Holiday Puppy Safety Tips

Holidays are a great chance to include your pet in social activities in the home.  But there are a few things you should keep in mind to keep your pet safe and the events enjoyable for everyone.

Guests / Strangers at home gatherings
Has your puppy been socialized to be calm around guests and strangers that may be visiting your home?
Are all of your guests comfortable around pets?  If you’re not 100% confident on how your pet may act with multiple guests you may want to consider placing your pet in a quiet area or crate in a secure area.
Then visit and interact with your pet during the event while introducing one or two guests at a time.
That way, your pet won’t be left out of the festivities and can get use to meeting guests / strangers a few at a time.

Is your dog socialized and comfortable around guests at gatherings? Great!

But you should notify your guests about your house rules about feeding your pets.  Let them know not to feed any table scraps or human food.  Leave out a bowl of approved pet snacks that the guests are welcome to feed your pets.  Keep guest jackets, purses away from your pets as they may contain items dangerous to your pet.
Notify your guests to be careful when entering or leaving if you have a dog that likes to bolt out any exits.

Food
Holiday Puppy Safety Tip - FoodThere is a large spike of pet emergency visits during the holidays with pets ingesting something they shouldn’t have.  Things to avoid are fatty foods, spiced foods, human foods that have been seasoned, cooked bones, chocolate, nuts, grapes, onions, and even gift wrapping, ornaments, or decorations! Beware of sugar free items like gum or baked goods as it may contain Xylitol which can be lethal to pets.
A more detailed list of Foods that are Dangerous to Dogs  by the ASPCA can be found here

New Years Noise
Loud noises like fireworks can be extremely stressful for your pet. If your pet is particularly sensitive and fearful, please stay with your dog and offer some comfort. Make sure they cannot get out of the home or run away by being startled.
It may be best to crate your dog or place in a room that offers some comfort or security.  Distraction with food, play, or anything your pet enjoys during the event may ease anxiety and fear.
Desensitization may be a another option.  You can purchase cd’s or visit websites that have thunderstorm and fireworks sounds.  You can slowly introduce the sounds and raise the volume of over time so that your pet can get accustomed to the noise. Offer praise and treats after the sounds and eventually, your pet should associate these sounds with something good happening.
http://www.rainymood.com/  rain and thunderstorm sounds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ4KNrOsRLU youtube video with fireworks sounds

Animals As Gifts
Unfortunately, there is a spike in animals being abandoned at shelters after the holidays.  The holidays are a busy time and and puppies that are purchased or gifted during these times are sometimes neglected.  Unsocialized and untrained puppies can develop unwanted, nuisance, or destructive behaviours which drive the owners to abandon them in shelters.

Please seriously consider the work involved in raising a healthy, confident, happy, well adjusted puppy before gifting any pets.  Raising a puppy involves vet visits, potty training, socialization, and basic obedience training.  It’s a lot of work.

A better option is to research the type of dog that may fit your family environment and lifestyle.
Research the costs and time involved in raising the type of dog you are interested in.  How much exercise to they require? How often do they need to be groomed?  How much do vaccinations and vet visits cost? If you are up to the task –
then go to a shelter or use www.petfinder.com to rescue a dog!

If you are gifting a pet – you should gift puppy and owner training as well

If you are getting a new puppy through a responsible breeder or shelter, we can help with Potty Training, Socialization, and teaching Basic Obedience!
If you are gifting a pet, why not gift an enrollment in our Puppy Kindergarten as well?  This will insure that the puppy starts of with the correct type of training and the owner will also get training on the best way to raise their new puppy for a lifetime of companionship.

Please Call 310-329-2914 for more information
or send us an e-mail by filling out the form below.

Happy Holidays from the staff of Animal Plaza Puppy Kindergarten!
Puppy Kindergarten Holiday