Issue 2: February 09
dhn_askmax2Dear Max,

One of my humans brought home a new box wrapped in red paper and hearts. As usual, I figure it's for me. Anyway, something sure smells good in there. I've been sniffing the box to let my humans know they can open it and let me sample the contents. Plus there's a card attached that says "be mine," so that's like an invitation for me to have whatever's inside, right? But my humans are not complying with my wishes. Why not?

- Sweet Tooth

Dear Sweet Tooth,

Because they love you. Let me explain . . .

Your humans are celebrating Valentine's Day, a special day (invented by a cherub named Cupid, I think) when humans show how much they love each other (like they do every day with you). Sometimes this means they give each other presents. The newly-arrived box probably contains candy,most likely chocolates.

Trust me, your humans have your best interests in mind by not sharing any with you. Candy and chocolate can be very dangerous for us non-humans. My canine veterinarian friend, Dr. Samoyed (who already has the white coat) warns:

"The high fat content in many confections and desserts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, and even result in a potentially lethal medical condition called pancreatitis. Too much sugar can also cause stomach upsets. Even sugar-free candy can produce serious problems: The ingredient xylitol can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, and theoretically liver failure as well."

The biggie is chocolate, though. Humans savor it, but it's toxic to dogs. An added issue with us dogs is that we tend to like the sweet stuff. Here's more information, written by a knowledgeable veterinarian, on why chocolate must never be fed to dogs (or cats or other animals).

As an alternative, maybe you can talk your humans into buying you a Valentine's Day toy (see below), or some tasty dog treats. Or maybe an extra-long walk followed by a big lovey session with you and your human family - that might be the best present of all.


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