A Happy Thanksgiving for Dogs

A Happy Thanksgiving for Dogs

7 Thanksgiving Safety Tips for your Dog

Thanksgiving is a day where we gather our friends and family together to give thanks for what we have, and we celebrate with a plethora of delicious food. However, while we enjoy our meal, our dogs have a high risk of becoming injured or ill due to all of the tasty treats and decorations they can get into around the holidays. Your dog won’t be so thankful if they eat some meat bones or a toxic (to them) decoration. We know you are thankful for the companionship of your dogs, but now it is time for you to learn how to keep your dog safe during this time of thanks. Read through our tips and tricks to keep your dog safe, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

1. No Candles!

Although it is more likely for a cat to be injured by candle then a dog (since cats are much more attracted to the flickering flame then dogs are), if a candle is on a low table or in an area that your dog can reach, they can still accidentally knock it over and start a fire. Or, a long, furry, wagging tail could come in contact with the flame causing your pet to burn themselves. Unless your dog is locked up tight in another area of the house, do not have real candles lit in your home. Instead opt for LED candles- they are very realistic, and not dangerous like a real flame can be. If you must have real candles, keep them high up where your dog cannot come in contact with it.

2. Avoid Table Scraps

As much as we would love to give our dog some stuffing, turkey skin, or other tasty Thanksgiving treats, certain human foods are extremely toxic to dogs and should be avoided no matter what. Below are some of the most toxic foods that should be avoided:
• Chocolate the most well-known canine toxin, chocolate can cause intestinal upset, heart palpitation, seizures, and even death if large quantities are consumed. Any type of chocolate is toxic, however some chocolates are worse than others; white and milk chocolate may only cause intestinal upset, while dark chocolate and baking chocolate can cause more severe symptoms.
• Bread Dough According to the ASPCA, when raw bread dough is ingested by our pets, their body heat causes the dough to rise and expand in their stomach. This can then cause vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, resulting in life-threatening illness that will need emergency surgery.
• Fatty Foods Any amount of rich, fatty, or unfamiliar foods (such as meat fat, skins, and gravies) can cause intestinal issues; large quantities can cause a condition called pancreatitis, a medical condition that can be very painful and life-threatening if left untreated.
• Bones can cut or obstruct your dog’s internal organs. When cooked, they can also splinter and become stuck in the dog’s throat or further down its digestive tract.
• Onions: Onions and onion powder will attack your dog’s red blood cells, causing your cat to develop anemia.
• Grapes and Raisins contain a toxin that causes kidney failure in dogs.

3. Feed your Dog a Special Thanksgiving Meal

As previously mentioned, traditional Thanksgiving meals are loaded with ingredients that can make dog very ill. If you want your dog to join in the celebration, prepare their own turkey dinner ahead of time with a slice or two of skinless turkey breast and a small spoonful of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling, as this already has all the spices in it for pumpkin pie and can be harmful).

4. Keep the Garbage in the Can!

Dogs are highly skilled at finding enticing foods, whether it is on the counters, tables, or in the trash can. Take when disposing of leftover foods and packaging; it is best to double-bag them and put it straight into your outside trash can, ensuring your dog won’t knock over the one outside when you are not looking.
On top of food, items such as aluminum foil, wax paper, plastic wrap, tooth picks, skewers, used silverware, and strings that have been in contact with meat or other foods. Your dog won’t know this shouldn’t be eaten because it smells like food, and once ingested these items can cause damage or intestinal blockages.

5. Give Your Dog Extra Love

When you have a crowd at your home, your dog may feel neglected- particularly if your dog is very attached to you. If you can, try to set aside 10-15 minutes to spend some quality time with your dog before and during your party. Your dog will be more relaxed after getting some much needed attention from you, and you can enjoy your friends and family without feeling guilty for neglecting your dog.

6. Give your Dog a Safe Place

While some dogs thoroughly enjoy visitors, many do not, and may try to get as far away from new people as possible. For those dogs, it would be best to confine them while you have guests in your home. Be sure to provide fresh water, toys and bedding for your dog. Make sure all windows are secure, but keep the blinds and curtains open so they can see outside. You can also set up a stereo and play soothing music, or keep the television on low volume.  You may even consider taking your dog to doggy daycare or boarding them while you have guests.

7. For the Extra Stressed Dog

An overly-nervous dog may need to have a little help calming down and feeling at ease with other people roaming around their home. Many dogs are able to calm down with the help of natural remedies; however some dogs need a light sedative. If you think your dog may need something to “take the edge off” while there are guests at your home, please call your veterinarian for assistance.

I hope these tips will help you and your dogs have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

Puppy Classes Now at Barkers in Ft Lauderdale

Puppy Classes Now at Barkers in Ft Lauderdale


Puppy pre-school is starting for dogs from 9 to 16 weeks Thursday nights at 6pm at The Barkers Pet Center at 761 SE 17th St Causeway Ft Lauderdale 33316.  It’s a 4 week group class packed with tons of information for you including house training and great opportunities for your puppy to socialize with other puppies. Your dog will learn name recognition, watch me, kennel up, no biting and introduction to leash training and so much more.  Get your puppy started on the right paw.  Learn more by calling Barkers at 954-888-2274 or Yolanda at 954-507-7524

Ft Lauderdale Puppy Class

Duke’s first day of puppy class


Does Your Dog Have a Weight Problem? Probably.

Does Your Dog Have a Weight Problem? Probably.

Canine Obesity- How it is Affecting Your Dog and How to Fix It

Let’s just cut to the chase- your dog might be fat. You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t concerned about your pet’s weight. And you are not alone- roughly 53% of the domesticated dogs in our country are anywhere from slightly overweight to extremely obese. Arthritis, diabetes, and heart problems are just some of the issues your pet may endure if he or she is overweight. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, it may even decrease their life expectancy by up to 2.5 years. So if being overweight is so terrible for our pet’s health, why are we letting it happen? Or more importantly, what are we going to do to fix it?

Step 1- Diet
Now that you’ve come to terms with the fact that your dog has a weight problem, the first step in weight-loss is taking a trip to your veterinarian for a weight assessment. This is important, because your veterinarian can tell you how overweight your dog is, the best type of food to feed for optimum weight loss, how many calories and how much dog food per day your dog should be eating. More importantly, they can also determine if the weight gain is purely from too much food and not enough exercise, or if it’s actually from an underlying health condition such as a low thyroid or a hormonal imbalance. If there is an underlying medical condition, it is best to find that out now before you frustrate yourself by cutting out all snacks, serving prescription diet food, or resorting to a diet medication.

Once you have ruled out any medical issues, have had a weight assessment, and figured out how much food your dog should be eating, it’s time to work on you. Yes, you read right- one of the most common causes of weight gain in dogs, after medical issues, is overindulging with treats and table scraps. Take one day, and every time you give your dog a treat write down what you gave. At the end of the day, take a look at how much you’re giving.

We don’t expect you to completely eliminate treats altogether- a no treat policy will only result in other family members sneaking a treat here and there because they feel bad for your dog. And since those hidden treats aren’t being monitored, it’s likely your dog  will lose very little weight. Instead of your run of the mill dog treats, choose healthy alternatives such as veggies (carrots, green beans, and apple slices are great options).

Also, decide how many treats your dog is allowed in a day, put it in a bowl and when they’re gone, that’s it. This includes training treats- although most training treats do not have a lot of calories, you still want to include them in your dog’s daily treat allowance. Alternatively, you can use your dog’s kibble as training treats. The best way to do this is after you feed your dog their morning meal, measure out their food for their evening meal and either put it in a bowl on the counter, or (if your dog is prone to counter surfing for snacks), in a plastic bag in a cabinet. When training times comes around, grab a handful of your dog’s food from the bag. By doing it this way, you can ensure that you are not over feeding your dog.

Step 2- Exercise
It doesn’t matter how big, small, young, or old your dog is, they need daily exercise too. Without activity, your dog will become bored, frustrated and unhealthy. If your dog is an extreme couch potato, or is older and you have any concerns about what type and how much exercise your dog can handle, you should discuss your concerns your veterinarian during your weight assessment. You don’t want to pressure your dog into doing things that are too strenuous or you could end up with bigger problems. If your dog has not been accustomed to being physically active it is best to start slow- even a 15 minute walk may be too much if your dog has lived a sedentary lifestyle. As your dog gets used to the exercise, you can add additional activities or lengthen the time of your daily walk. Your dog should be happily tired, not exhausted, when you are done exercising her for the day.

It is important to remember that exercise is an activity you need to do daily, not just reserve it for the weekends. If, during the week you only have enough time for a 30 minute walk, that’s OK! It’s still exercise, and that’s what is important. If you and your dog can handle it, on the weekend you can go for longer walks, play fetch at the park, or even sign up for agility classes, trick training or doggy fitness classes to get an extra workout in for your dog.

No matter how you decide to deal with your dog’s weight, remember to start simple, without putting pressure on yourself or your dog. You will find that you are both looking forward to the time  you spend exercising together.



Evolutionary Dog Training offers classes and private training that promote dog fitness and a healthy lifestyle.  Email Yolanda@evolutionarydogtraining.com or call 954-507-7524 to learn more about healthy training for your dog.