Neighbourhood Dogs: What’s The Harm…Right?

Since Oliver and I moved from the big city of Vancouver to our small, country-fabulous home in the Kootenays, I’ve noticed a growing trend that has probably been accepted for ages, but is really starting to irritate me. Neighbourhood dogs. Ever experience them? Basically, neighbourhood dogs are dogs with homes that are allowed to roam the areas surrounding their homes.

My neighbour, who lives 2 doors down, has a older lab mix whom is constantly out walking the “hood”. This dog looks slightly senile to me, pretty confused, walks out in traffic, etc. He is always wandering (confusedly) on the sidewalk, or a few blocks down. And they let him out of their unfenced yard (which is right on the corner of a busy street) fully knowing how easy it would be for him to get lost or worse, get hit by a vehicle.

A month ago another incident happened, someone’s dog came bolting out of their yard, snarling, and acting aggressively as he ran towards my small dog. Panicked, I picked Oliver up and held him to my chest to shield him from a bite I was sure was to occur. Luckily, the owner realized and came bolting after her dog.

Then today, while driving along the highway (80 km/hr), I came around a corner and nearly smacked a white bull terrier walking down the centre line. He had a red collar on so he must have a home and then he slowly decided to walk up the next street which he seemed to know well; Hopefully, he walked back home.

The dangers surrounding this neighbourhood phenomenon are insane. There are the obvious dangers: attacking people, or sadly, being attacked; being hit by a vehicle; causing a vehicle to diverge and get into an accident; and getting lost. But what about some other dangers? We know there are some sick people in this world, people who poison, beat, steal, or injure animals just for the hell of it. What about the dangers from exploring strange areas– falling into wells; ingesting garbage which can contain household poisons (xylitol, cleaners, etc); getting tied up to something/stuck to an object; or dehydration/starvation.

Your dog may be the friendliest dog on the planet, your neighbours may love his visits, but if that is the case they’ll ask to visit your pet. There is no reason why your dog needs to be roaming the streets. I’m not even going to mention how this irresponsibility reflects on owners constantly trying to fight prejudices against pet owners because frankly it’s obvious. Fence your yards, or leash your pets, I don’t care, but keep them at home!

‘Tis The Season!

Ho, Ho, Ho the holiday season is upon us with only 19 days until Christmas. Gorgeous trees are being decorated, lights are being hung, and our pets are getting into mischief! Why just today I had to pull Moby out of the tree 3 times. Our tree skirt was being undone and the strings being played with slash eaten, so I took that away. Now I figure I’ll share some holiday safety tips with you all!

— Use Command hooks to safely chain the tree to the wall
–Avoid decorating the tree too low so your pets can’t smorgasbord on the low ornaments
–Consider using garland instead of tinsel. Tinsel is known to cause some gastro issues when ingested.
–Unplug your tree when sleeping or out of your home. Wee kitties/puppies may chew the bright lights and either zap themselves or cause a house fire.
–Use faux poinsettias or place your real ones high out of reach. These plants are known to be poisonous to pets.
–Wash pets feet after a walk, chemicals in road salt are poisonous and harmful to their paw pads.
–Walking in snowy/icey conditons for long periods of time can cause pads to crack and bleed.
–Dispose of turkey carcasses ASAP, dogs will do ANYTHING to get at it.
–Wait to put out presents until Christmas Eve. Shiny bows, ribbons, and paper somehow seem edible, especially to cats.

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You Put WHAT In My Dog’s Food?

Hills, commonly known for their dog food Science Diet, has recently come out to say that they will be adding propylene glycol to their food to act as a preservative. This ingredient is known to be a plastic and is found in ANTI-FREEZE. What you’ll find hilarious is the FDA has banned this ingredient in felines (cats) as it has found to be quite toxic….So….Why are they putting it in dog food? Another funny thing about this ingredient is it contains CHLOROFORM. Some of you may know that I work in a dental office to pay the bills, and we use chloroform too, but do you know what for? To dissolve otherwise undessolvable materials, aka ERODE hard materials. Imagine what this does to an intestine, or stomach? Some of your mothers reading this post may also be interested to know you can find propylene glycol in baby wipes. So basically you are rubbing a harsh chemical on your sweet baby’s bottom.

Dogs, cats, or any other pet, cannot tell you what they need in their food, what tastes good, what makes their tummies sore, or what foods give them the trots. READ ingredients lists. The following website has a pretty good breakdown of pet food ingredients– The Dog Food Project.

If you love your pet–don’t feed them crap. It’s pretty simple.