Christmas Dangers

Christmas is coming! With all the joy of the holidays it can be easy to forget about the dangers for your pets that also come with the season. Keep some of these tips in mind as you enter the holidays!

 

        1. Dogs love to unwrap Christmas presents! This is great fun on Christmas day, but before then, it can cause serious problems. Make sure not to put anything under the tree that your dog will be tempted to open. Anything that smells good will definitely catch their attention; like a nice leather wallet or belt, or yummy food, like chocolate.
        2. Poinsettias bring Christmas cheer wherever they are seen. However, it is important to know that these festive plants are very poisonous to your pets. Best to keep them far out of reach.
        3. Christmas decorations are always fun! Or are they? Be careful with light cords as dogs and puppies especially, love chewing on them. Keep cords in a protector or out of reach in some other way to prevent electrocution.
        4. Another common Christmas time hazard is tinsel. Tinsel can be very harmful if swallowed by your dog. Tinsel tangles up in animals’ intestines or punctures their sensitive organ walls.
        5. Often times during the holidays candy is left out in dishes on counters or low tables. Make sure these stay out of reach of your pets. Chocolate contains theobromine, and many candies are sweetened with xylitol; both of which can be fatal when ingested by our pets.
        6. With all the food at the table and those begging eyes looking up at you, it can be very tempting to give just a little human food to your pet. Don’t give in! Most of the food on the table will just upset your dog’s stomach.

 

Buying Safe Toys

As you buy Christmas toys for your dogs, be sure to look carefully at the quality of the toys you are buying! It isn’t difficult to find safe toys, you just have to know what to stay away from. Buying toys that aren’t safe can cause serious issues.

If a toy has parts attached to it, be sure all the parts are securely on the toy and don’t look like they will fall off with time or wear. Little parts can fall off toys and get lodged in a dog’s mouth very quickly.

Also be careful what squeaky toys you buy. Many discount stores sell toys with small squeakers that puppies can easily chew off and they can become a choking hazard or become lodged in their intestines requiring expensive surgery to remove.

Puppy Potty Training

What is the number one rule for potty training? Take your puppy out often! Your goal is to take them out before they make a mistake. It is best to start out every half hour and than gradually extend your time based on how your puppy is doing. It may seem like a lot, but it works to prevent your puppy from feeling the need to go in the house. You will be able to gradually lengthen the time between let outs based on your puppy’s response.

As you observe your puppy’s body language, they will give you signs they need to go out. If you use the same door to let them out, they will frequently start going to that door to indicate they need to go out. Some people place bells on the door knob that they teach their dog to ring to indicate they need to go out.

A good rule of thumb is that puppies can typically hold it an hour for every month old they are. Remember when they are young that it is your responsibility to get them out in time. So don’t yell at them if they make a mistake. They really can’t help it. Rather, set them up for success.

It is very important to reward your dog when he goes potty outside by praising him and playing with him. When you reward your dog for going potty outside, it clicks in their mind that outside is where they need to be to do their duties and not inside. Remember to let them out right after they eat, sleep, or play. To set them up for success overnight, don’t give them a lot to drink right before bed and get them out as soon as possible in the morning.