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Pets and Children

By Beverley Bardell

Our pets are, for the most part, a big part of our lives and very much like children. We love them, feed them, walk them and try to teach them right from wrong. Their health, happiness and well-being are all in our hands, as they are not able to look after themselves.

We need to be diligent and always cautious of any hidden dangers that may harm our pets, just as we would with toddlers.

Unfortunately, we often forget that they are animals and sometimes they can forget their training, especially if food is involved. Even more so if it’s something that really smells good.

A friend of mine recently left her home to do a couple of errands and left her healthy, four year old lab at home. Buster was well trained, but his nose and desire for food cost him his life.

Why did this happen? Buster was walking around the house and found an empty potato chip bag that one of the children had left on the couch in the living room.

Buster couldn’t help himself. The smell and the few crumbs left in the bag were too much to resist. My friend came home about 45 minutes later and found her beloved pup lying stiff on the floor with the potato chip bag stuck firmly over his face. He had suffocated.

It could have been a zip lock bag that had leftover food in it, a treat bag or even a large yogurt or ice cream container. Every dog is vulnerable and it doesn’t matter how well-trained the pup is, or if he or she is large or small.

To make sure this tragedy doesn’t happen to your beloved pup, be sure to keep all snack bags hidden. You would also be wise to invest in sealable containers that will fit into your cupboards or pantry. This may help to keep the food or snack fresher for a longer period of time and will save you money in the long run. So please be vigilant and careful at all times, as the life and safety of our pets could be at risk.

Beverley Bardell is our trainer in the Scarborough/Durham area. If you or anyone you know is looking for dog training in that area, you can call her at 647-786-5239 or email her at


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