This afternoon I just finished installing a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® system in Weston for a new client and his Rhodesian Ridgeback, Stella. We installed both an external perimeter system to keep her from escaping through the lake to “visit all the neighbors” as well as three internal systems to keep her from going into the media room, the master bedroom, and their baby daughter’s nursery. Stella was a quick learner and the client was sure that things would be under control quite soon. As I was loading up all my equipment, he had one more question. This was their first year with Stella during the Holidays. He was wondering what he should know and what he should do to keep things safe and happy for all.
Most of us look forward to the Holidays because of the festive parties, seasonal decorations, indulgent foods, great presents, and much, much more. There are special things we only see during this time of year and great Holiday smells. As the song states, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”. We can understand this, but our dogs may not. Because of this, we need to take extra precautions to protect and direct them through what could be a “crazy, strange, and possibly dangerous time” for them.
Let’s take a look at some of our “Holiday activities” and see what we should do to make sure our dog is safe and happy too:
- Don’t give your dog fatty or spicy foods, herbs, bread dough, and sweets. Don’t even think about giving him some of your “holiday grog” or a chocolate goodie baked by Aunt Mary. Caffeine and artificial sweeteners can be especially dangerous to dogs. If you do these things, your dog will probably have an upset stomach, diarrhea, and/or vomiting.
- The cooked poultry bones from your Turkey Dinner can be especially dangerous. They can splinter and cause your dog to choke or bleed internally. Instead of the Turkey Dinner, give your dog a “safe bone” such as a deer antler.
- Keep a lid on your trash cans so your dog can’t find all the things he shouldn’t. Even though he might not usually “go hunting in the trash”, the “smells of the Holidays” might provide the enticement he needs.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE:
- Only hang ornaments that are non-breakable near the bottom of the tree. Raise your “breakable boundary” for larger dogs.
- Never let your dog “drink the water” at the base of the tree. This water normally contains chemicals to preserve the tree during the season and can be highly toxic to your dog.
- Attach the tree to a wall or to the ceiling so that it won’t tip over if your dog decides to jump on the tree or go climbing.
- Sweep the pine needles from the tree as quickly as you can after they fall to the ground. They are normally sprayed with chemicals to preserve the tree and are highly toxic. Also, the pine needles are very pointy at both ends and could puncture your dog’s stomach.
- Many of the Holiday decorations require power and you will have extra extension cords running all over the house. They now become new and interesting things for your dog to possibly chew. Make sure you keep them out of reach of your dog’s inquisitive mouth.
- Many Holiday plants are pretty, but also very poisonous. Some of these plants include mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and some types of lilies. Keep them away from your dog.
- Lit candles are always festive and give off a great smell and glow during the Holiday Season. They also pose as interesting things to investigate for our dogs. An open flame and a dog’s nose or paws are never things that should come together. Be aware of where you put your candles and only have them lit when someone is present.
- Broken ornaments “happen”. Just make sure that you pick them up at once so they don’t get in your dog’s stomach.
GIVE YOUR DOG EXTRA FOCUS:
- Make sure that you have some fun playtime before your guests arrive. This makes sure that he is tired and ready for a nap when they arrive.
- There will be a lot of new and strange things going on in the house with all the Holiday festivities. It is perfectly fine to allow your dog to be a part of these things, but he may eventually become overwhelmed. It is probably best to make sure you have “break times” for him where he can stay in a back room or in a crate with “Aunt Mary watching Jeopardy reruns”.
- Don’t let your dog alone with guests before they have been “properly introduced”. You aren’t sure how he will react or if your guest is afraid of dogs.
- This is a very stressful time for your dog. Make sure he has plenty of water to help alleviate any stress and over-panting. Placing a little Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy in the water can also help to take “the edge off” for your dog.
- Make sure your dog has something to do when people are opening presents. Give him a deer antler or some goodies so that he won’t decide to make a game of stealing the presents and seeing how fast you will chase him to get them back.
The Holiday Season is a fun and crazy time. Through all the excitement, sometimes we can’t always focus on what is best for our dogs. If we can enter the season with a little bit of forethought and planning, all should go well for all. Contact us if you have any dog training and dog fence questions by going to Dog Fence Training Help. You can obtain more tips on Dog Problems and Dog Training at Best Out of Sight Fence Trainers Weston South Florida. We have been training dogs in South Florida for the last eleven years. We have figured out that we have trained over 3,500 dogs and their owners during this time. If you want to find out more about us and our dog training, please go to Home Dog Training Weston South Florida.