We were at a restaurant in Buckhead on Sunday and our waiter noticed that I was wearing a Home Dog Training of Georgia golf shirt.  He asked if we trained dogs.  I always would like to say, “No, I don’t train dogs, I just like wearing clothes that say I train dogs”, but I held my tong. You never want to get on the bad side of the person serving your food.  I said that Robin and I have trained over 5,000 dogs in during the last thirteen years and asked if he had any training questions.  He mentioned that he had a Yorkie, Sammy; and was going to his parent’s house in Tampa for Thanksgiving.  His parents always put on a big spread and there will be all sorts of food and goodies there.  People are always trying to give Sammy treats and he was afraid that some of them might be bad for Sammy.  He wanted some advice on what foods might be bad.  

I first told him that he was a great dog owner for taking such a proactive stance in making sure his little guy would be safe.  Small dogs can get sick very quickly and if you are out of town, you might not know where to take them.

The big thing that he needed to do was to be diligent in who and what is around his little Yorkie.  Make sure that Sammy isn’t left alone where he may find “stuff left on the ground” or an unknowing family member that might give a treat.  Inform everyone that the only things his dog is allowed to eat are his kibble or any treats that HE has brought with Sammy.  Do not give him anything else, no matter how cute he may act or how intensely he may beg.

Ask everyone to keep their plates high enough so that Sammy can’t take an uninvited nibble.  He also might want to leave a few bowls of Sammy’s doggie treats and kibble around so that if his family or friends want to give Sammy a goodie, they have something appropriate to feed him.  Just make sure that the bowls are clearly marked so that someone doesn’t “nibble on a doggie treat”.

Just to be on the safe side, I reviewed some of the “Holiday Fix-ins” that are definitely on the naughty side of the naughty and nice list.  Some of them are:

  • Turkey skin, drippings, and gravy
  • Turkey twine
  • Turkey bones
  • Onions and garlic
  • Sage
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Corn on the cob
  • Chocolate
  • Mushrooms
  • Bread dough
  • Fat trimmings and fatty food in general
  • Alcohol

It is also important that he Google “24 hour emergency Veterinary Hospitals in Tampa” and contact them to make sure they will be open while he is there.  It would also be good if he could get Sammy’s medical history from his local vet just in case it is needed (hopefully not) while he is in Tampa.

Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you have any dog training questions.  Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Buckhead Georgia.