Chocolate can kill your dog

Your pets are not little humans. They have different needs and different vulnerabilities. If you choose to bring one into your home, it is your moral obligation to care for them properly.

I bring this up because a Facebook acquaintance posted about how funny it was that her dog broke into the family's early stash of Halloween chocolate. I was horrified. (Also freaked out that Halloween candy is already on the shelves, but that's another matter entirely).

Here's a fantastic interactive chart that shows how much chocolate it takes to seriously harm or even kill your beloved canine companion.

Ever since Cheeto ate Christmas (and $4,500!!!), I've essentially banned chocolate from the house. If it does come in, it must be eaten or discarded that same day. As a big chocolate (and food) fan, it's tough, but necessary.

Other precautionary measures:

- Chicken bones and corn cobs are discarded in the garbage dumpster outside - they never, ever go into the regular can in the kitchen.
- These Simplehuman trash bins are awesome, thanks to their simple locking function. Despite dragging a full bin from the kitchen to our bedroom (it's where she hides her stolen loot), Cheeto didn't manage to unlock it.
- Household cleaners and chemicals are carefully locked away, and I try to opt for safe, mild, and natural alternatives, when possible.
- I also put a cage cover on our guinea pig compound. It may be four feet off of the ground, but I could never forgive myself if Cheeto managed to eat our other furry baby, Little One.
- I aggressively vet houseplants for toxicity before bringing them into my home.

An animal is a serious responsibility. If you're not going to care for them properly, don't get one.

Little Miss Trouble, lookin' all innocent and stuff.

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