Make sure your pets are safe this holiday season!
Family comes into town, friends come over.
Commotion stirs all around the house.
New decorations come out.
The hustle and bustle of a busy time can leave your dog feeling a little anxious or just flat out bored!
Here are some tips and tricks to ensure your pets are safe through this holiday season and get nothing but compliments from friends and family.
#1 Make sure your dog is extra exercised!
Play a good game of fetch with him.
Take longer walks or more involved and fun training sessions before your guests arrive. (Did you know if you incorporate training while out walking with your dog: it requires them to think harder, resulting in more mental energy burned vs. just physical energy!)
#2 Preparing a special dog area
Use your dog’s crate or a separate bedroom where you can send your dog to go relax and to tell guests to give the dog some space to nap. (Or to keep Grandpa from slipping Rover turkey dinner underneath the table.)
Trainer tip: I like to prepare some frozen Kong’s, raw Marrow bones, or pick up some bully sticks so my dogs have something to do while I’m busy entertaining guests.
#3 Train them, don’t blame them!
Did you know these training commands can save your dog’s life?
LEAVE IT – A strong leave it command can stop counter surfing before it even starts and keep your dog from eating things they shouldn’t be.
STAY – A good stay can keep your dog from door dashing out the front door when guests arrive.
COME – A solid come command can bring your dog back if they do make it outside without your permission.
PLACE – A go to your kennel/ go to your bed can help your dog feel more comfortable having his or her own area out from underneath your feet and table.
Please keep pets safe this holiday season! Avoid these Holiday dangers:
- Do NOT feed dogs any type of cooked bones. They can break off into small pieces or shards and cause serious damage to your pets. (Safety note: never induce vomiting if a pet has ingested a sharp object, please contact a vet right away if you think your pet has consumed something dangerous.)
- Skip out on giving leftovers or scraps to your dogs. Avoid spicy, sugary, fatty foods and bones all together that can cause upset tummies. (xylitol – an artificial sweetener, and chocolate can be extremely harmful to your pets.)
Keep our feline friends safe too! Please be aware:
- Holiday plants can also be deadly to pets. Be careful if you are bringing any new plants into your home this season.
- Tinsel, shiny things and cords can become a danger to our pets this holiday season. Be aware of what decorations might just look like a fun toy to our furry friends.
- Take out the trash right away (or get a trash can with a lid) to avoid any bad behavior from occurring. Your dog will not understand why you are throwing away all those good smelling scraps!
- Prevent counter surfing by keeping dogs out of the kitchen. Keep temptations far enough away from the edge so that your dog cannot get to them.
Be a good dog manager!
- Put up pet gates near the front door/ or kitchen if your dog has a hard time with door dashing or counter surfing.
- Monitor children and dogs to ensure everyone’s safety.
- Take advantage of a great time to train your dog when guests come over!
- Have your dog on a leash. Have your treat pouch ready to capture all those good behaviors your dog will offer. Good behaviors like laying on their dog bed, not jumping up, staying inside when the guests are coming in and out, etc.
- Tell guests ahead of time your dog’s rules. Maybe even post a sign on the door reminding guests we don’t pet and reward our dogs for jumping up on them or feed them from the table. (GRANDPA!)
More commotion and activity means your dog will probably be drinking more water as well. Always provide extra fresh water during these times.
The best gift you can give this season is a well-trained dog! We offer all types of dog training packages for the pooch in your life to get them started on the right paw! If your dog is already trained, she can continue learning with some fun classes we offer!
May your holiday season be filled with love, thanks and pet safety!
-Devan Johnson CPDT-KA