Why Halloween May Not Be a Treat for Your Dog: Safety Tips from Maggie Mae

Sporting my Ladybug costume for Halloween

Sporting my Ladybug costume for Halloween

Halloween is a happy time but it may not be so much fun for your furry friends. While you and your family are decorating your house, making your Halloween costumes and party arrangements remember that we pets are around and you need to be careful about us. I like being around people and I wear a costume. But not all dogs and cats are like me, so I got some hauntingly good advice from Jeremy Tubbs, DVM of Millwood Animal Hospital in New York. Here are some tips that can help you and your entire family have a Happy and safe Halloween.

1.  Dressing up is not for every pet: You need to know your pet. I don’t mind wearing a jacket so I am happy to don my ladybug costume for the day. “Costumes are fine as long as they are not restrictive,” says Dr. Tubbs, “and be sure they don’t get overheated.”  And he says, “Make sure you try it on beforehand. And don’t leave your pet unsupervised.” Be careful of small decorations on the costume that can fall off and your dog could eat them. And if your pet has allergies, some of the materials that the costumes are made from can be a problem

2.  No Tricks or Treats for your pet: I love treats, but candy is never a good treat for us canines. “Chocolate and xylitol, an artificial sweetener, are toxic to pets. And most dogs do not tolerate sweet food items very well. These treats can cause gastrointestinal distress,” says Dr. Tubbs. Your dog could choke on a candy wrapper or a lollipop stick too. Keep candy away and have some low calorie dog biscuits on hand for us. I love a little bit of cooked pumpkin which is good for my digestion but a Halloween pumpkin is not good to eat. If your dog does snatch a treat you can call your vet or the Pet Poison hotline, 800-213-6680.

3.  Watch Your Front Door: I love visitors but not all dogs or cats do. “Constant ringing of the door bell and strange costumes can be very scary and cause a great deal of anxiety,” says Dr. Tubbs. So unless they are like me it’s a good idea to crate us dogs (that’s the place I go to be safe) or put them in a separate room. “If you are not sure how your pet would tolerate these situations, I recommend that you err on the side of caution and just remove them from the stressors,” says Dr. Tubbs. This also keeps them from running out the door when Trick or Treaters call. And in case they do get out, be sure they have an ID tag with up to date information.

4.  Decorations can be scary: Last night I heard a scary noise outside. When I went for my walk I saw creatures I had never seen before and heard screeching sounds so I barked. My owner said it was just Halloween decoration and not be worry. And just like candy, some of the Halloween symbols are not good for your pets. A flickering jack-o-lantern is fun but it might scare a dog (I don’t like candles or flashlights) and a curious cat might try to swipe the flame. “Also realize that your decorations may look like fun chew toys to them but may be very sharp, hot or cause unforeseen complications,” says Dr. Tubbs. Also, for a chewer like me it is wise to keep wires and cords out of reach.

You and your pets can have fun on Halloween if you just take a little extra care. I know I will have a good time, so here’s wishing you and that your dog or cat a stress-free happy haunting holiday too!

 

What are you planning to do for Halloween?

 

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Posted in A Day in the Life of Maggie Mae, Maggie Mae’s Scoop, One Day in the Life of Maggie Mae, Pet Health Information

Birthday!

Today day is my birthday! Here I am celebrating with my good friend Mia!

Today is my birthday! Here I am celebrating with my good friend Mia!

Another year older and hope to be a wiser pup! Enjoying my seventh birthday celebration. And no, I did not eat a chocolate cupcake. That was for the humans. I had an extra treat!

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Pet Peeve: Please Pick Up Your Poop

I can read this, so I don't understand why some people don't heed this sign.

I can read this, so I don’t understand why some people don’t heed this sign.

Maggie Mae’s Pet Peeve: This is something I just don’t get. I see a lot of unpicked up poop in my neighborhood and when I walk in the town–even on the sidewalk. I can’t pick up my own poop, so my owner carries bags with her all the time and even a flashlight at night so she can see it in the dark. My owner carries a pouch that is attached to the handle of my leash so she always has something to use to pick up the “you know what”.  She’s right there next to me when I do my business and I even get a “Good Girl,” when I am finished.

What’s your Pet Peeve?

Maggie Mae Pup Reporter wants to hear from you! This is a series of posts about things that are on my mind. I am a very happy dog and get along well with kids and adults of all ages. But there are some things that bother me.  I  will let you know what is on my mind and if  you have something you would like to share, just let me know.

You can contact me at maggiemae10514@gmail.com if you have your own pet related peeve!

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Pet Peeves: A New Series from Maggie Mae Pup Reporter

Writing my first Pet Peeve!

Writing my first Pet Peeve!

A series of posts for people from a pup’s point of view.

Maggie Mae Pup Reporter wants to hear from you!

I am about to launch a new series of posts. I am a very happy dog and get along well with kids and adults of all ages. As I am getting older and wiser I have noticed that there are some things that bother me.  I  will let you know what is on my mind and you have something you would like to share, just let me know.

You can contact me at maggiemae10514@gmail.com if you have a pet related peeve!

 

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Hanging out with other writers!

Cuddling up with award-winning children's book author Roni Schotter

Cuddling up with award-winning children’s book author Roni Schotter

Yesterday I had the best time hanging out with other authors at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.  It was fun to be with other writers to inspire me. And of course, reading is very important for kids of all ages. I was named for Maggie from the book “Wait for Me! Said Maggie McGee” by Jean Van Leeuwen who was at the festival yesterday.

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Posted in One Day in the Life of Maggie Mae

Happy National Dog Day!

Maggie Mae Thankful

 

Everyday is dog day for me!

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When It Comes to Eating It’s a Dog’s Life

My Wee-Nut has a treat inside!

My Wee-Nut has a treat inside! Yum!

Maggie Mae has some fun with  her friends talking about what they like to eat and some safety hints too!

 

Next to my owner, what I love most in this world is food. I could eat all day. The words “treat,” “food,” and “eat” are music to my ear – which go up to acknowledge them.

But eating a lot isn’t so good for me. In fact when I was about a year old, my veterinarian Megan Duffy told my owner I couldn’t be gaining weight every time I came to the office. I weigh 9 1/2 pounds, which is just right for a Toy Poodle like me.

Since then, I’m on portion control, but I eat lots of delicious things. I heard Dr. Duffy say “Weight Watchers,” and I feel like someone is counting my points every day. My morning and evening meals are measured – ¼ cup Wellness Super-mix with a dollop of Wellness Lamb or Chicken Formula and a smidgen of sweet potato. The vet said that roughage is good for my digestive system.

When my owner eats salmon, chicken or eggs I go crazy from the aroma and am lucky if she gives me a few morsels—but never from the table itself. I find them in my bowl. She keeps me on a short leash both literally and figuratively. For a treat, I get one mini Mother Hubbard Just Veggin’ or P-Nutter dog biscuit during the middle of the day. It’s broken up in small pieces inside a Kong toy, so it’s a challenge to get the reward.

While I eat prepared dog foods, my friends Fiona, a Chihuahua/Poodle mix, and Bailey, a Pomeranian, have someone who cooks delicious people food for them. The recipe includes yummy things like ground turkey, brown rice, cooked frozen broccoli or spinach, canned pumpkin and nutrients recommended by a veterinarian.

My friend Penny, a Portuguese Waterdog like President Obama’s dogs, eats a special diet of Bil-Jac that was suggested by her breeder. She does sneak in some people food, too, like the bottom half of sub rolls. For a treat she likes bullies, which are dried beef muscle from the penis of a real bull. I had one of those once, but I was way too possessive of it. When my owner said, “Drop it,” I showed her my teeth, which is not a nice thing to do. When I did drop it on my own, I never saw it again. Hmmm.

My friend Coco has a very healthy diet. Like me, she eats twice a day and gets a little bit of freeze-dried raw dog food, grated fresh carrots, a few small pieces of boiled chicken and a splash of salmon oil. “I love the dental chew I get once a day,” says Coco, who is a mixed-breed rescue dog. I think I would like that better than having my owner brush my teeth with chicken flavored canine toothpaste.

Some dogs have all the luck. My neighbor Riley, a Staffordshire Terrier, has a toddler in his home so he is always picking up of bits and pieces of food that his 2-year old “brother” Mason accidentally drops on the floor. Of course he is a good dog and waits until Mason is out of his high chair to inspect the territory. And Rocky, a Black Lab, will run to the kitchen to lick up spills and crumbs when his owner calls, “Clean Up!” That doesn’t happen in my house.

“If I smell bacon, I wait to get some mixed in with my food,” says Finn, a Wheaten Terrier who isn’t big on dog biscuit treats but he is right there for table scraps. He told me he’s an ace at ferreting out iceberg lettuce to get to the hamburger or bacon left over from BLTs or burgers. “When I get an upset tummy, though, I forage for grass and leaves outside. My owner will stop me and instead gives me store-bought mixed spring greens. That makes me feel better.”

Speaking of upset tummies, I wanted to give you a list of some foods that are off-limits to me and my canine friends:

*Grapes, raisins and currants damage the kidneys.

*Avocados damage the heart muscle.

*Garlic and onions can cause vomiting.

*Macadamia nuts cause muscle and nervous system problems.

*Chocolate stimulates the heart and nervous system.

*Xylitol (found in sugarless gum) lowers blood sugar levels.

Please beware of pet foods and treats that come from China, which has been cited for contaminated products. Read labels carefully, because some treats made in the USA come from animal products from China.

All this talk of food is making me hungry. I think I’ll wander into the kitchen to see if anything is going on there. If you know any pooches who are connoisseurs of canine cuisine, please share your favorite recipes with me. I can live vicariously, can’t I?

 

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Pup Reporter makes the Huffington Post

Huff Post!

Huff Post!

Thought you’d all like to know I made it on the Huffington Post in PetSmart sponsored post.

“Admit It, All You Do Is Take Pictures Of Your Pet.” My owner surely does.

Many thanks to Sara Wald  for including me and her sister Jennifer Wald Topiel for the connection.

Here’s the link: Admit it

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Staying Safe in the Summer

Visiting my cousins in Connecticut with my trusty water bottle that doubles into a bowl!

Visiting my cousins Chloe and Sophia in Connecticut with my trusty water bottle that doubles as a bowl!

Summer is here! As the weather gets warmer I notice that my routine changes. I take my long walks in the early morning and after dinner and my owner carries my water bottle with her whether we walk into town or go in the car. In the summer I don’t need to wear a coat unless it is raining. I love it because I am outside so much more than when it is cold. In summer the scorching pavement sometimes makes my paws hurt and I don’t like that one bit. Thinking of my hot paws made me think I should share some advice about being safe in the summertime with my readers.

Summer is a time for fun but there are some things that we need to be careful about. I know that I need to drink more water.  Unlike people, dogs don’t sweat and can’t regulate their body temperature,  so they are at great risk to get very sick from the heat. And like walking on hot pavement, walking on hot sand can cause painful burns to pets’ footpads.

Once a month my owner gives me an extra little treat with my dinner. That treat is actually medicine to prevent heartworm disease. Mosquitoes spread the disease and they are around a lot in the summer.  My owner checks me for ticks each time we come in from the outside and I get monthly treatment for them too, but not just in the summer.

I ride in the car more in the summer time, and whenever we travel, I either ride in my crate or a harness type seatbelt. I love to go in the car but not all dogs do. Car travel can be very stressful for some animals so if your pet is an inexperienced traveler, short ‘practice’ trips will help to get them used to a longer trip. Don’t let your pet eat too much before you leave on a trip. Some pets might have an upset stomach and they might vomit.

I’ve never flown in a plane, but if I do, I am small enough to travel in the cabin. Unless a dog can travel in the cabin, it’s not a good idea to travel by plane during the summer. Larger dogs are placed in the cargo hold where the temperatures are not well regulated which can lead to overheating.

I am lucky because my owner takes me on trips with her. Not all dogs can do this. Some can stay at home with a pet sitter but others have to be boarded at a kennel. Visit the facility ahead of time to see if it is a good place for your dog and that it meets your standards. See if it is clean and ask to see the size of the enclosure where your pet will be spending most of its time. See where they will be exercised and how often and meet the people who will be caring for your pet. Here is a  warning: because of the potential risk of exposure to infectious diseases at boarding facilities, like kennel cough and influenza, make sure your pet is appropriately vaccinated. Not every pet should be boarded, especially those that suffer from chronic illness, are immunosuppressed, elderly or suffer from anxiety. Pet sitters in the home would be a better choice for these pets.

And then the most important advice of all: Never leave your pet in a car without air conditioning. It is very dangerous! In minutes, a parked car can turn into an oven.

I can’t wait to see what adventures I’ll have this summer. And I hope that I will see all my dog friends keeping cool!

For more hot weather tips for pets you can go to the ASPCA website:

http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/hot-weather-tips

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Lost and Found–A Dog’s Tale

 

A few months ago, my friend Olive went missing. Here are some good tips for making sure that never happens to your pooch.

My latest column appears in the June issue of WAG Magazine

Lost and Found–A Dog’s Tale

Olive on her way to California with her family

Olive at the airport on her way to California with her family

 

 

 

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