Holiday Safety Tips for Your Dog

By Maria Posted in dog care /

The holidays are often a hectic season for everyone, including your dog. Imagine things from his point of view. The furniture has been moved around. There are unfamiliar trees and plants inside the house. There are new smells and sounds. Lots of different people are coming in, and some are even staying overnight. Here are some important things to remember to ensure a happy and safe holiday season for your canine friend.

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* Always know where your dog is.
* Supervise pets and children playing together. Even if your dog is good with kids and has never bitten one, all that extra stress might just set him off.
* Remain calm. Your dog looks to you as a leader. If you get stressed, then so will he. Also try to spend some quiet time with him daily.
* Review your pet’s basic obedience exercises every day. Doing so will reinforce your role as the pack leader.
* Maintain your dog’s daily routine. Changing his schedule can stress him out. Feed and walk him at the same times as before.
* Play with your dog before the party. If you tire him out, he’ll be too exhausted to get into any trouble once the guests arrive.
* Know the location and contact information of the nearest emergency vet in your area.

Environment

* Put your Christmas tree in a carefully selected area. Don’t put it near the window that your dog always looks out of because he will still try to do so even with the tree there, and it could topple.
* Leave the lower limbs of the tree bare. Make sure that all decorations on the upper limbs are secured to the branches.
* Change the water for the tree regularly. It can contain poisonous pine tar and your dog might drink it.
* Keep all decorations, yarn, ribbons, and wrapping paper out of your pet’s reach.
* Don’t stuff stockings with food or put food gifts under the tree.
* Nearly all holiday plants are believed to be poisonous, so keep them away from your dog. This includes mistletoe, holly, ivy, poinsettia, and Christmas cactus.
* Unplug the lights when you go out. Put Tabasco sauce or Bitter Apple on the wires to prevent your pet from chewing them.

Food

* Don’t use toothpicks as your dog might try to eat them if they are dropped on the floor.
* Keep human food out of reach of your pet. If you cook or bake and leave things out to cool, put them way back on the countertops and tables.
* If your dog tries to steal food off countertops and tables, place double sided tape or clear vinyl carpet runners (prong sides up) on the surface to deter him. If these don’t work, the best solution would be to keep him out of the kitchen.
* Place all garbage in cans that have dog proof covers or are behind locked doors.

Guests

* Be careful opening the door when greeting guests so your dog doesn’t run out. Put him on a leash and make sure he is wearing identification tags.
* Tell your guests to not feed your pet or let him have any of their drinks. Even a small amount of alcohol can put him in a coma. If your guests must absolutely feed your dog, give them some canine treats to give him.
* Ask smokers to be extra careful. Ashes from their cigarettes can fall on your dog and burn him.

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