Once again the Holiday season is upon us. Each year we try to remind families about the “Hazards Of Holidays and Hounds”. Everyone is so busy during the holidays that sometimes we forget to watch our hounds. We feel it is important to remind you of this advice.
Bees – Fall is the time for the bees to do buzzing best or rather their worst. Use special caution with yellow jackets that swarm and nest in the ground. They can sting several times before dying and even one sting could be fatal if your hound has a sensitivity or reaction to the venom. Ask your vet regarding the proper dosage of benadryl or get a “bee sting kit” from your vet.
Fleas & ticks are looking for a warm winter haven at this time of year. Take extra care to use prevention on your hounds to prevent them from finding a home in their fur and especially in your home.
Turkey – That tempting morsel of turkey, left over on your plate, is best left on your plate! Turkey, turkey skin and gravy can cause extreme gastrointestinal problems for hounds. Onions have also been found to be toxic o some hounds so resist the temptation to share your holiday fare with your hound. Turkey bones are so numerous that one or two will hardly be missed UNTIL an emergency vet visit is needed. Be kind to your hound and yourself…”Leave IT” for the outside trash.
Chocolate can be a killer! There is an ingredient in chocolate (Theo bromine) that can cause severe illness and even death. Keep it locked up tight and in a safe place, far away from hound hunters. This ingredient can also be found in the red cocoa mulch that has become so popular in recent years.
COUNTERS CANNOT BE HOUND-PROOFED.
There has not been a counter made that a hound cannot conquer. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by placing items in the sink either. A hungry hound will manage some way to get to food in a sink if it’s determined enough.
In today’s high tech world, decorations keep getting more sophisticated. Be aware that even battery or transistor operated lights can be hazardous to your hound. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but there have been hounds that came close to the same fate. Batteries have caustic acid inside of them and when chewed, can cause severe burns to the mouth and throat. Transistors can cause shocks which cold burn the mouth or throat, even short circuit the heart and circulatory system which can lead to death. These can lie in the stomach for long periods of time before they erode and begin to cause trouble.
Twinkle lights are beautiful on trees and shrubs, not all tangled up in long hound limbs and torsos. Keep cords out of hound pathways. Also, resist the temptation to hang those cutesy ornaments made out of dog biscuits or the clay look-a-like dog treats on your tree. Hang only your unbreakable bulbs on the lower half of the three. Better yet, hang no decorations at all on the bottom part. Some hounds have never seen a tree decoration before and may be tempted to taste them. Remember the words “LEAVE IT!”
Remember to quickly teach your hound that the inside tree does not need to be watered by the boys or it may be a long yellow holiday season for some of you.
Tinsel, Ribbons, and Foil wrapping papers are like candy to some hounds. They can cause serious problems if ingested, some of which may require surgery to remove from hound intestines. Place these items in the proper receptacles to eliminate the temptation to snack.
Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly Berries and Pine Cones are all toxic to your hounds. If you must have them in your home, place them high where your hound cannot reach them.
Holiday Parties are fun, but they may stress your hound with all the noise and commotion. Be sure your hound has a quiet place to go to if company gets to be too much for them (i.e., crate, bedroom with the door baby gated, not closed) until the party’s over. Be sure all guests understand the importance of keeping outside doors and gates closed so your hound does not get out.
Snow and Ice – Of the two, ice is more dangerous to hounds. Some of our hounds have never seen snow or experienced ice and slippery sidewalks. Use extreme caution when dealing with these two elements and your hound.
Snow can be fun if limited to short exposures. Hounds do not have fat layers to provide insulation in the cold weather. If you are taking your hound out in the cold weather (below 50 degrees) for more than a few minutes, put a jacket, sweater or coat on your hound. Watch hound feet for frostbite and cuts from sharp ice.
Firewood & Snow -Take care not to pile firewood or shovel snow too close to a fence. This will make an easy escape route for a slick hound to get out of the yard. Be aware of snowdrifts also providing an escape ramp.
Snow Melt – Use caution when using heat producing chemicals to melt the snow and ice around your home. They can quickly burn hound feet and have them hopping as if their legs are broken. When in doubt about using any products, contact your vet for recommendations.
Fire, Fireplaces & Candles – We all love a roaring fire in the fireplace but fires and lit candles should never be left unattended, especially with a curious hound in the house. Hounds love warmth and in their attempt to get warm, may get to close and singe hair and body parts. Flying embers may also jump out and blister tender places. Overturned candles and hot candle wax can spell disaster.
Check firewood for spiders and wasps that have come to life after being brought into a warm home environment.
ANTIFREEZE IS DEADLY!! USE CAUTION AND CLEAN UP SPILLS IMMEDITELY. ONE LICK CAN KILL YOUR HOUND AND CAUSE IREVERSABLE KIDNEY DAMAGE WITHIN MINUTES.
We at FFGR, Inc. want you and your hounds to have a safe Happy Holiday season. With a little thought and reviewing the above advice…We wish you a Happy Holiday and look forward to seeing you in the New Year!!