Tuesday, November 22

Thanksgiving Safety for Dogs

With Thanksgiving only a couple of days away, I wanted to post some safety tips for your dogs.  Today I want to focus just on the people aspect of the day.  You may have people coming over to your home, you may be going to someone elses home with your dog or just on your own, leaving your dog at home.

Let's start with people coming to your home.  Depending on the temperament of your dog, you may want to crate your dog as people arrive, then let your pooch out to roam and explore and get use to all the new people in your home on their own.  If you have a shy or fearful dog, you will most certainly want to do this and instruct all the people to just let the dog approach them, not chase after your dog for a pat on the head.  As well intentioned as that can be, your dog will just be scared. 

If your dog is a jumper, you may want to crate him or just put on his leash and get him to sit as people enter the home.  You wouldn't want your dogs paws to ruin your guests clothes or end up in the pumpkin pie!

Taking your dog to someone elses home can be nice, since your best friend will get to join in the day with you.  But it can also be tricky.  You should first make sure the home you are visiting is okay with your dog coming into it and likewise, you should make sure it is okay with your dog to go there.  For example, will there be children there, other dogs, lots of people?  If all of these things are okay with your dog, have a fun day.  But if these are scary things for your dog, you may want to rethink bringing your pooch along or bring their crate or bed so they have something to comfort them.  Also, having their own space will allow them to go somewhere to stay out of trouble.

Lastly, if you are leaving your dog at home all day, pay attention to the time.  Though your dog may be fine for 8 hours, don't push it.  Try to get home to let them out in a reasonable amount of time.  It will help to do a big walk before you leave or if you have time, do a hike in the morning.  Even a walk with some fetch time will be good.  Just try to get some energy out before you ask them to stay home all day.

No matter what you do, be safe and have fun.