Thursday, December 19, 2013

6 Holiday Safety Tips for Your Dog

Are your dogs joining in your holiday festivities? Here are some tips so you and your dogs have a good time celebrating.

Be Careful with your Tree and Decorations

Dogs can get very curious whenever something new enters their environment, especially if it’s a tree with lots of lights, sparkling garland, and ornaments. Make sure your tree is secure so it doesn’t topple over if your dog bumps into it. You may want to hang treasured ornaments on the higher branches. Even if your dog tends to leave the tree alone, you never know when a wagging tail will knock an ornament off.

Don’t let your dog drink the tree water, especially if you put any sort of fertilizer in it. Also, don’t let your dog eat pine needles or tinsel. Neither are digestible and could cut your dog’s digestive tract and require a vet visit.

Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are all poisonous to dogs. If you absolutely must have them, make sure they’re out of reach of your dog.

Keep Lit Candles Out of Reach

Most of our dogs are Labs, and we know that a Lab tail is capable of cleaning off a coffee table in one wagging swipe. Make sure you keep an eye on all lit candles, and if you have to leave the room, consider moving them out of tail-reach.

Keep an Eye on Holiday Goodies and Presents

If you set out dishes of candy, plates of cookies, or adult beverages, be sure to keep an eye on them. They can be tempting for dogs, and chocolate and alcohol can upset your dog’s stomach. Also keep an eye on any presents. If your dog eats wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, etc., they could cause blockages that require a vet visit.

Practice Calm Greetings

If you’re planning on having guests over to your house, or if you’re taking your dog with you, it’s a good idea to practice calm greetings, especially if you have an SSD dog. Enlist a friend to help by knocking or ringing the doorbell like he or she is coming to visit. When they come inside, keep your dog’s attention on you by giving them lots of treats, one at a time. Only when they’re calm and have all four paws on the floor can they be greeted by visitors.

If guests are going to be coming and going, it’s a good idea to make sure your dog is wearing a collar and I.D. tags. In the excitement and bustle of people arriving with bags of goodies, it’s not unheard-of for dogs to slip out the door.

Give Your Dog Plenty of Water

With all the excitement and stimulation during the holidays, dogs may need more water than usual. Make sure your dog has access to plenty of water, and if you notice your dog drinking more, be sure to take them out for potty breaks.

Create a Quiet Haven

All the hustle and bustle can be overwhelming for some dogs. Even if your dog seems to be handling everything well, they still may get tired sooner than usual. Give them a quiet place to go, whether it’s a crate or a dog bed.

We hope your holidays are filled with joy!

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