Autumn…fun and scary!

With Autumn comes cooler weather, bountiful harvests and lots of fun activities for the whole family. I remember when my family was young, we would go to the nearest corn maze and get lost for hours. We also loved to hike, pick pumpkins and apples. When acceptable, our dog always came with us. The kids and the dog always had a lot of fun, and everyone always ate things that weren’t part of our regular diet. That was fine for us humans, but sometimes the dog got fed something that didn’t agree with him.

I remember two such instances where stomach upset occurred after an excursion. One was when our dog ate almost as much ice cream as the kids did. While this doesn’t upset all dogs, some can’t tolerate milk products. Well, our dog can tolerate some milk products, but I guess heavy milk fat ice cream isn’t one of them. Let’s just say it was an interesting ride home.

The other instance was the wonderful holiday of Halloween. This is my son’s favorite holiday and he loved dressing up and decorating the house. Our dog was always dressed in a costume and went trick or treating right alongside the kids. Unfortunately, dogs and candy don’t mix. Our first Halloween with a dog was a learning experience for my son. While trick or treating with his beloved pet was a great joy, he quickly learned that he now had to make sure his candy was out of the reach of his very large German Shepherd, who could reach anywhere my son could. And chocolate was an irresistible treat for this 107 pound gentle giant. He helped himself and I in turn woke up the vet with some very scary questions. The vet, however, was far less concerned than I was. Thankfully chocolate has different degrees of toxicity and that toxicity depends on the type of chocolate and on the size of the dog. I was immediately overjoyed that our dog was rather large, and that the chocolate was milk chocolate.

So here’s what I learned about chocolate toxicity in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the higher the danger and the smaller the dog, the easier it is to be poisoned by the chocolate.

So…while enjoying all the season has to offer, be sure to remember what’s good and what hurts your precious pet.


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