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Posted by on in Training
Keep Your Dog Safe This Halloween

The best part about Halloween is the costumes, and of course, the candy!  But both of these things can spell trouble for your dog.

You probably already know that chocolate is bad for your dog, but do you know why?  Chocolate is made from theobroma cacao, which contains theobromine and caffeine, both of which can be toxic to your dog.  If your dog gets into the chocolate bars, not only could he become very sick, it could be fatal.

Many candies also contain xylitol, a common sweetener that is toxic to dogs.  Even a little bit can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, loss of coordination and seizures.  Without immediate treatment, ingesting xylitol can quickly result in death.

It's essential to keep your Halloween candy out of reach from your pooch.  Remember, dogs have an incredibly strong sense of smell, so you want to make sure that they are not able to get into your stash.  If you have young children living at your home, make sure that you keep the night's haul up high and away from your dog.  Also, be sure to tell any guests you have over not to give your dog chocolate as a treat!

If your dog does get into the chocolate, watch for these symptoms of chocolate poisoning: vomiting, diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate and seizures.  Any of these symptoms warrants a trip to the vet.

While answering the door and finding ghouls, goblins and the princess from Frozen on your porch can be fun for you, it can be terrifying for your dog.  The constant knocking/ringing the doorbell can make them very excited.  The children's costumes, with masks, makeup, and props can be very scary for your pooch.  To keep him calm, consider keeping in a different room and away from the front door.

If you are dressing your dog up this year, make sure that his costume is safe and comfortable.  Avoid costumes with fittings, buttons, zippers or rough areas.  Make sure it fits properly - too small can restrict movement and breathing and too big could lead to the costume catching on something.

If you are want to have some fun with your furry friend this Halloween, join the staff at K9 Central on October 31 from noon to 4 p.m. for a free Spooktacular Halloween Extravaganza for the whole family!  There will be performances by the WoofJocks Canine All-Stars at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., fun games for the kids, costume contests for the dogs, tricks for treats and more! 

To learn more about K9 Central and everything we have to offer, call (905) 623-3940 or visit

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Posted by on in Training

Christmas DogWinter is in the air and that means that the holidays are just around the corner.  It's time to pull out the decorations and hit the mall for all of your holiday shopping.  It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of the season, but it's important to take special care to ensure that your dogs stay safe this holiday season.

Christmas and the holidays present new dangers that your pets are not normally exposed to, and that's why it's essential to keep them in mind while decorating and laying out the presents.

Poinsettias are a beautiful Christmas plant, with their red flowers offsetting their green leaves.  It's very common to pick up these plants in the winter and use them to help create a holiday atmosphere in your home.  But when ingested, these plants are poisonous to your dogs.  Instead of spending the holidays at the emergency vet, make sure that any poinsettias you have are placed well out of reach of your dog(s) or skip them altogether.  Other holiday plants that can poison your dog include pine needles, holly and mistletoe.

If you live with a chewer, you need to take extra care with all of your holiday light cords.  Chewing through these cords can lead to your dog being electrocuted, so make sure that they are tucked out of reach.

Candles are popular during the holiday season, but it doesn't take much for a dog to knock one over, potentially burning them and setting fire to your home.  Be sure that candles are placed out of reach and are not on tables that could be bumped, causing the candle to fall over.

Children love seeing all of the presents tucked under the tree, but these can present more dangers to your dog.  Ribbon can become a choking hazard if it gets wrapped around your dog's neck while they are snooping through the gifts.  If they decide it looks tasty, they run the risk of choking or having the ribbon twist through their intestines, which will require emergency surgery to remove.

Many people agree that the food is the best part of the season, but before you share those delicious tastes with your furry friend, know that some foods can be toxic or even fatal to your dog.

Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs, and if eaten can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart arrhythmias, tremors, seizures and more.  Don't share your chocolate with your dog, and avoid placing wrapped chocolate under the tree where your dog can get to it.

Other foods that you need to avoid feeding your dog, no matter how cute they are, include fat trimmings, bones and nuts.

From all of us here at K9 Central, we wish you and your furry friends a happy holiday season!

K9 Central is located at 2836 Holt Road in Bowmanville.  For more information, call (905) 623-3940 or visit

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Posted by on in Training

Agility TrainingYou may have heard of agility or have seen it on TV or at a show.  For those who haven't, agility is a dog sport that involves a handler manoeuvring their dog through a series of obstacles, including jumps, tunnels, weave poles, teeter totters and more.

Some breeds of dogs really excel at this sport, such as Border Collies and Australian Shepherds, who can slip through the weave poles with incredible speed.  But the truth is that any breed of dog can do agility.  If you were to stop by a local agility trial, you would see everything from Chihuahuas to Rottweilers competing. 

Most dogs can compete in this sport, but if you have an older dog or a dog with leg or hip issues, it's best to consult your veterinarian before taking a lesson.

Agility is an activity that challenges both the dog's mind and body.  It's great exercise for them as they run around the course completing each obstacle.  The sport also presents their minds with a challenge, as they are learning how to do something new.  In addition to learning new commands, they are also getting to do fun things, such as run through tunnels and leap over jumps.

As a handler, you don't have to be in top athletic form to run with your dog.  Most people would not be able to keep up with their dog running at full speed, and that's where the training comes in.  There are different methods you can use to keep up with your dog, or have them wait for you to catch up.

The benefits to agility training are numerous.  First, it's great exercise for both you and your dog.  Many dogs have started training at K9 Central overweight, and just a few months later have slimmed down.  If your dog is already in great shape, this is the perfect way to help them maintain it.  It's also lots of fun for your dog, as it's something new and different that they get to do.  But probably the biggest benefit of all is the bonding experience that happens between you and your dog.  It's an opportunity to spend some one on one time with them and really connect.  Many people can't believe how much agility has improved their relationship with their dog(s) and say that they feel a much stronger bond than ever before.

At K9 Central, Into to Agility classes are starting soon!  These group lessons will introduce you and your dog to the sport.  During the classes, you will work with your dog on each obstacle individually until you both are comfortable with it.  If your dog doesn't not interact well with others, private lessons are also available.

K9 Central is located at 2836 Holt Road in Bowmanville.  For more information, call (905) 623-3940 or visit

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