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Memorial Day

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Honoring Those Who Served In The Military Alongside Our Pets

The last Monday of May is dedicated to honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. We call this holiday Memorial Day. But, our pets have a part to play during this holiday weekend as well. This article will discuss everything from dogs that serve in the military, to cookout foods your dog shouldn’t eat, and even some pro tips to keep your dog safe during this holiday that’s notorious for loud fireworks. Keep reading to learn more.

Military Dogs

It takes a great deal of courage, discipline, and determination to serve in the U.S. military. It’s certainly not an easy career path, but it is definitely a rewarding one. However, the U.S. military consists of more than just humans. Dogs also play an important role in the U.S. military. M.W.D. (military working dogs) can be found in every branch of the U.S. military.  These military working dogs are trained for specific jobs such as explosive detection, search & rescue, patrols, attacking, and tracking. According to the American Kennel Club, K-9 Corps M.W.D. were first officially recognized by the U.S. military on March 13, 1942 and have been proudly serving ever since. However, it takes a special kind of personality and vigor to handle the stress and dangers of serving in the military. The most suitable and commonly used breeds of dogs in the U.S. military include German Shepards, Labradors, and Belgian Malinois. All three of these breeds have the agility, speed, and sense of smell needed in a warzone, making them the ideal choices for M.W.D.

Cookout Foods Your Dog Shouldn’t Eat

It can often be tempting to feed your dog table scraps, especially during a holiday. However, dogs typically shouldn’t eat “people food” as their digestive system isn’t designed to process the same foods that people eat. Odds are, when you have family and friends over for any holiday occasion, there’s a good chance someone is going to give in to your dog’s “puppy dog eyes” and give them table scraps. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to know which “people foods” are worse than others for dogs. Common cookout foods your dog should never have include things like raw meat, fat trimmings, bones, alcohol, avocados (guacamole), onions, anything with spices, ice cream, and chocolate. It also helps to advise your party guests beforehand to not feed your dog any table scraps. Although it’s not fool proof, it is important to let your friends and family know so everyone is on the same page. To learn more about the various types of foods that dogs shouldn’t eat, check out our previous article entitled People Food & Pets: Toxic Or Safe?

Fear Of Fireworks 

Fireworks are a truly wonderful and exciting way to celebrate any special occasion, especially holidays like 4th of July and Memorial Day weekend. They’re beautiful, dynamic, and loud. Very loud! Sadly this isn’t ideal for dogs as they have a very strong sense of hearing. As a result, dogs are typically very skittish and fearful of fireworks. Similar to thunderstorms, dogs will run, hide, cower, and become virtually unapproachable when they hear fireworks. Statistics show that more dogs go missing during firework displays (such as 4th of July and Memorial Day) than any other time of year. There are many different methods for preventing your dog from running away during loud fireworks including CBD treats, therapy vests and/or thunder-shirts, soft music/white noise, and a quiet safe space for your dog to be in during fireworks. We recommend always keeping your dog indoors during fireworks and creating the most relaxing and stress-free environment for them as possible. For more information regarding dogs and fireworks fears, check out our previous article entitled Fireworks & Fear

Celebrating & Honoring 

Although many people only think about cookouts, BBQ’s, and fireworks during Memorial Day weekend, it’s important to remember the true meaning behind the holiday. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. soldiers risked or gave their lives for our basic freedoms. Memorial Day is a day to honor and remember all of those brave souls who were willing to sacrifice themselves for others. This of course includes M.W.D. too. Dogs have been working alongside U.S. soldiers since the U.S. civil war and continue to do so to this day. They also deserve recognition and praise for their services in the U.S. military. It’s easy to get caught up in the “holiday weekend” mentality with everyone throwing cookouts and setting off fireworks, but don’t let that stop you from forgetting the true meaning of Memorial Day. Giving honor and respect to all of the fallen U.S. soldiers, both human and K-9 alike. We hope you have a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend! 

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