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December 2001 | Subscribers: 6,892 | Issue No: 026 - 26th Edition | 2001© All Rights Reserved

Maltese Only News
December 2001

How to Pet Proof Your Home for the Holidays

The holidays are a family time, and for most of us, that includes our Maltese. With all the hustle and bustle, though, it can be easy to overlook family pets. We can't hang them on nails around the room to keep them out of trouble, and we shouldn't want to. With a few simple steps, though, it's easy to keep your Maltese out of trouble and in on all the festivities.

When you're baking holiday cookies, don't enlist your Maltese as a taste tester. He doesn't need the extra calories. The weight difference between you and your dog turns 200 calories for you into a real "pig out" for your small dog like a Maltese. The turkey and trimmings should likewise be left for you and your guests to enjoy. Be firm when friends want to give your Maltese a bite of pumpkin pie or a spoonful of stuffing. Rich foods can cause severe intestinal problems. Your dog should eat his normal diet at his normal feeding time. There is always the well-meaning friend who insists that dogs have teeth and stomachs that are meant for bones, but sharp poultry bones can perforate the stomach or intestines. Keep them out of reach. These same rules apply to chocolate and alcohol. Chocolate contains theo- bromine, a chemical that is toxic to dogs, and alcohol doesn't agree with them either. Even a small amount of either substance can cause serious problems and painful for your Maltese. At worst, your holiday can be saddened by the death of a beloved dog. Trying to prepare a meal with this many feet and sniffing noses can be dangerous, so during the holidays we confine our pets to their crate or to other rooms while food preparation is going on.

Taking the time to be slective when decorating the tree and home can pay off. If you can't avoid dangling cords, be sure your Maltese is supervised when he or she is around them. A chewed cord can result in a serious burn and even death. Plants are another potential danger. Many of these are toxic if ingested. If someone surprises you with a holiday arrangement, ask your veterinarian about the safety of the plants or distinguish which plant it is an check it out online (there are many websites that deal with poisonus plants).

Everyone loves presents and your Maltese are no exception. Wrap a dog biscuit or other favorite treat, and let them share the fun. Keep an eye on things in case territorial disputes develop if you have more than one dog!

Finally, take some time to relax with your Maltese and give him or her some special attention. You both deserve it!

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