Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dogs and the Holidays

In their latest newsletter, the Tibetan Terrier Club of America provided some tips on keeping your dog safe and happy during the holidays. Although a lot of it is just common sense, I wanted to pass this important advice along to you.

Dogs and Holidays

Because your dog is special to you, you want him to share all the special times in your life, including holidays. But to your dog, everyday spent with you is a holiday (oh yeah, right, i'll take Cabo anyday), and he may not be able to appreciate or understand the strange people (like my parent's relatives), noises (like MeeMaw's farting), things and goings-on associated with holiday celebrations. Here are some ways to keep your dog safe and happy during those festive times.
General Tips
• Stick as closely as possible to your normal
routine. Try not to vary your dog’s feeding,
walking, and playtime schedule.
• Don't give your dog scraps from the picnic
table or holiday buffet. Cookies and pies,
macaroni salads and stuffing, potato chips
and fancy hors d'oeuvres, are inappropriate
foods for dogs and may make them sick.
• If you host a party, remember that some
guests may be uncomfortable around dogs.
Your dog may, in turn, be uncomfortable
or frightened around a large group of unfamiliar
people. You may want to confine him
in a crate or a room that will not be used by
guests. Otherwise, keep him by your side,
or with another family member, to keep
him from getting into trouble or underfoot.

• Turkey bones can pose a choking hazard for
dogs. Do not give turkey bones to your dog.
• Keep an eye on the holiday table and secure
leftovers and garbage to prevent your
dog from foraging among the holiday foods.
• Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are
poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept
in places your dog cannot reach.
• Do not put lights on the lower branches of
your tree. They may get very hot and burn
your dog.
• Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try
to chew them and get badly shocked or
electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
• Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily
and may cut a dog’s feet or mouth.
• Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry
or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock
the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
• Keep other ornaments off the lower branches;
if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he
can be made sick by the materials or paint.
• Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp
and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off
(with a playpen or other “fence”) or in a
room that is not accessible to your dog.
• Tinsel can be dangerous for dogs. It may
obstruct circulation and, if swallowed,
block the intestines.
• Keep burning candles on high tables or
mantels, out of the way of your dog’s
wagging tail.
• Review canine holiday gifts for safety.
Small plastic toys or bones may pose
choking hazards.
• Your dog may want to investigate wrapped
packages; keep them out of reach.