Easter Bunny Hazards and More….

SPRING has sprung, well, at least for most of us!  The warmer weather has melted most of the snow and for us down south, we are already cutting our lawns.  The new season is loved by humans and dogs alike!  The sweet smell of the tree blossoms, the buzz of bees and the return of the hummingbirds all signal longer, warmer days and long evenings to spend outside with our dogs.  With the new season comes a host of new hazards for our dogs.  Here are some you may want to check out before your dogs get into trouble.

Easter DogEASTER CANDY AND CHOCOLATE:  Most of us know already, that chocolate is toxic to dogs.  Theobromine and methylxanthines are the culprits.  The darker the chocolate, the worse it is.  Poisoning results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death.  If your dog ingests chocolate, especially dark chocolate, contact your veterinarian.  Most of us don't think of other candies as being dangerous.  Note that many candies contain Xylitol which is potentially very toxic to dogs. The most common symptoms of xylitol toxicity include lethargy, vomiting, loss of coordination, collapse, and seizures.  While you are on the lookout, watch for that plastic grass that is contained in baskets.  Dogs will ingest just about anything if it smells like food and this plastic "grass" can wreak havoc on your dog's intestines.  If it is ingested, it may become caught around the base of the tongue or stomach, making it unable to pass through the intestines. This can result in a “linear foreign body” and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.  Keep that stuff away from dogs!  Make sure you hide those Easter treats from your dogs as well as your kids!!!  Dogs are remarkably clever and have an excellent sense of smell and can snuffle out even the most well hidden treats.  Don't think a mere door will keep them out.  I know many dogs who can open doors, especially ones with the handles like the one shown below, or bi-fold doors.  Make sure

Not dog-proof.

Not dog-proof.

you put your candy way up on a shelf, out of the reach of inquisitive children and hungry dogs.

Dog Digging in Garden

GARDENING 101 FOR DOGS:  It's no secret, dogs love to garden (read: dig).  With the warmer weather, we tend to leave our dogs out in the yard unsupervised for short periods of time (not a good idea).  As they are exploring the scents and flavors of nature (read: digging), they may come across some tasty items that are hazardous (and expensive), like spring bulbs.  Consumption of leaves, flowers, bulbs, mulch and all things "garden" can make them very sick, and can sometimes be fatal.  Stay far away from Cocoa Mulch (poisonous) and dyed mulches (toxic).  So listen up dogs: No digging in the flower beds!  It is best to fence off these areas if at all possible.  Dogs love to dig where you dig.  Why?  Because that's where the ground is soft and full of the great smells of manure and compost.  So supervise or fence it off.  Also, make sure you check your fertilizers for any warnings regarding pets and heed those warnings!!!

List of plants that are toxic to dogs here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/dogs-plant-list

Animal Poison Control here: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control

Got a Poison Emergency? Call (888) 426-4435.  The ASPCA is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card.  Do it, don't wait.  Pay the fee.  If you wait until you get to your veterinarian, the staff there will be doing the same thing, opening a file with Poison Control and you will pay the same fee.  So don't delay, the experts will be able to help you right away.




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Positively Expert: Dale Ward

Dale is owner of Dale's Dog Training Academy, LLC serving southeast VA and northeast NC. She is a Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer, an AKC/CGC Evaluator, CBATI (Certified Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor--in progress), and a full member of the Pet Professional Guild and APDT.


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