Doggy Danger: Keeping Our Furry Friends Safe 

North Vancouver doggy daycare offered help to pet owners this Halloween  

 Megan Orr, Opinions Editor 

 As pet owners, it’s our responsibility to ensure that the animals in our care are safe and protected. However, there are many instances where unpredictable and unpreventable things happen that may put our beloved dogs in danger.  

This Halloween, Jet Pet, a doggy daycare with several locations throughout Metro Vancouver, offered free care to dogs in an attempt to aid the animal’s anxieties. Jet Pet is a chain dog resort, with locations in Phoenix, Vancouver and North Vancouver. They provide a variety of services, including boarding, training and grooming. Their North Shore location, on Lynn Avenue in the Seylynn area, prides themselves on creating a safe environment for all their furry guests. According to their website, “Our resort grounds were built with safety as a priority, and our play areas are laid out to reduce anxiety and minimize unnecessary stimulation in order to provide the best stay for your pet.” 

With fireworks, parties and strangers coming to the door all night, Halloween can be a stressful night for our canine friends. The service was offered in an attempt to create a calming environment for the dogs, where they would be away from all of the excessive noise of Halloween.  

“People assume their dog will be excited to have all these people coming and going, but it’s actually pretty stressful for them. Not to mention the fireworks. Every dog hates fireworks,” said Kiel Mapoles, a former dog-handler at WagZone (the North Vancouver doggy daycare that is now owned by JetPet). Mapoles also emphasized the importance of recognizing signs of stress in your dog, because it isn’t always as obvious as shaking and hiding.  

“Things like panting, and licking their lips. Oh and also, maybe, half-moon eyes”, said Mapoles. Half-moon eyes, or whale eyes, is when a dog is looking upwards or sideways so that you can see the whites of their eyes, and is usually associated with discomfort. 

The Mapoles family has a five-year-old golden retriever, Stella. She is quite well trained, so they trust her off leash in the parks that allow it, though she does veer off the path occasionally, cutting through underbrush. Mapoles can’t help but to feel worried with the alleged poisonings going on in North Vancouver.  

“Stella is good at making sure we stay in her eyesight for the most part, but I also don’t know what she’s doing in the bushes sometimes. If she ate something I probably wouldn’t even know”. Mapoles doesn’t want to believe that it’s true that any of these were intentional, however, even something like mushrooms during this time of year are harmful, and potentially fatal to dogs.  

Cate’s Park in North Vancouver has seen two dogs die this year from alleged mushroom poisonings. There are signs up throughout the park warning walkers, but Mapoles worries this isn’t enough.  

“I don’t want to baby [Stella], but at the same time, if it’s not safe, I don’t want her getting sick, or worse,” said Mapoles. He isn’t confident that he would know the difference between just a regular upset stomach, and an actual poisoning until it was too late. 

“Dogs get sick all the time and most of the time you don’t think about it anymore than making sure that they make it outside. It’s scary to think that because I wasn’t paying close attention she could die.” 

Most research on knowing the signs that your dog has ingested something toxic reiterate what Mapoles said. The first signs, before they are actually sick, include licking their lips or panting heavily. Another sign that they have perhaps been poisoned is laboured breathing. If you suspect that your dog has eaten something toxic, take them to the vet immediately. While the RCMP continue to investigate the poisonings, it may be best to keep dogs on a short leash.  

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