Okay, ready or not, celebrations are on the horizon and I’m here to tell ya there ain’t nothin’ else in the world like the combination of holidays and hound dogs.
Yes, beware ... for the blend of family, friends, food and fun we look forward to each year comes with its own set of hazards for pups. That’s why I decided to put together this handy little guide. You see, a good friend of mine is on a learning curve. He has become a dog-father. Dog-fatherhood is new to him and with Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon I thought it might be nice if I helped out.
A couple of things … First, no matter what transpires your dog loves you and you love them; it’s an important thing to remember when you find your favorite snowflake couch pillow laying in the backyard. The way I look at it, having the dog abscond with a pillow adds sentimental value to it; especially when there are a couple of teeth marks left behind.
Second, this column is meant to apply to all gatherings (listed in no particular order); Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, Easter, Fourth of July, National Donut Day, Grandma’s 112th birthday party, the running of the bulls … well, you get the drift.
Kim Hart, Kennel Manager at York Adopt-A-Pet, reminded me to remind you of the importance of doors. Hart says all of the comings and goings over the holidays provide excellent opportunities for dogs inclined to run to do just that. Round your pets up prior to welcoming guests and everyone will benefit.
If you are stressed a bit by the holidays you can count on the fact your pet is too. Not to worry though, keeping things copasetic is possible; here are some important things to know.
Be sure to anchor your tree, artificial or real. And if real is how you roll, remember, the tree water is a bowl of water … just not the kind you want your dog to drink. It may contain chemicals and bacteria if it gets stagnant. Clean up needles too … punctured intestines aren’t what Fido wants for Christmas.
Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are toxic plants. Chocolate is a no-no for your dog; so more truffles for you. And then there is sugar-free … the ingredient in sugar-free baked goods and candy is Xylitol, another dangerous substance to dogs.
Left-overs should be left-behind. Rich food and foods pets aren’t used to eating can, well, let’s just put it this way; disturb digestive tracts. Turkey bones splinter and splinters are painful. And importantly, keep a lid on it … the garbage, that is. Don’t let your Dachshund go dumpster diving!
Keep surroundings as familiar for your pet as possible, even if you are traveling. Take their kennel along; fill it with items like a favorite toy or blankie. Tug’s would be his used-to-be-stuffed skunk or one of the trio of Chuck-it balls (two blue, one orange) he covets. And, plan ahead if you aren’t able to take your pet along, think boarding … spaces fill up fast at people motels and qualified doggie motels too.
Finally, put that complimentary Elvis GE Christmas record on the player; then enjoy each and every scratch as you create quiet space for your pet (and you) this holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your hound dog from all of us at York Adopt-A-Pet. We are truly grateful for your support.