Dog Walking, Dog Sitting, Dog Overnight Care

Providing service to the communities of:
Cloverdale, Clayton Heights, Panorama Ridge, Yorkson, & Willoughby

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Halloween and Thanksgiving and Christmas, Oh My!

It’s the first week of October and as the air begins to cool also comes the reality that there are many holidays coming just around the corner. And holidays mean candy in bowls, food on counters, doors opening, guests arriving and perhaps joining you for a meal. So what does this mean for your dog? Read on!

Ask any veterinarian and they will tell you that holidays bring many dangers for dogs… especially mischievous ones! Stealing chocolate, which is poisonous to canines and can cause liver damage or even death is a common problem. Running out the door when people are coming in and getting out into the street is another danger. Not to mention how humans feel when their dog jumps all over people, surfs the counters for goodies, rips open Christmas gifts under the tree or begs at the table during dinner parties.

While it may seem like the holidays are still far away, now is the time to work with your pet on obedience and manners. Chances are, your schedule is only going to get busier so it’s a good idea to work your pet’s training into your routine now. With dogs being creatures of habit, the earlier you start practicing the more your dog’s new, desirable behaviors will already be good habits before doorbells and jingle bells start ringing.

Begin  by working with your dog on some basic obedience commands in a formal way, such as on a leash, to help your pet thoroughly learn the commands of “heel” (walk at my side), “sit,” “down,” “stay” and “come.” The purpose of working on these is so you can use the commands to work on other issues and also so you can earn your pet’s respect.

Once your dog knows the basics, you can then use those behaviors to work on all of the other issues. For example, if you catch your pet in the act of getting into the trash, you can tell him “no” and put him into a down/stay. The down/stay can also be used to eliminate begging during meals, keep him from slobbering on your guests the entire time they are visiting and more.

Practicing better behavior by the door is another valuable lesson. You may need to use your dog’s leash at first to teach him not to run out the door even if it’s open, not to jump on people as they come in, etc. These good habits are particularly important to work on before Halloween when the bell will be ringing and the door will be opening repeatedly.

In addition to your dog’s behavior, it’s also important for humans to develop good habits. While your pet should be taught not to steal chocolate or get into things left around, it’s also important for the humans of the household to get into the habit of keeping pets safe by not leaving potentially dangerous things within reach.

Using foresight and working on your dog’s obedience and manners ahead of time is an excellent way to ensure your dog’s safety as well as your enjoyment of your pet during upcoming holidays and for your dog’s lifetime.