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Getting Ready for Company: Party Prep

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So, you’re having a party and you plan to have your four-legged family member in attendance too. After all, it’s your party and you’ll have your dog there if you want to; which is fine as long as you keep your guests in mind.

As a host or hostess, you think of everything to pull off a successful party; from stocking up on food and drinks, to playing great music, and even having a game or two to break the ice. But sometimes we get so wrapped up in our plans to entertain that we forget to plan for interactions with the dog.

Here are some basic safety tips to enforce at your next party to ensure everyone has a good time, including the dog.

1. Take your dog for a long walk or run before the event. Your dog is less likely to be hyper, disobedient, or stressed out once strangers start coming to the door.

2. Don’t let anyone feed the dog. Having 15 different people give your dog whatever food they want is dangerous (especially when they don’t know your dog’s regular diet). There are many human foods that dogs simply cannot digest or may be toxic. Be sure to keep the following foods away from your dogs on any occasion:

A. Onion and garlic - can cause haemolytic anaemia in both cats and dogs.

B. Raisins and grapes - can cause kidney failure.

C. Avocado - contains a substance known as persin which is toxic to both dogs and cats.

D. Mushrooms - the toxins in these can cause shock and can even lead to death.

E. Chocolate - this contains theobromine which is toxic to both cats and dogs.

-Courtesy of Jane Grishaw’s article “The dangers of feeding table scraps to cats and dogs”

3. Don’t let anyone give your dog any drinks – whether it is alcoholic or not. Caffeine, sugar, and alcohol can make a dog very sick and even die. You may think letting your dog get a little tipsy is funny but you are putting your dog’s life in danger, not to mention, potentially costing yourself a large vet bill and animal cruelty charges if someone were to report you.

4. If you plan to use noisemakers (or anything that might startle our dog) put your dog in a quiet room on the other end of the house and turn on calming music to avoid upsetting him/her. A frightened dog will become irrational and unpredictable in their behavior and may also become aggressive.

5. Be sure all doors and side gates are properly closed after each guest arrives. You may be too wrapped up in a party to notice your dog is missing. By the time you realize your dog is missing, if he’s not still wandering, he could have been hit by a car, been picked up by a stranger, or picked up by animal control.

Don’t let these avoidable issues ruin your holiday cheer. Be a responsible pet owner: keep your pet’s health and safety in mind so you can both enjoy the New Year together.

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