Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving... Safety For Your Dog

Here are my tips for a safe Thanksgiving for your dogs...

1. Consider enrolling your dog in a doggie daycare for the day, or at least for the day before. A tired dog is a good dog, and by wearing your dog out a bit prior to guests arriving, your dog will be calmer and less likely to be a nuisance or be harmed. Or, if you can't manage your dog and guests simultaneously, then do the daycare during the day and board your dog overnight. Same with your guest's dogs.

2. Too late to train your dog... so SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE, SUPERVISE. It is also too late to train your kids and relatives. Put your dog in a crate or kennel when you can't supervise your dog, make sure everyone knows the rules for the dog, watch the doorways, watch the potentially poisonous foods, keep dangerous human toys away from the dog, and watch any family members that arent' good with dogs. Don't leave dogs unattended in hotel rooms, either.

3. Don't give your dog a ton of table scraps. You can kill a dog by giving it turkey bones. You can kill a dog by giving it chocolate, or the entire skin off a turkey, or feeding the dog a variety of other people foods. If you aren't sure if it is safe, then ask your vet, or better yet, don't feed it to your dog at all.

4. Lock the side gates of your back yard to prevent escapes.

5. Get your dog some extra toys to enjoy. If your dog's toys are old, or if your dog doesn't have anything to do... then no wonder your dog is getting into trouble.

6. Don't mix dogs. Guests bring their dogs to town. They might fight with your dog. And they take them to the local park and let them run loose, and these strange dogs might not have been out of the house since last year... unsocialized, wary, unruly and ready to get in a fight with your dog.

7. Kids and Dogs... can be a recipe for a disaster. Watch 'em, don't let them pester one another, don't leave kids unattended with dogs, and the rest of the usual advice.

Enjoy the holiday... and make sure it is going to be an enjoyable holiday instead of a mess.

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