The seasons for giving thanks is upon us. It is time to celebrate Thanksgiving & the holidays with friends, family & for many of us our furry companions. But it is also a time where your dogs good canine manners and will power will be tested. We have all heard the stories of dogs committing turkey larceny & theft on the biggest eating day of the year (just ask our waistline), putting a damper on the celebration. Here are a few tips to keep your guest, turkey fanfare & pets safe this holiday season.
1. Set boundaries. Make sure to train your dog not to beg, jump, counter surf, bark incessantly or paw-lift the turkey & appetizers. Being a responsible pet owner means teaching your dog basic commands like sit, down, stay, quiet, come and how to walk on leash.
2. Make sure your dog has an open invitation to the feasting festivities. If you are going to a friend or family member's house for Thanksgiving, call ahead and ask if you can bring your dog. Keep in mind some hostess or guest may be allergic or afraid of dogs. Perhaps your family or friend has a territorial dog that does not like other four legged guest. If your dog gets the honor of being invited it is important for your pup to be on his or her best doggy behavior. Your dog must clearly understand your firm commands. Remember a poorly behaved dog will not be invited back again for seconds.
3. Alert your guest you have a dog. If you have been given the turkey honors of hostess this year make sure to let guest know ahead a time you have a dog. As I mentioned above, some of your guests may be afraid or allergic to dogs. Also , at this time you may want to inform your guest not to give in to your dogs pleading eyes that say "Feed me". Tell your guest not to feed your pet table scraps since certain foods are toxic to pets.
4. Thanksgiving should not be doggy training day. For the Thanksgiving soiree to go smoothly make sure you get your dogs begging, jumping & barking behavior under control prior to the big day. Trust us with so many dishes and things literally on your plate, you won't have time to sit down and have a heart to heart talk with your pup about the turkey do's and dont's.
5. Give your dog a timeout! When you can't supervise your dog or your pup is not behaving or listening to your commands, a crate or separate dog ready room is a great place for timeouts away from hungry guest. Sending your dog to his or her designated safe haven will keep your pet out of the kitchen and away from the dangers of a hot stove, dishes and broken glass.
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