Happy Holidays to all!

Linda McVay, CCS CDW

Rovers holiday basket
For a lot of us our companion animals are an important part of our family and we want to be able to include them in our festivities - and that of course includes tasty foods. When you have family over and you suspect that Cousin Joey and Auntie Kate are slipping food under the table so that Rover doesn’t feel left out or perhaps just because he’s so darn cute, why not provide some healthy alternatives so that your guests can feel that they are welcome to treat Rover openly and you can better see and control what they are offering.

With the FDA continuing to issue warnings about chicken jerky produced in China, I wondered if we might try making our own. So after doing a little research on dehydrators we settled on the Nesco Snackmaster (around $58.00). Our dogs love the dehydrated beef or chicken jerky and the sweet potato chips are a huge hit. As a bonus I also enjoy the beef jerky and I’m looking forward to making tasty fruit roll-ups over the holidays. Try placing little bowls or baskets with a mix of tasty tidbits and kibble around your home with a festive note that says something along the lines of “Ask Rover to sit for his supper.” If you add a few toys or a ball or two Rover might even get a work out from the folks who need some fresh air. For some of our dogs the excitement of having visitors and the chaos of the holidays are just too overwhelming, so please be considerate and responsible caregivers and make a festive kong filled with wonderful things and place your dog in a secure room or crate well away from the action. After all, some of us like to hang from the chandeliers and some like a cozy blanket and a good book. For more great tips take a look at the Doggone Safe website.

Lastly, remember... dogs are curious about novel objects, so your guests' jackets and purses and parcels need to be kept behind closed doors or stashed up and away out of reach. That new leather jacket that Uncle has might look mighty tasty to a bored puppy, or it could be that Grandmother is a big fan of sugar free gum or has arthritis and always carries her bottle of Tylenol with her. Either of these common items and others could well be deadly to Rover if accessible. For a complete list of doggie No-Nos check out the Pet Poison Helpline.