Howdy friends! Today is a gorgeous day of sunshine and nice temperatures so Juju and I will be hitting the dog park for sure. In the meantime, Juju’s friends at Dog Fence DIY wanted to guest post today to share with you some tips on the holidays with your dogs. If you have dogs, I hope you are planning to take care of them, which includes proper containment. I’ve picked up too many dogs that have gotten loose and seen too many dogs that are lost and afraid. Please don’t forget your dogs. Do everything you can to give them a wonderful home!
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Getting Ready for the Holidays? Don’t Forget Your Dogs
If you’re a dog owner, you love your dog as a member of your family, and you do whatever you can to keep them safe and healthy all year round. From regular vet visits to engaging toys to utilizing the best dog fence in your yard, you happily put in the effort required. During the holidays, a little extra caution is required. Unique circumstances and an increase in activity means for an increase of risk to your dog, too. Here are the top holiday safety tips all dog owners should know.
Be Cautious of Your Christmas Tree
In many households, the Christmas tree is the main decoration of the season, and it shouldn’t be anything but enjoyable. For real trees in particular, however, you need to be aware of the potential dangers to your dog. Pine needles can be toxic when ingested in large amounts (particularly to smaller dogs), and in smaller amounts they can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach. Also toxic is stagnant tree stand water; if not changed regularly, it breeds bacteria and collects the pesticides used in growing the tree. If your dog has access to your tree, be sure to sweep up fallen pine needles and change stand water daily, just in case your dog drinks it.
Glass ornaments, tinsel, and ornament hooks can cause internal damage if your dog eats them. If your dog chews electrical wires, light strands can cause electrical shock. Also, if your tree is not anchored to the wall, it can injure your dog if it falls over. For dogs who won’t leave the tree alone, consider placing a gate or an electronic dog fence around the tree. For dogs who are trained with an e-collar, an indoor electric dog fence will prevent your dog from getting close to the tree without requiring you to change its look.
Don’t Feed Holiday Food to Your Dog
Enjoying holiday food is one of the best parts of the season, but your dog shouldn’t be allowed to indulge with you. Many foods are toxic to dogs, particularly the sugar substitute xylitol, alcohol, and chocolate. These foods, even in small amounts, can cause seizures or death. The next most dangerous item is bones. Do not allow your dog to have bones that are leftover from dinner; they can cause your dog to choke or pierce your dog’s throat or intestines.
Coffee, tea, raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts all contain components that can upset your dog’s stomach or cause serious illness. Fatty foods, especially gravy and poultry skin, can cause pancreatitis in dogs, which is painful and may require a hospital stay to treat. The best thing to do is avoid giving your dog any table foods, and keep them out of the kitchen altogether to avoid cooking accidents. A wireless or invisible dog fence can be used to keep your dog from getting into the kitchen. If your dog does have access to the kitchen, make sure all scraps are thrown away in the outdoor garbage bin so your dog cannot get to them.
Be Safe When Traveling
If you’re bringing your dog along with you on a trip, be sure to restrain them in the car with either a dog seat belt or inside their crate. This will help protect them in an accident, and it will help prevent the accident that could occur if your dog unexpectedly moves into the front seat and distracts that driver. Bring along extra food and water, and an extra collar and leash, just in case. Consider bringing a wireless dog fence with you for extra protection during long rest stops, or for containing your dog in the yard of a relative who doesn’t have a fence. When at a relative’s house, be on the lookout for safety hazards, such as exposed medications, cleaning supplies, candy (especially chocolate), or gum (which often contains xylitol).
Remove Toxic Plants from Your Home
Mistletoe, poinsettia, and holly are common holiday decorations, but they are also toxic to dogs. Try to avoid having these plants in your home altogether by opting for the artificial versions. Even plants that are placed out-of-reach can drop leaves or berries onto the ground below. When visiting friends or relatives, ask them if they have any of these plants in their home, and if they do, see if they can be placed in a closed, spare room for the duration of your visit.
If you notice any unusual behavior from your dog during the holidays, be sure to call your vet. If your dog is sick or vomiting, call the emergency line. Sometimes odd behavior is a signal of stress in your dog, and they may need some quiet time away from people and activity in order to calm down. As always, ensure your dog has access to plenty of water so they don’t become dehydrated, which they are especially at-risk for when they’re stressed.
Dog containment, indoors and outdoors is a key responsibility of dog owners. Thousands of dogs die every year due to improper or unsecure fences or indoor barriers. If you need to learn more about electric dog fence options available visit www.dogfencediy.com.