In a recent visit with our vet, he was telling me about a terribly overweight lab he has been treating with joint problems. He asked the dog’s owner if he was getting table food. She denied that completely, swearing that he was only getting his diet dog food, and that was it! On the way out the door, when she thought vet was out of earshot, she crooned to her baby, “You’ve had a hard day! Come on, honey, let’s go get you some chicken nuggets!” The poor vet could only shake his head. The truth is, we LOVE treating our dogs to people snacks. When I was a kid, our local Artic Circle would sell you “Doggie Cones” for 25 cents. Our dogs thought that a trip to Article Circle for an ice cream cone was pure heaven.
I had an aunt and uncle growing up that were fairly eccentric. They didn’t have any children; thus their little dog Muffin was their pride and joy. Muffin was a Westie. She was darling, sweet and fatter than hell. Once when we were there visiting, I watched my aunt Jean unwrap a full sized Snickers, chop it up and serve it to Muffin in her dog dish. Muffin gobbled up that candy bar in a matter of seconds. My mom, looking very concerned, mentioned to Jean that chocolate is actually really bad for dogs. Jean replied, “Oh, I know, but she just loves her Snickers soooo much! How can I possibly say no?” Um, Jean? Muffin has no money, no car and cannot possibly go buy Snickers bars on her own. You don’t have to say no. You just don’t buy them.
I know that you are all going to slip your beloveds a little people snack now and again, so I won’t waste my breath telling you not to. It is a losing battle at my house too. Can we just get clear on some basic food nonos for dogs? According the AKC, these are the 10 most toxic foods for dogs:
· Green potatoes
· Yeast dough
Every one of these foods has a bad reaction in a dog’s system. If you are going to give them a taste of something you are eating, it should not have any of these components in it. A taste should be a less that a spoonful, and never a bowlful. And for the love of god, no dog needs his own Happy Meal!
What to expect for the week of August 7th-13th
The week starts with a lunar eclipse. Even if you can’t see it where you live, expect your animal companions to react to the energy of it. This is not a time for cats to wander the neighborhood at night or dogs be left home alone too much. You may notice your pets acting a bit more nervous and on alert this week. Cats who are destructive for attention may be especially naughty. One word. Catnip. Later in the week, active dogs will need a good opportunity to run and play, as they need to burn that energy off. By the weekend, things should be on an even keel. Make sure that you build some time into your weekend to give your animals some good one on one time. Remember, YOU are all they have, and they need you.