Dog Bone Danger Veterinarian Warns of Potential Hazards
Dogs and bones seem like a natural combination, but they’re not, warns Karen “Doc” Halligan, DVM.
Doc Halligan, a sought-after pet health expert, wants to educate pet owners about the potential, life-threatening dangers of feeding dogs bones.
Bones Can Harm Your DogDogs can spend hours chewing on a bone in a happy bliss and contentment, but there have been many emergency trips to the veterinarian because a dog has choked on a bone, or bone fragments have become lodged in an intestine.
“All veterinary experts agree,” says Halligan, “that there are potential hazards to feeding bones to dogs: broken teeth, fragments lodged in the mouth, intestinal obstruction and even perforation — which can lead to painful abdominal infection.”
This can result in hospitalization with major surgery that can be very expensive. In the worst cases, warns Halligan, it can even be fatal.
“Although dogs love bones, it’s not worth the risk to your pet’s life to give him something that is possibly unsafe.”
Bones Have Hidden Dangers
Natural bones, whether raw or cooked, can present potential health hazards.
Cooking bones in an oven hardens and dries the bone matrix, allowing the bone to splinter while chewing it into sharp pieces that can injure a dog’s intestinal tract. But even raw or uncooked bones can be dangerous as well.
“Raw meat and bones can harbor bacteria such as salmonella and e coli,” explains Halligan, “which can be transmitted to humans, causing vomiting, diarrhea and even organ failure.”
Is There a Safe Bone for Dogs?Dogs that are used to eating bones can have problems under certain circumstances, says Halligan. “Bones that are described as ‘safe’ can injure an individual animal and there is no way to predict whether your dog will have a problem.”
According to Halligan, there’s not one bone out there that is completely safe in any given circumstance. She recommends pet owners talk with their veterinarians about finding a safer way to feed their dogs a balanced diet, protect their teeth and keep them happy and healthy.
“Although dogs love bones,” insists Halligan, “it’s not worth the risk to your pet’s life to give him something that is possibly unsafe.”
Learn more about pet food dangers and foreign body ingestion.
THANKSGIVING DANGERS, HAZARDS, AND SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR DOG
It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Where would you rather be – lounging on the couch with your dog sleeping on the floor next to you, hitting the after-Thanksgiving sales – or at the vet’s office praying that your dog survives or searching the neighborhood because he has escaped? I know where I wouldn’t want to be!
You can avoid Thanksgiving tragedy by being aware of the hazards and dangers to your dog and practicing a few safety tips.
Dogs like predictable routines, and Thanksgiving is not predictable. There’s lots of people coming and going, meals are prepared and eaten at odd hours, there’s lots of tempting food sitting around in bowls just waiting to be scarfed down. Dogs can get overly excited or nervous – and some dogs who are on the nervous side may get aggressive because the added stress simply “puts them over the top.”
If you know what to look out for ahead of time and how to prepare, then *you* won’t have (much!) added stress. So here’s some tips for you so everyone can have a safe Thanksgiving.
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PREPARATION FOR YOUR DOG
You’re going to have a lot going on, especially if you’re cooking dinner. But please don’t neglect your dog! Keep to his regular schedule as much as possible. If you can’t walk or exercise him, look into getting a family member, neighbor, or a dogwalker. Be sure to exercise him before your guests arrive – tire him out, but don’t go overboard.
Dogs talk to us all the time and tell us they are stressed, but we often misinterpret what they are saying because we use our frame of reference – which is only human! What we intend and how our dogs interpret what we do many times are two different things. For example, most dogs don’t like to be hugged. To them, it’s a threat. What do children, especially little girls, absolutely LOVE to do to dogs? – hug them.
DON’T EVER LEAVE CHILDREN AND DOGS UNSUPERVISED, NOT EVEN FOR A SECOND.Even a dog who normally likes children may be so stressed with all the Thanksgiving commotion that he can’t cope and end up biting.
If your dog is normally well behaved, you may ask yourself what’s gotten into him because he’s out of control. A normally calm dog may be nervous, and a normally friendly dog may be shy. Be alert for these stress signals:
Be sure your dog is wearing dog tags just in case he slips out an open door or gate.
If you are going out for Thanksgiving dinner or a parade, please leave your dog at home.
Finally, just for peace of mind, be sure you have your vet’s phone number and the name and address of the nearest emergency veterinary hospital.
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WHILE YOU ARE PREPARING THANKSGIVING DINNER
Keep dogs out of kitchen! If your dog stays out of the kitchen, this prevents:
Keep all pot and pan handles on the stove turned inward.
Keep food away from doggie thieves by covering it and placing it out of reach of countertop and table edges.
After you’ve cooked the meal and *before* you sit down to eat, throw out all food and food-related garbage. Put something heavy such as a brick on top of your garbage can outside to ensure the lid will not come off. If you have a lot of other trash, then put it in your closed garage or storage area away from your dog until garbage collection day.
These cooking items can be consumed by your dog and get stuck in the intestinal track causing ablockage or perforation:
WHILE YOU ARE EATING THANKSGIVING DINNER
The best place for your dog is away from the table, preferably in that dog safe-room with a closed door or one that is gated off. If your guests can’t see his pleading eyes, then they won’t be tempted to give him some of their dinner!
Give your dog something to chew on, such as a frozen treat-filled food dispensing toy like a Kong.
Please instruct your guests that they should not give him any food during the meal or at any other time because deviation from his diet can upset his stomach.
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CLEANING UP AFTER DINNER
Keeping your dog away from leftovers – both food and anything used to prepare the meal – is essential.
PLEASE don’t give cooked bones to your dog. Cooked bones spell disaster for your dogs because they easily splinter and could puncture your dog's his throat or intestines.
Put any leftovers in tightly closed containers and refrigerate them immediately to keep canine thieves away.
Regarding the turkey carcass, put it in a plastic bag, tie it up, and throw it in the outside garbage can immediately after eating.
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THANKSGIVING FOODS THAT ARE HAZARDOUS FOR YOUR DOG
One especially dangerous Thanksgiving food is turkey skin. If you think your dog has eaten any or has any of these symptoms, then he may have pancreatitis, so take him to your vet asap.Symptoms of pancreatitis are:
NONFOOD THANKSGIVING HAZARDS
Here are some things you may not realize that also can harm your dog.
THANKSGIVING VISITORS OR GUESTS
When greeting guests, your dog should not greet them with you. With everything that is going on, you may forget to watch him, someone may inadvertently forget to close the door, or he can wiggle past your visitors before you realize it. You don’t want to spend your Thanksgiving looking for an escaped dog!
Please, please, please ask your guests NOT to feed your dog except his own food or treats! In fact, the safest place for him may be in that dog safe-room away from all the commotion of cheering from football games, kids running around, lots and lots of conversations (you know which family members are louder than others!) Even though you may think your dog is a member of the family who should be included in the celebrations, your dog may become stressed because this gathering is such a departure from his routine. Refer to the Stress Signs at the beginning of this article.
If children are among your guests, tell them to let your dog approach them, even if they know him from previous visits. They should stand still like a tree and let your dog sniff him. The children can pet him ONLY if his tail is wagging and he wants the attention. Remember, NO HUGGING THE DOG – dogs don’t like to be hugged.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have an adult supervise ANY AND ALL interactions between children and dogs. If your dog is exhibiting any of the stress signs, separate the children and dogs immediately. It probably would be best at that point to put your dog in his safe-room or crate away from your company or in his crate and to tell the children that they should not bother him for the balance of their visit.
If your guests have medications in their luggage, ask them to close and lock their luggage. With purses, put them in a closet with the door closed so your dog doesn’t go exploring…..
This may seem like a lot to do, but you love your dog and want to protect him or you wouldn’t be reading this article! While I was researching it, I came across things that I had not even considered could be dangerous – and you may have more. Please let me know if you do so I can add them to help others.
I wish you, your family, your dog, and your guests the very best – and the very safest – Thanksgiving!
Tip of the Day:
Stopping unwanted begging:
The first thing to do to stop a dog from begging is to figure out how close in proximity the dog is allowed to get when you are eating or preparing food. I like to make an imaginary line to represent this. From here you need to be very consistent in reinforcing the appropriate behavior, (rewarding dog for staying behind the line) and punishing the inappropriate behavior.(Removing the dog if it crosses that invisible line.) The punishment just needs to consist of the dog being removed from the area meaning all you have to do is say,"no" and either lure or gently move the dog back to the correct side.
*This will take some patience, persistence, time, stubbornness on the human’s part, and consistency. Lots and lots of consistency.
*Remember if you are going to give scraps, make sure the dog is behind the line. Anytime you give the dog something while it is on the wrong side of the line, it is very likely the dog will keep coming over the line.
*Another option is to teach the dog a place where it is supposed to stay until it is released. The same rules apply for this game.#dogtraining
All Dogs Go To Kevin LLC
When Choosing a Breeder
1. You need to go inspect the facility to make sure this isn't a puppy mill.
2. Get her name and search the Better Business Bureau for both her business and herself.
3. Check with the USDA to see if she's had any infractions.
4. Ask for references
5. Inquire as to how many dogs she has on site, how many litters is she having a year?
Ask the Trainer: Helping a Dog Overcome a Fear During Walks
(Kevin Duggan, CPDT-KA in Ask the Trainer)
What do you do, when your dog is scared to death of skateboards? Coco is a big gal, so when one pops up, she about tears my arm off to get away. Skate boards are everywhere, so it is hard to go anywhere without running into one.
I would like to help you keep your arm in your socket. My first recommendation is to find something that Coco absolutely loves. E.g. string cheese, hot dogs, turkey, chicken, a toy etc. This is going to be used to help her build a positive association when she sees the scary skateboards. My second recommendation is to use a double leash system. The freedom harness is a wonderful tool because it has two different places to hook a leash on. One of which can be connected to your belt. This is important because with that fear, she is obviously a flight risk. Safety first I always say.
With these tools we can move forward with the rehabilitation. The best way to fix this is going to be to introduce very low levels of this stimuli while giving Coco things that she loves. I recommend getting a skateboard and putting it in a room with you and Coco. Just leave it there and do not touch it. We do not want any movement in regards to the skateboard because it may startle her. The next step is going to be tossing whatever she loves all around it. The ultimate goal is for you to place her treats on top of the skateboard and her to get them off confidently. It may take a few different sessions of this before she confidently takes the treat off of it. You can encourage her to get close to the skateboard , but do not force her to. Let her adjust at her own pace. When she is doing that with confidence start to slowly move the skateboard around with your hand while continuing to reward her. With repetition she should start to tolerate skateboards, or even start to enjoy the presence of one.
This next part involves the harness leash system that I mentioned previously. This is because the next thing I recommend is going out into the environment where you usually encounter these skateboards. The most important thing is distance. The closer she is to these people on skateboards the more frightened she will be. Start off extremely far away so that she can see them but it doesn’t make her that uncomfortable. Start giving her the things she loves. If that is going smoothly and she is getting confident start to decrease your distance from the skateboards. Moving closer may not be possible in the first session. Do not rush this as it’s all about Coco staying comfortable. If at any point she starts getting uncomfortable start moving further away. More distance should make her feel better.
Do this at her pace and she should start to feel more comfortable in the presence of skateboards. Remember to stay patient and positive as this can take some time to conquer.
Thank you for the question!
Kevin Duggan CPDT-KA
Tip of the Day:
Teaching your dog to "stay":
What does stay really mean? Stay means the dog is in a desired position until the human invites the dog to get out of that position. I teach a stay by using two words. My first word is either sit or down, followed by an end cue which for me is "okay." Okay means that it is okay to get out of that position.
Does that make sense so far? Basically, I do not use the word "stay." For me it is just an extra word that doesn't need to be there. My sequence looks something like this:
-I ask the dog to sit or down.
-The dog gets into position.
-As long as the dog is in that position he is "staying."
-I verbally reinforce the wanted behavior by telling the dog “good boy/girl.” (For staying.)
-I tell the dog "okay" which means you can get up now.
-I reward the dog with food or toy.
In the beginning I start of with very short "stays." Each time I repeat the process I increase the amount of time that the dog is in the position for. This is how you start to increase the Duration of how long your dog can "stay" in the position.
A couple other "D's" that are very important when teaching a "stay" are Distance and Distraction.
Distance means how far away you are from your dog when it is in the desired position. When teaching this take baby steps. If you try to increase the amount of distance between you and your dog too quickly you are setting your dog up for failure. When teaching Distance, it is a good idea to practice walking back to your dog and rewarding it, as well as releasing your dog to come to you to receive its reward. (Don't forget to use verbal reinforcement as well to tell your dog it is doing the correct thing.)
Lastly we have Distractions. It is important to practice a "stay" with distractions because in a real life scenario you better believe there will be some of them around. I start off with very small distractions. Every dog is different so find something that your dog doesn't really care for in the beginning. While your dog is in the sit or down position, drop the distraction in the most uninviting way you can think of. When the dog remains in the position, tell him "good boy/girl" and reward. From there, start to increase the difficulty of the distractions.
*If you are currently using the word stay, you can continue to. It will not hurt anything. I am just letting you know that technically it is a word that is not needed as long as you have a consistent end cue.
*If at any point during this training your dog messes up, have him go back into the position and start over, it’s not that big of a deal. Failure is often a part of learning.
*Use lots of verbal reinforcement to let the dog know it is doing a good job!#dogtraining
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Winter Pet Care
Misconceptions About Winter
Many people believe that because their pets have a coat of fur they are able to withstand the cold better than humans. This is not the case. Like us, animals are accustomed to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can as hard on them as it is on people. Forcing animals to be outside during harsh weather can lead to serious illness.
Tips for Indoor Safety in Winter
Tips for Winter Safety
Follow these guidelines to protect your pets in cold weather:
Long-haired breeds like Huskies do better in cold weather than short-haired breeds like Dachshunds. Cats and small dogs
that must wade shoulder-deep in snow will feel cold sooner than larger animals.
If your dog will tolerate them, consider equipping them with special booties that protect their paws from cold, chemicals, and salt. Booties will also keep your dog from licking the salt off its feet, which can cause inflammation of the digestive track. Also, if your dog will tolerate a sweater, use it to provide added warmth, remembering however, that pets lose most of their
body heat through the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract.
Symptoms of Cold
When outdoors with your pet, watch for the following signs of exposure:
If you notice any of these signs, return your pet indoors immediately.
Keep an eye out for two serious conditions in pets that are cause by cold weather:
What to Do for Hypothermia:
Q.I think my pet may have ingested some antifreeze. What are the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning?A.
The first sign of anti-freeze poisoning is that your pet will appear drunk. Get your pet to the veterinarian immediately and tell your veterinarian that you suspect your pet has consumed antifreeze.
It takes about three hours for a pet’s digestive system to fully absorb antifreeze. The “drunk phase” will occur from 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion, depending on the amount ingested. Next, the antifreeze’s ethylene glycol enters the pet’s liver and kidneys where it is oxidized into toxic products that acidify the blood and begin to destroy renal tubular cells in the pet’s kidneys. Next the pet’s blood begins to acidify. This creates trouble for nerve function, respiration, and other body processes. Ultimately, the antifreeze’s glycolic acid is broken down into oxolic acid. This goes through processes that shut down your pet’s kidneys and can be fatal if not treated within four to eight hours.
Q.How long can I leave my dog outside in winter?A.You should never leave your pet outdoors in temperatures below freezing. Small dogs or those that lack thick long fur can tolerate less cold than breeds such as Huskies. If you are cold, it is likely that your pet is cold too. Bring them inside the moment you start to feel cold yourself. Also, be sure to provide a warm shelter for your dog to use anytime they are outdoors.
Hi, my name is Terry. I manage this website for my furbaby, Daisy. When I first became interested in the Shichons, I found it was difficult to get information on them. A few sites, I am using for information are excellent sources. Then, I moved on to compile and share more information on choosing a good breeder, grooming, health, behavior, training and much more. I hope you enjoy this site and find it helpful. I am NOT promoting any information, just sharing. You and your vet know what is best for your baby.