Holidays and Dogs…not perfect together!
Pamela Dennison (c) 2018
The Holidays are drawing near again and during the mad rush, please don’t forget about the safety of your dogs.
If you have large crowds coming to your house, keep your dog(s) safe in a separate room. Get them a nice kong stuffed with something frozen and gooey or a beef marrow bone. Why? Because many of your guests may not be dog savvy, causing undue stress to your dog. If you are serving alcohol, definitely put your dogs away! People that have had too much alcohol should not mix with animals! Their judgement may impaired and they may act inappropriately toward your dog, causing stress and perhaps a bite.
When I have non-dog people at my house, my dogs are crated in my van. Less stress for them and I have the wonderful excuse to go outside periodically to walk them. If you are bringing your dog to someone else’s house, make sure you bring the comforts of home with you; plenty of water from a source your dog is used to, bedding, crate, toys, towels, food, bowls and a blanket to cover the bed. Use the same rules as you would at home – lots of downtime, alone time with you, exercise and good chew toys.
If you have company coming for many days, you may want to consider boarding them, or at the very least, spending quality, quiet time alone with your dog(s).
In either case, make sure your dog has his tags and for added measure, feel free to microchip your dog! Guests can inadvertently let your dog out and finding him again will be easier if he has identification on him.
Even if you have only a few people over, keep on eye on the food! Don’t be in such a rush that you allow your dog the opportunity to steal food. I’ve heard stories of dogs counter surfing and eating the turkey that was set on the counter to “rest” before slicing.
More obvious, but still needs mentioning, a few foods that are often around at holiday time and are deadly for dogs; chocolate, grapes and raisins. Too much turkey causes diarrhea. Oh and watch out for recipes or items that have xylitol in them – xylitol is very deadly. And don’t forget to secure the garbage can!
Make sure you have ipecac or 3% Hydrogen Peroxide on hand and if you think your dog has eaten any of these things, make them vomit right away and keep an eye on them carefully.
Tree and ornaments
A very simple solution with an indoor tree, ornaments, presents and tinsel is to put an “X pen” (aka exercise pen) around the tree. You don’t want your dog marking the tree or eating the tinsel (tinsel can be deadly).
If you think ahead and plan appropriately, the holidays can be fun and safe for you and your dogs.