Preparing Your Dog & Home For Holidays
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Aren’t you glad that it is Thanksgiving Holiday tomorrow? I am.
Here are some guidelines regarding Dogs and holidays:
Don’t trust dogs and guests unsupervised. Many people, including friends and family members, might try to teach your dog a lesson while you aren’t watching, play dangerous rough games, play sic ˜em games, give your dog dangerous toys, or try to feed your dog things that are lethal. NO WRESTLING GAMES WITH THE DOG!!!!
Exercise your dog before guests arrive, mid day, and early evening. A tired dog is a good dog. Be sure to let your dog rest an hour before you feed, and don’t exercise your dog unless you’ve waited at least 3 hours after a meal. Bloat and torsion are killers.
Have a plan to take the dog outside to potty on regular intervals. When you are entertaining guests, or you are visiting with your dog, it is too easy to forget who is supposed to be taking the dog outside to potty, and what time it is. Have a plan on who is going to watch the dog.
Don’t trust dogs and kids unsupervised. Kids need parents to supervise them. They can’t supervise themselves. The last thing you need is a dog bite/ attack on a kid who was pestering your dog.
Dogs don’t need lots of holiday food scraps. Some healthy tid bits are OK, but no big gobs of fat (don’t give your dog a whole turkey skin¦ it can kill some dogs), chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, spicy food, turkey bones, etc. When in doubt, don’t give a holiday food to a dog.
Know the phone number and location of the nearest emergency animal clinic. Your vet will be closed for the holidays. If your dog is sickened by anything, or injured, don’t wait until Friday to get your dog to the vet¦ it will be too late, and your dog will be dead. And you should have a dog First Aid book on hand (which you have already read from cover to cover), plus a First Aid kit handy.
Some holiday foods are toxic to dogs. You can find lists online.
Watch the doors! Many dogs run away during holiday times. It is a good idea to have your dog drag a 6 foot leash while the guests are at your home. DON’T tie the dog to something (tree, table, cabinet) etc. and leave the dog unsupervised… this is dangerous. Take off the leash if the dog is unsupervised, and put your dog in its crate or kennel. Let the dog drag the leash so it can be with everyone.
Warn Guests If Certain Things Cause Your Dog To Growl Or Bite!
Be mindful of the weather! Is your dog safe outside? Is the fence gate closed and locked? Are there dangerous objects or toys in the yard? Is it pouring down rain or snow? Does your dog have adequate shelter? In some situations, it is better to have a crate in your vehicle for the dog. Just make sure you monitor the temperatures, and leave ventilation for the dog. Sunlight can heat up a car to dangerous temperatures even in cold weather. And at night, the car can get too cold for your dog to withstand. The rule is: if you’d be comfortable sitting in that situation with your dog, with summer clothing on, then your dog is probably safe.
Wackos take vicious dogs to parks off leash on holidays — be careful your dog isn’t attacked. And tell your kids to stay away from strange dogs at the park. Many times these are people visiting from other areas.
Make sure you have digital photos of your dog in case your dog runs away
Don’t let your dog play with your relatives dogs unless you are SURE they will get along! Strange dogs will fight, especially if one of the dogs is on its own home turf.
You can’t assume your family member’s houses are safe for your dog unsupervised. You pick up your stuff, and you know what your dog will get into. They don’t.
If you are visiting with your dog, assume your dog will potty in your host’s house. Supervise your dog!
Assume your dog will get in a fight with your extended family’s cat, hamster, rat, guinea pig, bird, dog, horse or other pet(s). Be especially careful if you have a puppy.
If you leave your dog at home, unsupervised, get a neighbor (someone the dog knows and is friendly with) or a dog walker to come by and check up on your dog. If your dog is a barker, a nasty neighbor might try to poison your dog while you are away. If you wait too long, your dog will potty in the home. If the weather gets bad, your dog could die.
Don’t expect your dog to act like a trained dog if your dog isn’t trained, or you haven’t been doing your obedience training homework. Don’t get mad at your dog for your lack of preparation!