Hunting for Easter Egg Safety?

Easter is just on the horizon and with it are all the festivities and treats that we enjoy. But, you must also consider the safety of your dog. While children are good at finding eggs and treats during the annual hunt, dogs are even better. Hiding eggs around the home and out in the yard will undoubtedly leads to a few that aren’t found at the end of the day. Even you may not be sure that every single one was found. Because of this, there are a few precautions you should take before you start the hunt, or your dog may enjoy a few treats they shouldn’t.

Chocolate bunnies and treats

While a tasty favorite amongst kids and adults, chocolate can be extremely dangerous for dogs. Since it would be unfair to deprive your children of some enjoyment, you can take a few precautions instead. Avoid hiding chocolate in hidden eggs during the hunt. Instead, control the delivery and disposal of chocolate based items. Candy bars, bunnies, and other sweets can be offered in their own basket- away from your dogs. Be sure that any wrappers are picked up and disposed of properly. Be aware: one of the most inconspicuous treat that is hidden is the tiny chocolate eggs that are wrapped in shiny foil. These can be easily overlooked or forgotten in the grass or house. Avoid using these treats at all, and instead stick to treats that can be contained in larger eggs or that aren’t chocolate-based.

Paper or plastic?

Something commonly overlooked is the decorative contents of an Easter basket. Grass helps to soften and enrich the experience, and is a main ingredient for Easter baskets. Most artificial grass is plastic, which can be harmful if ingested by a dog. Instead, use paper or even natural grass as a substitute for your basket. Not only is it better for the environment, but is also much safer in case your dog manages to get a mouthful. This should be taken only as a precaution, since dogs shouldn’t be allowed to indulge themselves on your basket’s contents in the first place.

A new chew toy

This also brings up another concern. Plastic is a very inedible substance, but many Easter eggs are now commonly composed of this product. They’re cheap, convenient, and can contain any range of goodies. When eaten, however, they can also splinter and turn into dangerously sharp objects if your dog discovers them first. The egg is a classic of Easter, so needless to say, hardboiled or confetti filled shells are also on the venue for the hunt. These should be kept out of your dog’s reach at all times, especially since they smell good enough to eat. One of the best precautions you can take prior to the hunt is to count the eggs you place around the home and yard. (After all, a hardboiled egg will eventually become a stinky issue within a few days.) Once the hunt is over, take the time to count what was found, and keep an eye out for any strays before they find their way into a hungry mouth.

During the hunt

Many dogs enjoy running around with their family members, but the Easter egg hunt may not be the right time to let them interact. Dog’s may jump up on children or try to take goodies away from them. For everyone’s safety, it may be best to put them in a secure location with food and water while the hunt is on. You can let them out afterward, but keep an eye on them and be quick to take any lost eggs away before they become a dangerous snack.

Because it is Easter, why not treat your pup to their own hunt. Take a few of their healthy treats and hide them around a certain room. You may even want to toss in a toy or two. Be sure that you use a fluff-less toy so they won’t be inclined to fill their belly with stuffing. Then set them loose and let them have their own Easter fun hunting treats that are good for them. One thing to consider is that you shouldn’t involve multiple dogs in the same hunt. They may become aggressive with each other, especially if you are hosting a friend’s or neighbor’s dog as well.

Any dog lover wants their best friend to participate in all aspects of their life. But, sometimes we have to take into consideration the safety of our companion. Though they can be extremely smart and clever, a dog’s belly doesn’t always know the difference between safe and dangerous. Make your Easter hunt something that everyone can enjoy, even if they can’t do it at the same time.

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What to do if Your Dog is Banned from Flight?

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s always nice to have your beloved friend accompany you wherever you go. The conditions have recently changed for certain dog owners, however. As of March 13th, certain “dangerous” dog breeds are banned from United Airlines, one of the most popular ways to travel by air.

While their primary focus was safety, it is still a frustration to owners possessing these particular breeds, that they can no longer travel with their dogs. As awareness grows, it is important that you realize that your dog may not be allowed to travel the next time you decide to fly.

The breeds listed under the restriction are:

1. Pit Bull Terriers

2. American Staffordshire Terriers

3. Pressa Canario

4. Perro de Presa Canario

5. Cane Corso

6. Dogo Argentino

7. Fila Brasileiro

8. Ca de Bou

While these are dog breeds targeted by unjustifiable discrimination, the airline can prohibit any dog they deem “dangerous” or that shows signs of aggression. In addition, any dog that is a mixed breed containing one or more of these breeds will also be prohibited. For those who feel that a dog is more than a pet, but rather a family member, this can be more of an insult rather than simply a safety issue.
Because you don’t want to plan your next trip only to run into trouble at the airport, it can be helpful to know your dog’s breed, even if they are a mixed breed. First, prepare by contacting your veterinarian to seek medical records and confirmation of breed if you are unsure. Having the proper documentation can smooth your travel issues.

While the rules prohibit these breeds, the one exemption is that the dog is neither greater than twenty pounds nor older than six months, whichever comes first. But, this fact relies on the confirmation of your dog’s health certificate which must be as recent as ten days. If you are planning to travel with your puppy, be sure that you consult with your veterinarian to get a certificate of health that is as close to your travel date as possible. Unfortunately, this possibility comes with its own set of problems. If you are staying for a long period, and returning after the certificate has aged more than ten days, you’ll either have to find a local veterinarian or find a different route back. Also keep in mind that puppies grow very quickly. If your dog passes the twenty pound mark during your stay, it will definitely cause travel issues. If you are planning to travel with a puppy of one of the banned breeds, you should consider other transportation options.

Just “Appearing” dangerous

While certain breeds are the target of the ban, there is also concern about dogs that act or appear dangerous. The airline reserves the right to prohibit any dog they deem “dangerous.” This can also lead to issues, especially since a dog that is traveling in their crate may feel threated when in a new and strange environment.

For everyone’s safety, you should consider consulting with your vet regarding safe “pacification” methods for your dog, especially if they’ve been trained to guard or protect you and your family. Tranquilizers and quality comfort can help keep them from panicking, by helping to soften your dog’s demeanor during travel. If your dog appears docile, there should be no reason to qualify it as dangerous.

Breed blocked

The last solution, especially for owners of certain dog breeds, is to choose alternative means of travel. While it can be upsetting and inconvenient, choosing an alternative airline or traveling by means of the road may be your safest and least time consuming choice. The inconveniences that certain airlines have recently created leave no choice for many dog owners, so other options must be considered. While proper dog care may require that you have to leave your pet with a trusted friend or qualified kennel, at other times, this is not possible, as in the case of moving. Many people are traveling for relocation purposes, or even for work, such as a traveling nurse or doctor. You should always practice safe travel habits, such as proper socialization, training, and controlling their environment. These will help insure that you and your dog enjoy a safe trip to your new location.

For many dog owners, this causes yet another hassle when it comes to involving pets in our lives. While some dog breeds have been misconceived with a “bad rap” about their demeanor, it is not the dog’s fault. Abuse, mistreatment, and improper training are the most common causes for dog aggression, and aren’t selective to any particular breed. So, always treat your dog with care and love, even if their breed has been discriminated as “dangerous.”

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – At Home…Alone

Well, the old man headed out this afternoon. He took off without me…again. But honestly, I’m far too wound up to mind at the moment. Instead, I’ve found interest in mischief. There are some snacks left on the table, some leftover lunch (a meaty sandwich) that demands my attention at the moment. I watched him push it to the center of the table right before he left. So, here I am with my front paws on the table-top, and my nose seeking the flavor of a delicious snack.

I look around the room, listening carefully for the jingle of keys or footsteps in the hall. Only the cool wind blowing through the kitchen window fills the air with sound. It’s safe to say that this sandwich is no longer safe. I pull myself up on the table (I’m definitely not supposed to be up here) and sniff the sandwich. Some lettuce, a little mustard, and a lot of meat compose this snack. I’m just interested in the meat. I pull it apart and grab myself a mouthful of the delicious substance.

As I enjoy the flavor of the first bite, my mischief is interrupted by the sound of an arrival. Immediately, I bound off the table and race to the couch to play my most innocent part of the “sleeping puppy.” But, the old man never enters. Nor does the sound of keys jingling tell me that he’s even here. I do hear something, but it isn’t the sound of the old man. In fact, I distinctly hear four sets of feet…or paws, traversing my home.

No time to play the lazy dog! I’m up and patrolling the well-being of my home. I start back in the kitchen, where the scent is strongest. Something definitely has been sneaking about the room. I follow the scent out into the hall and into the extra room. The door is ajar, possibly pushed open by the intruder. I enter and search the room. It’s musty in here, the smell of old dust has settled on the carpet. But, that makes it even easier to track my foe. The trail leads under the bed, where the darkness is unsettling. I let out a growl to alert anything that I’m coming in there. I crawl under and wiggle around the stored clutter.

Then I hear it again. The sound is quiet, almost miniscule. It moves out from the darkness and leaves the room. I bark warnings as I squeeze back out from under the bed. Dust bunnies have given me the sneezes and my eyes are watery and itchy. But, I don’t give up following the trail. I race back into the hallway to search my room. All my toys are still there. Whew, that’s good! No scent resides here, so the hunt is back on. Into the living room I go, snout to the carpet as I seek the fresh trail.

Before I know it, I’m back in the kitchen. The smell is strong again, a furry smell along with a touch of rotten food. I circle the room, before discovering that I’m being watched. Up, high upon my table, sits a cat. A cat with mustard on its grinning face. This invader had the tenacity to help itself to my snack and was pleased with such a dirty deed.

I’m mad. That was my snack! No one gets away with such a crime in my home! Apparently that cat didn’t think me an acrobat, or was just over confident in its own abilities. Up on the chair and then onto the table, I bound with enough agility to make the cat jealous of me. The culprit was definitely surprised, enough so that it dropped the mouthful of meat it had and leaped off the table and onto the counter.
The window. It had been opened to catch some fresh air, but instead it let this stinky cat in to feast on my goods. “Get out!” I bark, “And don’t ever touch my snacks again!”

The invader took my advice and hopped out the window. I barked cries of victory, indeed proud of myself and my excellent abilities. Then I noticed I was being watched again. The old man! He was just standing in the doorway with his arms crossed and a stern look on his face. I looked down at the chewed-up sandwich. Uh-oh…busted. Time to pull out the innocent puppy-dog eyes.

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own “rocky” adventures.

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