Holidays With Your PuppyThe Holiday Season (from Guide Dogs)
The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. Many people decorate both the inside and outside of their homes to help get everyone in the spirit. For the 1,000 or so GDB puppies throughout the west, it is important to keep in mind that many traditional holiday favorites such as decorations, lights, candles, chocolate, tinsel and even mistletoe can pose a possible hazardous situation to our pups. As you decorate, be careful in the placement of such items so that they are not easily accessible to your puppy. As always, supervise your puppy carefully, especially during this time of year with lots of parties, visitors, and other special activities.
One helpful tip to keep in mind is that a bored pup is a mischievous pup, so remember to exercise your pup daily even on those cold, dark, snowy evenings. Often a brisk game of Hide and Seek or a controlled tug game can mentally, as well as physically, stimulate the pup and prevent him from looking for trouble on his own to amuse himself.
If you are busy with company, baking or entertaining, remember to put your pup on a leash or tie down, or leave it in a crate for some quiet time. Also, make sure to monitor your pup’s waistline during the holidays. Just as we are tempted by the season’s entertaining and tasty treats, our pups sometimes gain extra holiday weight that can take months to get off again, and can jeopardize the pup’s health and eventual success. Ask your leader’s opinion of your pup’s proper weight and adjust their diet if needed.
Here are some additional safety tips that should help ensure that everyone with fur, and skin has a happy holiday:
With some thoughtful planning and careful supervision, your holidays this year with your Guide Dog puppy can be a wonderful experience.
Puppies 7 months or older are able to go out trick-or-treating. Raisers may dress them up in a very simple costume. If you try to use washable hair paint, please be careful if you use a spray. The noise can frighten your pup. If it does, do not continue. Also do not spray around the pup’s head. (Make sure you give your pup a bath immediately after arriving home if you use hair paint). If you take your pup trick-or-treating, please pay great attention to how your pup responds to costumes of other children, the noises, children screaming, and other spooky things. If it appears that your pup is getting too excited or appears fearful, you must immediately take your puppy home and kennel him while you go trick-or-treating. Take pictures for our web site if you dress your pup up!
|4th of July
No puppies are allowed to attend fireworks. If you live near where the fireworks are, you can help your puppy by turning on the TV or radio (soft music please no hard rock), at a moderate level so that it helps distract them from the booms. We ask that you not take your pups to the fireworks because it is extremely loud for them and frightening. And it would take you too long to "get away" from them if your pup became upset. If you go sit on the greenbelt and watch them, carefully watch how your pup responds to the boom and the bangs and the pops. If he/she appears to be anxious, then you will need to leave immediately. Never try to calm a puppy by saying in a sympathetic voice, "Oh poor puppy." Talk upbeat, high-pitched happy voice. Try to get their focus on you.