Thursday, December 15

Holiday Safety Tips For Dogs- 2

Yesterday we focused on safety for your dog (and cat) regarding decorations, plants and sweets.  Today I want to focus on the entertaining aspect of the holidays. 

This is the time of year to see friends and family and maybe even host a few parties.  This is very exciting for us as humans, but how does your dog feel about it? Here are some simple tips to help you have a great time and your dog too.

1.  If your dog is shy or fearful, crate your dog in another room as guests arrive.  Once everyone is present, put your dog on a "house line" or a light weight leash that is attached to both you and your dog and walk him through the party.  If he is still too nervous, simply allow him to stay in another room away from the the people and go visit every so often.

2.  Make sure your guests understand what they can and cannot feed your dog.  Many people want to share their food with the dog and often do not know that some foods can hurt them.  Also, if they are feeding them at the dinner table, they may be creating a begging habit you would rather not have.  Some guests may bring a present for your dog in the form or treats or a bone, be sure it is something your dog has had before, otherwise only give him a little bit at a time to see how it reacts with his stomach.

3.  As you go out and your dog is home alone, make sure you are not leaving for longer than they can handle.  For example, if your dog is use to staying in their crate or inside the house for a maximum of 6 hours, try not to exceed that time or you may be coming home to an accident.

4.  When you leave, be sure your presents are kept out of reach from your dog and sometimes your cat, you wouldn't want them all to be opened when you come home.

5.  Jumping up is a horrible behavior, especially around this time of year.  As people come into your home, you don't want your dog to jump up on them and get them dirty or knock the present or party dish out of their hand.  If your dog jumps on your guests, put your dog on their leash when you open the door and have them in a sit position.  If this is still too much for your dog, you can also have them in a separate room until all guests have arrived.

6.  If other dogs are coming for a visit, make sure all bones and toys are put up to start so there will be no possession issues.  If this is the first time for the dogs to meet, go to the street and allow them to greet outside the house, you could also walk around the block, then go into the house all together.  This will help ensure a peaceful greeting.

7.  Children can be fun or frightening to a dog.  If your dog is not the biggest fan of children, take the introductions slow and make sure the children are supervised at all times.  Also, give clear rules on how they should interact with your dog.  You want both your dog and the children to be safe and have fun... a dog bite will be fun for no one.

Entertaining should be fun, not just for us, but for our pets too.  Make sure whatever your plans are, you keep your pet's safety in mind.

Happy Holidays!

Need advice on how to curb a behavior?  Give me a Bark!