Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar. ~Bradley Millar

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Turkey Day Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe


Thanksgiving is a holiday that’s all about food, family, and fun. However, the time leading up the big feast tends to be busy and stressful. There’s so much to think about and plan for, and it’s easy to forget things in the midst of it all. One thing you should never forget to consider is the safety of your beloved pets. If you have a dog, there are several things to watch out for during Thanksgiving. Utilizing the best dog fence to keep them contained, decorating with caution, and making sure your dog doesn’t get any turkey bones are just some of the things that can prevent unfortunate incidents. Let’s explore these tips and more in-depth.

Keep Your Dog Out of the Kitchen

When there is a lot of activity going on in the kitchen, accidents are more common. To keep everyone safe, it’s best if you don’t let your dog near you while prepping and cooking. Your dog’s sudden movements can cause someone to trip, for example, and sharp knives and hot foods can cause serious injuries. If possible, keep your dog in a closed room or crate. Another possibility is to block their access to the kitchen with a barrier. A baby gate would work, and a portable wireless dog fence is also an option. An invisible dog fence barrier has the added benefit of not blocking the path for you or your guests.

Be Wary of Hazards While Traveling

If you’re traveling this year and bringing your dog with you, take some extra precautions to ensure their safety on the road and in new places. For example, your dog should be wearing a special dog seat belt while in the car. At the very least, your dog should be contained in a crate, so that they can’t get into the front seat and risk distracting whoever is driving. At your relative’s house, keep an eye out for cleaning chemicals, fertilizer, medications, and other hazards that might be in reach of your dog. Always bring along the telephone number to your vet’s office, as well as your dog’s vaccination records and any medications they take, just in case.

Be Careful When Feeding Your Dog

The safest thing to do on Thanksgiving is not share any of your meal with your dog. While they may beg and whine because it smells so good, your dog doesn’t know what’s best for them. Turkey skin can actually cause pancreatitis, for example, and turkey bones can pierce your dog’s intestines, stomach, or throat. Chocolate is toxic to dogs, and so is the sugar substitute xylitol. Onions are also bad for dogs, and so are coffee, tea, and alcohol. Your dog could choke on small things like raisins, grapes, or nuts. If you want your dog to enjoy something special on Thanksgiving, purchase them some dog treats beforehand.

Know How to Recognize Signs of Stress

The hustle and bustle of the holidays can be particularly stressful for dogs, especially if they’re not accustomed to being around a lot of noise or people. When dogs get stressed out, their body language will tell you. Look out for signals such as hiding, cowering, shaking, freezing up, growling, panting, showing the whites of their eyes, and raised fur. If your dog starts exhibiting these signs, they need some quiet time away from the action. Either in a closed room or with an electric dog fence, create a “safe zone” for them with as little noise as possible, toys, food, and plenty of water, so they can de-stress.

Ensure Your Dog’s Environment is Safe

There are several environmental hazards that you might not automatically think about during the holidays, particularly when you’re decorating your house. Corn stalks and pumpkins look festive, and they may also smell tasty to dogs. However, chunks of raw corn and pumpkins are hard to digest. They can cause your dog to choke, or they can lead to dangerous blockages in the intestines. Keep them out-of-reach, along with any lit candles your dog could knock over. Also be careful with cooking items like aluminum foil, plastic wrap, twine, and cheesecloth. Make sure all trash from your meal is put in the garbage outside immediately.

Tell Relatives to Be Cautious, Too

It’s smart to talk to your relatives about dog safety during the holidays, too. They should be told, for example, not to feed your dog anything off their plates, and not to leave their plates or drinks unattended. Don’t forget to talk to young children, too, and remind them not to hug or kiss dogs. If you’re using an electronic dog fence as a barrier for your kitchen, make sure your relatives know it’s in place, so they don’t try to bring your dog across it. Ask your relatives to inform you if they notice any weird behavior from your dog, or if they see your dog eating table food.

As long as you observe these simple tips, you’ll greatly reduce the chances that your dog will experience any injury or illness during the holiday. Thanksgiving should be enjoyed, not stressed over, and keeping all of your loved ones in mind - including your pets - will ensure everyone has a fulfilling, safe holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!

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