Dog Mom Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe This Holiday Season
It’s hard to believe that my rescue pug Kilo, has been part of our family for over two years now. My girls even call him “the favourite child”. Kilo is very food motivated, very resourceful and very anxious around strangers. He loves being with the family and getting attention and he likes routine. He does not like other dogs or delivery people, especially the postman.
We decorate the house for Christmas and are quite social, hosting or attending quite a few holiday parties and dinners over the season. We also have a relative and her little rescue dog Angus staying with us.
The holidays can be a stressful and in some cases even dangerous time for pets. I thought it would be useful to share my experience as the Dog Mom of greedy Kilo the Pug and a few tips for keeping him safe at this time of year.
I am thrilled to have a brand new Furbo, the world’s first treat-popping dog camera designed for pet-parents to communicate with their dogs in real time through the iPhone in my case. It really helps me keep an eye on Kilo and see what mischief he’s getting himself into when left alone. It also lets me dispense treats and play with him and talk to him virtually which is a cool feature.
Little Angus was up in the loft away from Kilo the Troll – safely behind a baby gate, for a few hours. I was downstairs and happened to take a look upstairs through the Furbo and saw that he had been sick on the white carpet on the stairs. I raced up and found that he had somehow managed to get into our house guest’s chocolate bar which she thought was locked away in a backpack out of reach. Luckily, he only ate a teeny weeny taste and had thrown up all the chocolate and all his breakfast- some lovely brown patches I need to get rid of. I knew from Kilo’s chocolate exploits what to do and what to look for. Thank goodness Angus was fine and seemed to get rid of all the toxins and Kilo did not get up there.
Curiosity Can Kill- PET SAFETY TIPS
- Don’t leave your pet unsupervised around Xmas trees or plants or presents. Kilo has been pretty good, but pine needles, poinsettias, decorations, electric lights, breakable ornaments and other things can all be very dangerous and some pets can not resist eating or playing with them, especially puppies. Even the water around the Christmas tree can be toxic apparently. I did catch Kilo checking out the presents under the tree and he peed on one of the empty gift bags as the real tree smells fresh.
- Consider crating your dog in a quiet area if you have lots of guests or activity or can not supervise them. Kilo has been known to get into mischief so I often do that and leave him with a stuffed Kong.
- Do not leave human treats or snacks within reach. Clear up any appetizers after cocktails and any food on the dining table if you are no longer sitting there. Kilo has cleaned cheese plates and stolen chocolates, wrapper and all.
- Do not leave the dishwasher open or the garbage accessible. Kilo loves taking out the trash or helping with the dishes.
- Do not leave things dangling off the stove or tables. Kilo jumped like a basketball player and pulled the edge of a white plastic bag down off a very high counter. He then ate a whole onion quiche.
- Watch the door if you are opening and closing for guests or deliveries and they are loose. Kilo has bolted out across the road and chased someone with a big dog passing- luckily there were no cars coming and he did not catch them before I caught him.
- Make sure tags are up-to-date, detailed and on.
- Remember to license and microchip your pet and keep current. We are trying a new mobile tracker to this year (more details to come).
- Make sure your dog can easily stand, sit, lie down, walk, and use the bathroom at any time if wearing a Christmas costume (if there are things sewn onto the outfit, your pet may try to eat them). If your pet doesn’t like getting dressed up, don’t force him or her. Opt for a simple festive bandana or collar or harness instead.
- Take your dog our for extra long walks or runs or activities and tire them out if you are planning a party or even leaving them alone.
- It gets dark early around here. Make sure they are wearing reflective collars and gear. Keep them on a leash.
- I also keep deposits of treats around to trade if Kilo does grab something he shouldn’t or to calm him down and make him happy if he is meeting a stranger or to lure him back if he escapes. I make him go to a spot and do tricks when new people come in the door.
If your Dog does eat something toxic like chocolate or grapes or onions – call your vet and the 24-hour ASPCA emergency poison hotline 1-888-426-4435 (fees may apply- I had an excellent experience during the onion scare).