Easter is almost here! Are you ready? Have you extended your invitations? Laid out your favorite recipes? Gathered everything for your baskets? Are your shoes polished? Is your dog ready?
We want our pets to enjoy the holiday, food and friendship as much as we do. But we should prepare our dogs for this influx of guests and abundant food. How are your dog’s door manners? Will she jump all over your guests? This is particularly concerning for elderly visitors and youngsters who can be knocked down. Door manners is probably the most requested training issue from my clients. And I think in-home dog training is the best solution for that misbehavior. Let’s work on the problem where it happens. Contact me at 614-859-0612 to get started.
In the meantime, there are a couple of actions you can take:
- You may need to keep your dog confined. If your dog needs to be kept behind a gate or in another room, make sure she has something to occupy her mind. Otherwise she may get bored and destructive and start chewing!
- Explain to your guests that your dog is not allowed to jump even if they say they don’t mind. It’s your house and your rules apply.
- Nervous or aggressive dogs should have a safe place to retreat. Make sure guests, especially children, know to leave her alone when she’s in her safe place.
- Timid dogs prefer to introduce themselves. Don’t allow your guest to invade her space. Be especially careful of the guest who claims to be a “dog person”. You know your dog best; don’t allow your guests’ bravado to overrule your experience.
- Exercise your dog prior to guests arriving. A long walk or vigorous game of fetch will help expend her energy.
- Make sure the water bowl is full. Stressed dogs pant more.
You may be tempted to let your dog be part of the celebration by giving her some of your Easter meal. This is not a good idea for many reasons. Do not leave food out or trash cans uncovered; those good smells are tempting. Avoid giving her “samples” of fatty or spicy foods. Also, avoid giving your dog cooked bones which splinter easily and could become choking or intestinal hazards.
And remember to keep those Easter baskets out of reach. The plastic grass, chocolate, sweets and products containing xylitol can be dangerous.
Finally, beware of toxic plants. Easter lilies can be poisonous to cats. As mentioned in a previous blog, amaryllis plants are also poisonous.
With these tips and reminders you and your dogs should have a healthy and happy Easter.