Here is a handy cold weather post-holiday canine care checklist:

 

<ü  Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal.

<ü  Rock salt, used to melt ice on sidewalks, may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your dog's feet after a walk or try having your dog wear boots for protection from ice & snow.

<ü  Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get seriously injured.

<ü  Groom your dog regularly. Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat. Long-haired dogs should have excess hair around the toes and foot pads trimmed to ease snow removal and cleaning. If you do the trimming, take care not to cut the pads or other delicate area of the foot.  Short nails and tidy paws also give your dog better traction for agility.

<ü  Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are pet poisons! Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach. 

<ü  Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Keep unhealthy, sweet treats and seasonal goodies out of reach.

<ü  And let's not forget those packs of sugar free gum with Xylitol!  While safe for humans, Xylitol can be extremely harmful to dogs.  Just 3 grams can kill a 65 pound dog in as little as 15 minutes.

<ü  Review holiday gifts for dogs to make sure they are safe. Items such as plastic toys and small rawhide sticks may be dangerous.

<ü  Remove holiday lights from lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn dogs.

<ü  Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and may get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place wires out of reach.

<ü  Avoid using delicate glass ornaments especially on the lower branches. They break easily and may cut a dog's feet and mouth.  Some people actually find it helpful to tie their Christmas trees to a hook on the wall or ceiling to keep it from falling over onto rambunctious or curious pets.

<ü  Refrain from using edible ornaments. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to eat them. Also, commercial ornaments may contain paint or toxins in the preservatives.

<ü  Whether your tree is live or artificial, both kinds of needles are sharp and indigestible. Don't leave your dog unattended in the room with the tree.

<ü  Tinsel is dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.

<ü  When things get too busy and frantic for you and your dog, you can always use the tried & true combination of a treat-filled kong while in a cozy crate.

By taking just a few precautions and keeping your pet well exercised during the holidays, you'll have a better start to 2010!

 If you have any announcements or questions that you’d like to see answered in our next newsletter, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

Wishing you the greatest success in all of your pursuits.  May your accomplishments surpass your greatest expectations in the coming year! 

Health, Happiness and Prosperity to All!

All Fours Dog Training

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Go Team Illinois

All Fours Teammates are representing the state of IL in the State Team Tournament at the National Agility Championships again! Go Team Illinois!

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