Goodness how time flies. It does not seem possible that the holidays are nearly here once again. With the holidays arrives family, friends, food, decorations and of course gifts! What actually got me thinking about the impending holidays was the thought of dragging my tree upstairs, putting it up and the reality that we have a new “puppy toddler” in our home.
Consider, My babies are well into their teens and our third youngster, Rodeo – a VERY spoiled Border Collie, will be four years old on Christmas Day and the cat is just about ten. So for a great many years, we have not had to think about “kiddie/dog proofing” the household.
However, a few weeks ago, we adopted a new family member from a rescue shelter. Her name is Maddie and she is a Border Collie Mix and is about one year old. She’s the most angelic little girl but like any rescue pup, she has some “issues”. We are working with her to give her the much needed training she has been denied but many days the puppy in her just gets the better of her. Lol
Honestly, I can just visualize her attacking the Christmas tree as if she’s a lineman who has a direct shot at the quarterback for the winning play! Believe me when I say there isn’t anything this dog can’t chew up or destroy if she sets her mind to it. To her credit, she is responding beautifully to her training and learning quickly to what is and isn’t permitted. She’s a genuinely great dog who has already stolen my heart.
After the Christmas tree nightmare in my head, I started thinking of the loads of other potential dangers that I need to be looking at as I set my home up this year and I want to share them with you.
For starters, it’s not going to be beneficial to leave packages around the bottom of the tree for them to access. For one thing, the wrappings and bows can be a choking hazard but you must also look at what might be inside the gifts. Your dog could possibly eat it, drink it, destroy it or Lord only knows what else! So either find a stand to set the gifts on or simply keep them up in the closet till time to unwrap them.
As well as the Christmas tree, you had better also think about the plants that are frequently used for decorating in our homes during the holidays. I know each year we receive at least one Poinsettia as a gift and those can really upset your dog’s stomach. The same goes for holly leaves, berries and mistletoe but mistletoe can actually cause their heart to collapse. Therefore plants should be left up on the counter tops or tables where your dog cannot reach them.
Don’t forget about small things like batteries for toys, tape, string, staples and what I refer to as all of the “smelly good stuff”. What am I talking about? You know how they sell plug-ins, scented beads, scented candles, scented everything, just keep it up and out of reach.
The other category of small things is decorative. Items such as tinsel, ornaments, hooks for ornaments, candy from the tree, bulbs from the lights, electrical cords and ornamental strings of beads. Altogether these can be extreme choking and or sharp cutting hazards. They can also cause a bowel obstruction in your dog which would necessitate surgery to remove.
If you are like we are, you pretty much bring your dog(s) with you if you travel for any prolonged period of time. I mean they are part of the family. Even so, Christmas time can just be nuts with so many new people and loud toys that they can really make your dog uncomfortable and exceedingly anxious.
In some circumstances it may be advisable to look at either leaving them at home or placing them in a separate room where it would be calm and less hectic. You would not want to put your dog in the position where they felt threatened and unintentionally nipped somebody out of fear. It’s just a unfavorable situation all of the way around.
In closing, it’s particularly crucial to try to stick to your dog’s routine as much as possible. Try to make sure they have their food and water as you would usually serve it. Avoid giving them any scraps or unusual foods off of the table. These are prime targets for stomach upset and diarrhea. If you generally put them to bed or out to potty at certain times, keep that routine going. If it’s hectic set a timer on your watch or cell phone to remind yourself. This will help prevent any accidents. It will also keep them less agitated to have a familiar routine.
Last but certainly not least, Make certain that your dog has a good quality collar on that has CURRENT identification information. I would make the suggestion that you consider investing in an embroidered collar with their name and a phone number. I personally use my cell phone number on my dog’s collars. That way if they would get loose and I’m out looking for them, if someone calls, they will be calling my cell phone. Don’t forget to add their tags from the vet and any registration tags and that way you know there is complete contact information.
Most important, just make certain you both savor and enjoy the holidays. Remember to spend quality time with your dog during the holidays and don’t forget their gifts!
The holidays are all about family, friends, fun and food – but occasionally it’s easy to forget about holiday safety for your dog. We all want our dogs to be part of the celebration, but there are some important guidelines to follow. Keep your dog safe this holiday season – no one wants their holiday celebration to wind up at the veterinary emergency clinic!
Source by Michelle Houser