds. They will even attack cats in the home. This behavior can be stopped with steady training or if the dog is raised with a cat.

The Mini Schnauzer is handsome and distinguished in appearance. They are easily identified by their whiskers, wiry coat, leg furnishings, and stocky build. The breed has a double coat which has a hard, wiry outer coat and a close, soft undercoat. Coat colors can be salt and pepper, black and silver and solid black. The Miniature Schnauzer is 12 to 14 inches tall at the withers and weighs 12 to 20 pounds.

Proper coat care for dog shows requires that the dog’s coat be hand-stripped or stripped with a stripping knife that pulls out the dead hair. (This doesn’t hurt. The hair is already dead and is simply being dragged out since it doesn’t shed on its own.) This maintains the correct texture for the outer coat and keeps it wiry. However, most pet owners usually opt to have their pet Miniature Schnauzers clipped by a groomer. This saves time. You should be aware that eventually the coat will lose its wiry feel and only the undercoat will be exposed. This isn’t bad for the dog but it gives the coat a different feel and texture.

Since Miniature Schnauzers shed very little, they often do make a good choice for people with allergies to dogs. As always, if you are allergic to dogs and you are considering getting one, you should meet the individual dog to see how you react to it.

The median lifespan of the Miniature Schnauzer is said to be around 12 years, though it’s not unusual for this breed to live past 15 years. They are a hardy breed. They do tend to suffer from problems associated with high fat levels such as hyperlipidemia and pancreatitis. Diabetes, bladder stones, and eye issues can also be problems. A low fat diet (and fewer treats) are recommended for this breed. Comedone syndrome, a condition that produces pus filled bumps, usually on their backs, also occurs in this breed. Von Willebrand’s disease, an inherited bleeding disorder, can also occur in Miniature Schnauzers.

If you are considering getting a Miniature Schnauzer, you should talk to the breeder about these health issues.

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent dogs and they are usually fairly easy to train. They are good at obedience, agility, rally, tracking, flyball, and other dog sports. They enjoy doing things with their owners. Since they are very playful, energetic dogs, they will have a lot of fun participating in these activities. Many Miniature Schnauzers are food-motivated but you should keep in mind that the breed can have problems with weight and high fat levels. Use low-fat treats if you use treats as a reward.

Popular Dog Breeds: Chihuahuas

Saucy and alert, the popular Chihuahua originally comes from Mexico. They are right at home in the city or cuddled up beside you wherever you may live. Don’t let their small size fool you though. Chihuahuas are quite feisty and can easily take charge of your home.

The Chihuahua is named after the Mexican state of the same name, where the earliest examples of the breed were discovered in modern times. The small dogs were used in religious ceremonies and were pets for the upper classes at one time. The dogs are probably descended from the Techichi, ancient companion dogs of the Toltecs. Records of these dogs date to around the 9th century but it is possible that the dogs were also present during earlier Mayan times. Dogs similar to the Chihuahua have been found in materials from the Pyramids of Cholula and at Chichen Itza on the Yucatan peninsula. Chihuahuas were first recognized by the AKC in 1904.

Chihuahuas are alert, highly intelligent dogs and they make excellent companions. Although they are small in size, they should not be underestimated. The breed has many Terrier-like qualities, although they developed on their own, in a different part of the world from the Terrier breeds. They are smart, curious, often bold and confident, and they don’t always listen to commands. The breed standard describes them as having an attitude of “self importance, confidence, self-reliance.” Chihuahuas make good family pets but they are usually better in homes with slightly older children. Their small size means they can sometimes be injured by very young children who play too roughly or who might fall on them.

Chihuahuas often become very attached to one person in a home which may or may not be a problem. In some instances they can become overly jealous of their favorite person. They can also have problems getting along with other pets.

Chihuahuas come in both longcoats and smoothcoats. Any color is acceptable – solid, marked, or splashed. The dogs have a well-rounded “apple dome” skull and the body is a little off-square in shape. The breed is not supposed to weigh more than 6 pounds but many pet Chihuahuas weigh more than this. Chihuahuas typically stand 6 to 10 inches tall at the shoulder.

Smoothcoated dogs require very little grooming. Longcoated dogs need to be brushed a little more often.

Chihuahuas are a very long-lived breed. It is not unusual for a Chihuahua to live well into his teen years. Some Chihuahuas live to be 18 or 20 years old. The lifespan for the breed is estimated to be 10-18 years. However, like all dogs, they can have some health issues. Teeth can be a problem in the breed, as with many Toy dogs. They may not fit properly or some may be missing. They can also have more problems with tooth decay and losing teeth than larger breeds.

Hydrocephalus can occur in Chihuahua puppies. Molleras occur in Chihuahuas but this is normal for the breed. The skull is not fully formed at birth and there is a soft spot that continues to fill in during the puppy’s first six months. Owners need to be careful during these months so the puppy’s head is not injured.

Hypoglycemia can also be a problem for Chihuahuas, especially for puppies. This is not unusual with Toy breed puppies or very small dogs. It refers to low blood sugar. You should make sure to feed Toy puppies several small meals per day until they are older and can better regulate their blood sugar.

Since Chihuahuas have very large eyes they can be at risk of eye injury. Be sure to clean their eyes and face regularly and check for any wounds or scratches.

Other possible health problems include issues that can affect many Toy breeds such as luxating patellas (slipped kneecaps) and collapsed trachea (a weakness in the tracheal wall that can be exacerbated by pulling against a leash). Heart murmurs and pulmonic stenosis are also possible concerns.

Regular visits to the veterinarian will catch many problems before they become serious. If you are interested in getting a Chihuahua, you should talk to a breeder and be sure to ask about health issues in the breed.

Chihuahuas are very smart dogs but that doesn’t mean they are always easy to train. Like many Toy breeds, they can be hard to house train. Allow extra time for house training and lots of patience. Be sure to praise and reward your Chihuahua when he potties where you want him to go. Like other dogs, Chihuahuas respond well to positive reinforcement. Chihuahuas can be very strong-willed dogs and it’s important that you remain in charge. Even though they are small dogs, you should continue to treat them like dogs and not like small children. If you don’t maintain your authority with your Chihuahua, it’s very likely that he will take control. There is such a thing as Small Dog Syndrome where small dogs are spoiled to such an extent that they no longer respect their owners. In these cases the dog can become very hard to live with. You can avoid this problem by socializing your Chihuahua from a young age. Take him to puppy kindergarten classes. Attend a basic obedience course with him. Make sure he has good manners at home and when you go places with him. You and your Chihuahua will both be happier if you know which one of you is in charge.

Thanksgiving is nearly here once again and for most of us that means wonderful aromas wafting through the house and a table groaning under the weight of turkey and other favorite dishes. There will be family and friends gathered ’round and perhaps a slice of pumpkin pie. But, what about your dog? What does Thanksgiving mean for him?


Well, if you’re lucky, it won’t mean a trip to the vet because you’ve overfed him or given him some sharp bones to eat! Most of us want to share Thanksgiving with our dogs but, the truth is, Thanksgiving can be a dangerous time for pets. Rich foods can cause gastrointestinal upsets or even pancreatitis. Giving your dog a cooked turkey bone can lead to a punctured esophagus or other puncture in your dog’s stomach or G.I. Tract, so no cooked bones! Here are some other tips for you and your dog this Thanksgiving.


  • According to one poll, 56 percent of pet owners said they gave their pets Thanksgiving leftovers but you need to be careful about what you share with your dog. For instance, turkey is great. It’s an excellent protein that is nice and lean – as long as you remove the skin. And be sure to avoid giving your dog any cooked bones. Cooked bones are brittle so they can easily snap and form jagged edges that are harmful to dogs.


  • Say no to onion and garlic. Many Thanksgiving dishes contain onion, garlic, leeks, and scallions. If your dog eats these ingredients in any large amount, it can be harmful to him. These items are all members of the allium family and they have been linked to a form of anemia in dogs. Sure, you may occasionally give your dog something that contains garlic and it doesn’t hurt him, but don’t give your dog any foods that contain much of these ingredients.


  • Yes to veggies. It’s fine to give your dog some leftovers of green beans, cranberries, or even macaroni and cheese (if he can eat cheese). Mashed potatoes are good, too. Dogs enjoy many vegetable dishes. However, watch out for the “extras” and fancy fixin’s – those things added to a dish to make it special. For instance, if you add garlic or sour cream to your mashed potatoes, it could make it off limits for your dog. If you use cranberry sauce that has a lot of sugar added, it won’t be so good for your dog. If you would like to give your dog some veggies, try setting aside a bowl for your dog before you add the extras to it.


  • Avoid fat. Just avoid giving your dog extra fat, in general. While we like to see good named fat sources in dog food, it’s not a good idea to feed your dog leftovers that contain generous amounts of fat at Thanksgiving. Most dogs aren’t used to eating so much fat all at one time. The result can be an attack of acute pancreatitis. Vets report that the days following Thanksgiving are some of their busiest of the year for pancreatitis in dogs.


  • Be careful with other foods. There are some foods you should never give to dogs such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, pits from cherries and other pitted foods, and the artificial sweetener xylitol.


  • As for the pumpkin pie? Well, canned pumpkin, minus the spiced pie filling would be better for your dog. And dogs really don’t need whipped cream.


  • And one more time: No Cooked Bones! It’s fine if you would like to give your dog a raw bone such as a turkey neck. Raw bones are comparatively soft and easy for your dog to chew and digest. They won’t break off into jagged pieces when he chews them.


You can see there are many delicious things you can share with your dog at Thanksgiving. Just give some thought and care to what you give your dog and you won’t end up taking him to see the vet.