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When Your Dog is Home for the Holidays But You Aren't
Excitement is in the air. You are spending those last few moments (hours) preparing your house for company. You are hanging decorations, rearranging the furniture, making last minute adjustments and generally fussing. The family is coming over for a Christmas dinner. Your son is hosting a birthday party. He is 5. Your daughter has just graduated from high school. You are planning to have a party. You are surprising your wife with a birthday Party. It is your parent’s 25th anniversary. It is New Year’s Eve, Hanukkah, Mardi Gras, the Feast of the Dead, Cinqo Mayo, or any of a thousand different holidays. The question here – What do you do with the puppy or dog?
The answer is simple. Do what is best for your pet. This may differ from dog to dog. It can depend upon the age of the pet. A young puppy is more likely to become over excited and confused by the hubbub. A puppy can also get into trouble by devouring unfamiliar foods and ingesting unlikely objects. A puppy can also become an object of too much attention. This can create its own anxiety. Children can maul your puppy unintentionally resulting in their receiving a nip.
What you do also relies upon the temperament of your dog. Some pets are more excitable than others are. They work themselves up into a fever pitch. They cannot stay still. Other dogs are not comfortable with more than a few people. They may snap if too many hands, unknown hands, want to pet them. Some dogs, in crowd situations, decide to defend their person against all comers. This makes the situation for dogs and guests dangerous. You need to ensure your pet and your guests are safe and out of harms way.
Parties are all about having fun. Unfortunately, some people’s ideas of fun can cause your pet problems. These can range from a mildly upset stomach from ingesting too much food to a trip to the Vets from digesting a foreign or life threatening substance. Not all your friends and visitors are aware of what is good for an animal. In fact, if you have a small puppy or dog, some guests are not going to notice the pet at all – until they trip on him, step on her tail or other such actions occur.
The same considerations apply to small gatherings. If the party is strictly a family affair, is a small group or consists of reliable friends, you may decide to keep your pet at home. In this situation, you may want to restrict his wanderings to a specific room or, weather permitting, place her outside. There is also the crate option. Do, however, place the crate is a spot away from the possibility of trouble.
If you allow your pet to wander through the affair, cute puppy or large dog, make sure the guests are all on the same page. They must not feed him or her tidbits of food. Parties also prevent opportunities for even the best-behaved dog to have access to forbidden food. Common to all gatherings, but especially prevalent at children’s parties, are the opportunities to find dropped or spilled food. Whether you allow the dog to eat human food is irrelevant. What matters is the puppy or dog is receiving large or even small amounts of food that can create problems.
If your group consists of many people, and most of them are strangers, arrange to have your puppy in a safe place. Consider sending him or her off to Doggie Day Care or Camp. Leave him or her at his or hers favorite pet sitter. This way, you can enjoy the party and your dog can still have fun.
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