Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

I can't in good conscience let you all go without a few tips for safe Thanksgiving practices. For those who are traveling, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a pet first aid kit in the car (this is a good idea year round, but especially for traveling). The AVMA has a great list to get you started , but here are a few other things to put in your first aid kit:

Little Kid Socks - we use toddler socks as a wrap over gauze for our border collie. She often scrapes the bottom of her feet, and if she's bleeding, it can sometimes be a challenge to keep her still while we wrap her up. In a pinch, the sock can be folded and used as a small square to sop up blood, but we cover her scratches with Neosporin, gauze, the sock, and some athletic tape.

Neosporin (or some other ointment for scrapes/minor cuts, etc): As mentioned above, when we travel, we're often zooming through woods, or at least bombing through some back yards. This time of year, sticks, rocks, and acorns are EVERYWHERE, and sometimes dogs paws can get a little cut up.

Vet Wrap:  Vet wrap is a staple in our kit. Vet Wrap is a self-sticking bandage that goes over gauze and other padding to protect the gauze/injury site. In our case, Zep ripped out his dew claw (again) and is sporting non-stick gauze (for the injury site), thick padding gauze (for protection against bumping it into things, because lets face it - greyhounds are not graceful in a home environment), and some vet wrap over the padded gauze.

I've also used some of the vet wrap for my own hands - when working with puppies, and really mouthy adolescent dogs,sometimes there is bleeding on the joints of fingers or the tips of fingers/thumbs, where it's really hard to get a band-aid to stick. Vet wrap is really handy - put the band-aid on, then cover with vet wrap. Viola - band-aid stays put, and you can rock whatever color you like.

Phone Numbers & Important Paperwork: We don't like to think of our dogs as getting injured or sick when we travel, but it happens. My poor husband had to clean out his brand new Mini Cooper on its inaugural drive to Maine a few years ago after Sadie had .... an explosion of sorts. We were close enough to drive home and see our vet, but sometimes, that just isn't the case.

 Get the number of the nearest veterinarian AND the nearest 24 hour emergency clinic BEFORE YOU LEAVE ON YOUR TRIP. The time to look for those numbers isn't when you're in panic mode when your dog is bleeding, vomiting, or otherwise in bad shape.

 Keep a copy of your dogs rabies certificate with you: If your dog gets bit by a skunk, bat, another dog, or if your dog bites another dog/human on your trip, you will need to provide proof of vaccination. It's best to have the certificate - the rabies tag doesn't give the information required for medical professionals. They need the administering vet's information, the batch of the rabies vaccine, and the date given/date expires of the vaccine.  Trying to call your vet on a holiday weekend might be difficult, and if it happens on a Sunday, you won't be able to get the info you need. Take a  photo of the certificate with your iPhone, or keep a copy of it in your dogs travel bag.

 ....AND a current photo of your pet with you.  If your dog ends up running off, having a current photo with you will make it much easier to make signs to post around the neighborhood.

A Few More Sites: If you're interested in learning more about safety precautions while traveling, what human foods are dangerous for your dog (grapes, raisins, and onions to name a few), or killing time before you take off for a long holiday weekend - well, here you go:

 Human Foods NOT For Puppy Consumption This is perhaps the link I can recommend the most. It has a list of foods that might be toxic to your dog, and the number for Poison Control (a fee is incurred if you call Poison Control, but if your dog just ate a whole box of Russel Stauffers and washed it down with a glass of wine, you need to call them IMMEDIATELY: 888-426-4435).  There is another list that I like, and it includes some items not on the toxic list that I often get questions about. That list can be found right here.  They answer the question about what part of the Tomato is toxic to your dog, and the low-down on Garlic.

 Cartalk on F.I.D.O  I love the Car Talk Guys, Tom and Ray. They offer a full site on how to safely travel with your dogs, why they shouldn't be allowed to stick their heads out the window while driving, and what to do if your dog gets car sick.

For full list and lighthearted humor, check out I Has A Hotdog

For all of you out there that read - thank you :) If you travel, have a safe trip. If you're staying at home & cooking, I hope it's as stress-free as it can possibly be. And remember what this day is all about - giving thanks and reflection as we head into the doldrums of winter. Let those things that keep you going continue to keep your heart warm as we head into another New England Winter.

 And just for fun, a list of things I'm thankful for:
What? They're winning :)
Friends, Family, and Boston
A questionable sense of humor
The Dogs and their undying loyalty, even in the pouring rain.
....and pie. 

May you and yours have a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday....or, Evacuation Day if you prefer.

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