Holidays are almost always a very busy time of year with a lot of stress and commotion mixed in. Where does your puppy fit into all of this? Often at the lower end of the priority scale. So, here are some tips to remember in order that your holiday is truly happy and your puppy is truly safe.
1. Puppy Proof all Decorations. Make sure your holiday decorations and Christmas trees are puppy proof. For instance, fragile or potentially harmful ornaments. Exposed extension cords. Tinsel. Secure the tree to the ceiling, the wall or a sturdy curtain rod. For a very young or particularly rambunctious puppy you might consider fencing off your tree with a puppy exercise pen.
2. Avoid Hazardous Holiday Plants. Poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, lilies of any variety, including amaryllis. Go to the ASPCA website for a complete list of plants toxic to dogs.
3. Keep Them On The Wagon. Alcohol of any kind is toxic to dogs. Keep it out of reach and monitor your guests’ glasses to make sure puppy does not imbibe.
4. Avoid Poisonous Foods. Chocolate is especially harmful to pets.
Calculator provided by www.AskAVetQuestion.com.
If your puppy has gotten into something you think is dangerous you should call your vet immediately. If the vet is off-hours you can call the ASPCA Poison Control Centerat
(888) 426-4435. Know that a $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card so ask that question first.
5. Introduce Strangers Slowly. Remember to go slow when introducing your puppy to people and dogs he may not have met before. This can be a great time to socialize your pet. It can also turn into a disaster that creates a timid and shy puppy. Just go slow, tell your guests to avoid eye contact with your puppy and to always lower your hand to below his chin level before approaching. Scratching their chin is highly preferred over petting their head, for example.
6. Create a Cozy “Puppy Cave.” When the hustle and bustle of the holidays gets completely crazed your puppy might appreciate its own cozy crate, puppy bed or private room to hide away. Enhance it with a couple treats and favorite toys.
7. Monitor burning candles. Lights, especially flickering ones, are a huge temptation for puppies. Do not ever leave burning candles in a room with an unattended puppy.
8. Stick to Routine. More than just about any other creature, dogs and puppies depend on routine to keep their mental outlook balanced and to feel secure. If they wonder whether they are ever going to eat or if they have been patiently waiting to potty outdoors for over an hour, the stress can be almost unbearable. Mealtimes, bedtimes, walks and all the other activities your puppy enjoys each day should be maintained as much as possible.
9. Protect Wrapped Gifts. Everyone likes to unwrap gifts and puppies are no different.
Finally, both the ASPCA and the AKC have their own pages devoted to insuring your puppy’s safety during these happy holidays.