Archive for the ‘turkey’ Category

27 Nov 10

Post turkey dog walks ...

by Nancy E. Hassel,

After Thanksgiving meals are over, (leftovers and all), and the family and friends have gone home, don’t forget about your dog – who may be in desperate need of a nice long walk or hike. Dogs can get stressed out during the holidays with new noises, crowds, traveling and unfamiliar people coming and going. Help relieve that stress by going for a hike with your canine pal. Keep these tips in mind when out:

  • Make sure you have your dogs appropriate collar on that has his or her name tags, license and rabies tag. Even if you are using a training collar to walk your dog, you want identification on your dog at all times. *Don’t have tags on a choke or prong collar – these are training collars that should be taken off when at home.  A flat cotton, leather or nylon collar is best for dog tags.
  • Use a good leash. A sturdy leather or cotton 6-foot lead is best, especially if you don’t often walk your dog. Retractable leashes are not the best if in a heavily populated park or if you have no verbal control of your dog. Your dog should be close to you, not 15 – 30 feet ahead wandering around with no direction from you. (And people coming towards you can’t see if your dog is on a leash or not and it could be unnerving for them).
  • Bring water, and treats with you if you are going on a longer walk.
  • Check to make sure you can legally walk your dog in the park you are planning on going to. Don’t take your dog off leash if it is not allowed, obey the park rules, and it will be a more enjoyable day for everyone.
  • When approaching an oncoming dog and owner, ask if the dog is friendly and if your dog can say hello. Not all dogs are dog friendly, if you just let your dog wander up to any dog without asking, you could very well be asking for trouble. If they say no, don’t be offended, just move on.
  • Don’t over do it – if your dog is primarily a yard dog, an 8-mile hike might be too much. Go for a shorter mile or two.  Keep a pet first aid kit in your car also.
  • Invite a friend or two with their dogs and go together, dogs like to be social and enjoy walking with their canine pals.
  • If it is cold out and your dog has short hair, a dog coat will help him keep warm during the walk. 
  • If you live on the East End of Long Island be careful where you walk, as it is unfortunately hunting season, and often times areas where hunting is happening may not be marked.  Or signs can be confusing, i.e. one sign may say, ‘Nature Preserve No Hunting’ and 50-feet away is a private game hunting area, crazy!  Call your local town hall to find out more information on where you can safely walk or hike with your dog.
  • Most of all have fun and walk your dog often, not just after Thanksgiving! Walking with your dog is a wonderful way to bond, work on training techniques and drain some energy both physically and mentally for your dog.  You know what they say, “A tired dog is a good dog!”

Suffolk County Parks are Dog Friendly, leashed of course.  Some are seasonal, click her for more info.

19 Nov 10

by Nancy E. Hassel,

This is the time of year when we as humans indulge on all kinds of goodies, from Thanksgiving turkey, trimmings, pumpkin pies and a lot of food we would not normally eat on a daily basis. A lot of dog owners think they should give our dogs whatever we are eating as their holiday treat. You may feel guilty with those puppy eyes looking back up at you while they are licking their chops, but wait, stop and remember that guilt is a human emotion. Indulging your pet with all the yummy goodness of a Thanksgiving meal, could just have you spending that night in the ER for pets.

Some dogs, if they are not used to eating turkey, pumpkin or sweet potato pie, can get sick from it. So make sure you refrain from giving your dog foods they are not used to and also ask your guests to do the same. Dogs are better off eating what they are normally fed during the holiday season. With the rushing around in this busy time of year, you may not notice your dog not feeling well because someone gave him the turkey thigh. If you really want to give your dog a special treat, go to your local pet store and buy a dog treat – make sure it is veterinarian approved and made in the USA and don’t leave your dog unsupervised with it. This time of year, veterinarian offices see a pretty big spike in visits from gastrointestinal problems i.e.: dogs not used to eating table scraps, blockage from ingesting a toy or toy part (while no one was watching) and it could require surgery.

Before your friends and family are coming over for Thanksgiving, take your dog for a nice long walk, you know the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog. There are many beautiful places here on Long Island to do so, and it will be good for you to. Keep your dog healthy on Thanksgiving and throughout the holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving!