Second Chance: Seeking Common Sense Candidates

Second Chance: Seeking Common Sense Candidates

Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shops have been servicing San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties for over 26 years. Call the Second Chance Helpline at 970-626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other services. View shelter pets and services online:


Hi my name is Sugarcane Jane. Currently I am homeless, but I intend to change that by writing this week’s Second Chance Humane Society Pet Column to outline the simple criteria regarding what I am looking for in a new family. This summary would be helpful to all dog parents who also want to be responsible and keep your pets safe.

Let’s start by recognizing that your pets can’t discern whether certain toys and food are truly safe for them. Although toys are important for your pet’s enrichment and mental stimulation, many are not safe. It is up to you to make safe choices for your pets. I can help by offering some guidelines but you need to be ready to parent up and hold true to them:

The first one would appear to be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. I strongly recommend choosing toys that are the appropriate size for your pet, as in, not choking hazards. Sticking to toys designed specifically for pets is a good start as children’s toys can’t hold up to strong jaws and sharp teeth of your pets (and, if your human child does have particularly strong jaws and teeth, pet toys do come in handy).

Avoid giving your pet sticks, wooden toys, and cooked bones which can splinter and cause damage to their teeth and mouth, cause choking or lead to ulcers and intestinal perforations. Non-splintering bones and toys made of hard rubber and nylon make a better choice. Also a bad idea, letting your pet chew on explosive devices.

Delete allowing pets to chew towels, socks, shoes, and other articles of clothing which, aside from ruining a nice outfit, can be swallowed and cause intestinal obstructions. This seems rather obvious but, according to veterinarians, is not.

In addition to damaging their mouth and teeth, allowing your dog to chew on rocks can block their intestines if swallowed. I understand that some dogs just seem obsessively drawn to this activity, but if your human child insisted on doing this would you be ok?

Most dogs get just a little bit crazy excited around squeaky toys. For us, successfully removing the “squeak” from the center of a toy is almost as satisfying as someone unknowingly dropping a raw steak on the floor. But it is important to make sure you take the squeaker away once it has been reclaimed from within the bowels of the toy. I always say, “better you remove it from your dog’s mouth than your veterinarian surgically remove it from your dog’s belly.”

Basically, I urge pet parents to use common sense. Just because we are having fun chewing something up does not mean we should be allowed to continue. Just because your human child enjoys eating tissue paper does not mean that behavior should continue either.

So, anyone reading this who agrees with my common sense approach is qualified to apply to be my new person. I am a one year-young Dachstralian (Australian Cattle Dog/Dachshund) who is a very cuddly, sweet as sugar cane, human attention-seeking (after some initial temporary shyness) smaller dog with a big personality. I hope to meet you soon.

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