As much as the holiday seasons are a breath of fresh air from work, school and routine life, you must admit it does get a little tough sometimes when it’s the Christmas holidays. If you live in total isolation you might be fine, but if you have even the tiniest family to cater for you’ll see there are so many things to check off your to-do list. Now, when it al swoops in, it’s going to be tougher to keep an eye out for your dog’s safety for obvious reasons. Hence, I was moved to make this guide (or tips if you like) to be a personal reminder for you. Here we go:
DEALING WITH GUESTS
If you are going to have a few guests around the home during the holidays, which is more likely than not, do well to secure your dog from the crowd. Small dogs can easily get trampled upon when there is a crowd of jolly people. For the sake of your guests, you don’t want your dog getting anxious around that many people and snapping or attacking. The better option is often to keep your dog away from the guests than letting it roam freely.
Also, it’s quite easy with all of the merry making that your dog could slip through the door or a guest could leave a door or patio door open which could be very tempting to a curious four-legged family member!
There is also the danger that those guests could think it’s a good idea to slip your pup a bit of food or even drink! And, even the most well-intentioned guest might give them something that could be a choking hazard.
This is by no means a call to abandon your little guy when you have guests. Do check on your dog from time to time to see how the little chap is doing. Keep him on an easy latch surrounded with safe toys. One more thing, keep all gates closed and locked.
Small ornaments, garland, tinsel, bells, and ornament hooks can be choking hazards and very dangerous for your dog. Be on the look out for those hooks that can get left around the base of the tree and also look for any places that those curious noses might get tangled up in, too.
If you have a live tree, be vigilant about cleaning up those pine needles and watch the water the tree is sitting in. Often the mixture to keep the tree moist, can be tempting for you dog to taste and cause them to be very sick.
There are going to be a bunch of items turning up where you don’t want them during the holidays. Dogs are chewers and will require no second invitation to get every piece of item that looks like their food o r toy into their mouth. It is sadly a very swift setup to get your dog chewing and even swallowing items like metal hooks, decoration ornaments, or plants like the Poinsettias that would hurt them. It is recommended that you apply a little prudence with decorations around your dog. You may suspend them at a higher altitude from your dog’s reach.
They can’t have human food too many times either. It can be tough turning down your dog when s/he looks on as you enjoy some holiday food but be strong. Some human foods are not very healthy for your dog’s consumption. If you have no idea how a meal makes your dog feel, just don’t, okay?
If the holidays have you traveling and there’s no way to bring your little furry family member with you, then be sure to have someone responsible to watch them. Often this doesn’t mean your neighbor’s kid unless they are already old enough, responsible enough, and have a relationship with your dog. Being left with someone they don’t know, can be very scary for your dog and can be an overwhelming responsibility to someone not familiar with the proper care, feeding, and personality of your dog.
Never leave them home alone or without someone to check-in on them (and that’s only for short periods of time you might bring in a trusted dog sitter).
And, remember, the holidays is all about family and your four-legged family member IS a part of your family. If you can bring them along, do! Many airlines have options for smaller breeds and now there are more dog friendly hotels that will allow you to have your dog with you for a fee.
And, it’s worth it!
Nothing’s more satisfying then to spend your holidays surrounded by all your family members!