The holidays pose special risks for dogs because of changed habits and unusual living patterns that can be hazardous for them. Families often have houseguests that aren't familiar with safety precautions for pets. New foods are available and may be at coffee table level or in garbage cans, creating temptations to indulge in unhealthy foods. Decorations may be tempting items to chew and swallow. To ensure your dog is safe during the holidays, you can implement a few precautions that will keep his needs in mind.
The holidays bring fun with friends and family, but the can also bring hazards for your dog. To keep your dog safe during holiday celebrations, you should put safety measures into practice so that you, and your dog, can enjoy the festivities without unexpected consequences.
Make Sure Your Dog Has Scheduled Walks
The walks that your dog depends on toileting and general exercise are even more important during the holidays. These outings reassure the animal that his needs will continue to be met, regardless of the chaotic schedules, visits and noise that may be unfamiliar to him. Regularly scheduled walks will also help your dog to work off tension from these unexpected changes in the household. If you get busy, have your children take on the duty or hire a dog-sitter for a few days during the holidays.
Put Up Signs to Remind Guests About Escape Hazards
Apply stick-up signs to your front and back doors to remind guests that there is a dog in the house that should not be allowed to escape. These signs are helpful reminders for people who are not accustomed to being concerned about keeping animals inside the home as a matter of habit. You can save your dog from being out in the cold, and save yourself from worry, by implementing this simple measure.
Put Someone in Charge of Monitoring Food Items
You will need a "food monitor" in several areas of the home. These areas may be the living room and family room where guests congregate, and in the kitchen, where the food preparation is done and the waste products end up. Your designated food monitor can help to keep serving dishes filled, as well as ensure that the dog does not get into them. The kitchen monitor can ensure that garbage cans are emptied periodically to reduce the temptation for dogs to investigate. In this way, you will be able to prevent the canine stomach upsets that can create havoc during the holidays.
Provide Space and Time For Dogs To Be Away From Guests
Put your dog's bed in a bedroom or other quiet area where he can get away from guests. This action can help to soothe the animal's jangled nerves from doorbells, music, talking and laughter that are more frequent than normal. If you find your dog getting too excitable, put him in the room for a time to allow him to calm himself.
Keep Electrical Cords Hidden
The Christmas tree and other light displays mean that you will be using more electrical cords than normal around the home. These cords can present a risk of electrocution if your dog chews on them. Keep all cords safely tucked behind furniture or under carpeting to prevent them from becoming a dangerous chew toy for your dog.
Enlist the Help of Fellow Dog Owners in the Group
Chances are that there will be one or more people in your family or group that also has a dog and knows the requirement for keeping it safe. Ask this person to keep an eye on the animal during the dinner or celebrations. Even children who love animals can be enlisted to help with the dog-watching task. These extra sets of eyes will ensure that someone steps in when the animals takes an ornament off the tree or begins snacking on an unauthorized food item.
Pets generally enjoy the sounds, smells and activities associated with holiday celebrations. You can ensure the holidays are a happy time for the canine members of your family by putting a few precautions in place that will ensure their safety at this time of year.