Around the Holiday season, we gear up for family visits, food-filled gatherings, and boisterous celebrations. Costumes, pies, yummy turkey, glimmering trees, joyous candles, singing, candy, adult beverages, you name it! ‘Tis the season to indulge! As a result, your family dog is caught in the middle of everything. Many aspects of parties are incredibly exciting for your pup, while others present dangers to keep an eye on. After delving into reliable sources, we want to pass on to you the essential party safety for pups.
New People, New Food
Whether it’s family members or friends, your furbaby is not familiar with everyone that will be entering your home during a get-together. Furthermore, those people may not be familiar with your dog. This presents a situation where both parties may become fearful of the other.
To place control on the situation, there are great steps and strategies to take. First, when inviting guests to the party, mention that you do have a dog and ask if they have any allergies. Second, as guests arrive, allow your pup to sniff them. Dogs use their powerful sense of smell to explore the world around them. This is their way of meeting new people and “getting to know them.” After the sniffing session ends, your guests will be free to reach out and pet Fido.
Finally, talk to your guests about any habits or quirks your furry friend has. For example, some pooches do not enjoy being chased. This would be a good quality to alert your friends and family to. Especially if they are accompanied by young children.
Many parties take place both indoors and outdoors. In short, guests are prone to forget closing doors behind them; letting both bugs in and your dog out! If your pup is designed for indoors only, you can easily hang a sign on doors as a reminder to close. While this may not be an issue is snowy weather, great weather provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy both inside and outside for your guests!
Whether you are making a delicious spread, or your guests are bringing new recipes, your dog is going to eye it up. Even the most well-behaved pups are known to act badly during the chaos of a party. It is important to store your party’s food above Fido’s reach. Additionally, try to provide table areas for guests to eat. As a result, they will be less likely to set plates down where your dog can approach.
Two easy tips further discourage your pup from gobbling up foods and scraps. First, provide trash cans with lids. As your friends and family toss away their food, the lid will deter your pooch from diving into the trash can. Second, ask your guests to not feed the dog. In fact, some owners naturally feed human food to dogs at their home and will not think twice about doing the same with your dog. Yikes!
Party Fun Dog Product
Doing something special for your pup is a great way to include them in party time. We love the Silly Squeakers Wine Bottle Dog Toy because it allows your furbaby to get in on the action, but safely! In summary, this 9.1” interactive dog toy is designed to mimic a wine bottle. Tough rubber made, a loud squeak will emit every time Fido chomps down.
You can choose from four different styles: Crispaw, Groober, Kennel Relaxin, and Meow Chased. Not only will your party guests find it adorable, but your pup will have an interactive toy to keep them happily engaged.
Facts about Doggie Anxiety
The American Kennel Club deems fear, separation, and aging as the three most common causes for doggie anxiety. The renowned society states, “Fear related anxiety can be caused by loud noises, strange people or animals, visual stimuli like hats or umbrellas, new or strange environments…”. In other words, many aspects of a party or get-together have the potential to instill anxiety within your pup. Loud and new noises, strange people, more movement, etc.
In comparison, Reader’s Digest suggest seven reasons that cause dog anxiety. Consequently, two of these reasons directly relate to party-going elements: “You’ve shaken up his routine” and “There’s a new noise that’s making her nervous.”
Symptoms of anxiety in your dog include aggression, urinating or pooping in the house, drooling, panting, destructive behavior, depression, more barking, pacing, restlessness, and compulsive behaviors. Sometimes there is a fine line between seeing your pup enjoying a party and exhibiting signs of anxiety. Are they restless because they are excited to see grandma? Or are they restless because they fear new people?
Helping to reduce Fido’s party anxiety is no different from taking steps to avoid other types of anxiety. These four methods work in tandem:
- Socialize your pup from an early age
- Take the time for obedience training
- Instill good exercise and good nutrition
- Know how to read your dog’s body language for signs of anxiety
If all else fails, you always have the option to avoid the stressful situation. In this case, consider boarding your dog at a trusted kennel for the day of a party.
The American Kennel Club presents two possible actions an owner can take to help remedy dog anxiety. These will also ring true for party anxiety. First, an owner can use counterconditioning training. In essence, “The purpose of counterconditioning is to change your dog’s response to the stimuli responsible for anxiety, usually by replacing the anxious or aggressive behavior with a more desirable behavior, like sitting or focusing on the owner” (American Kennel Club).
Second, an owner can use desensitization by slowly exposing their dog to the source of anxiety and continuously rewarding the desired good behavior. In short, this is like a human “facing their fears” in small doses until the fear no longer exists. In the case of parties and get-together, you should begin this method long before the actual event. To clarify, begin by inviting one to two people over for your dog to meet and enjoy time with. Build the number of people you invite over until Fido is used to such occasions.
Adult Beverages: Alcohol
How Alcohol Ingestion Effects Dogs
Alcohol is an adult beverage that is regularly enjoyed at many occasions and parties. Not surprisingly, it is unsafe for your dog (or any pet) to consume. By and large, the source of danger is Ethanol. Ethanol is an ingredient found in all alcohol and is responsible for the affects you feel. Like humans, dogs will die from Ethanol poisoning.
Alcohol effects canines like it does in human bodies. Essentially, a dog can experience everything from a buzz to lack of consciousness. It is important to realize that dogs weigh incredibly less than humans. Therefore, smaller amounts of alcohol have greater effects. In a word, the same amount of alcohol that creates a simple buzz for you, may send your pup to the hospital.
PetMD notes that the strength of alcohol matters more than the quantity. They explain, “Light beers are the least dangerous since their alcohol content is less, followed by craft beers, wine, hard liquors, and finally, grain alcohols like Everclear.”
The Pet Poison Helpline labels alcohol toxicity in pets as “generally mild to severe.” Their cautious approach warns owners that “Even small amounts of alcohol, especially in small dogs and cats, can cause life-threatening toxicity.”
Do Dogs Like Alcohol?
Do dogs like alcohol? In short, all signs point to no. Dr. Steven Friedenberg, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, assures dogs “…don’t regularly seek this[alcohol] out.” In fact, canines stay away from this adult beverage because it’s distasteful for them.
But, an owner should still be cautious during a party. Added sweet ingredients to alcoholic beverages or foods will appeal to your pup. The Pet Poison Helpline warns pet parents to keep an eye on alcohol found in uncommon places. This may include cakes and raw dough. In fact, any food that ferments can get your furbaby drunk! Other non-party sources include mouthwash, perfumes, cleaning chemicals, medicines, paints, and dyes.
Signs of Alcohol Ingestion for Dogs
When ingesting alcohol, dogs with experience a drop in blood sugar, blood pressure, and body temperature. Dog’s Health Blog notes, “If a dog has eaten before being exposed to alcohol, the signs, and symptoms of alcohol toxicity may be delayed up to two hours.” In conclusion, it may take some time for the ill effects to set it.
Signs of alcohol ingestion will include: vomiting, wobbliness, increased thirst, increased urination, and disorientation. In extreme cases, signs of toxicity include: tremors, paralysis, slow or shallow breathing, seizures, and loss of consciousness.
Treatment and Recovery
Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor for petMD, addresses the two scenarios an owner can encounter with doggie alcohol ingestion: mild cases and large dose cases. For mild cases, a dog will recover with no treatment required. Essentially, a dog will just need some sleep in a quiet area. For large dose cases, Dr. Coates advises to “seek out immediate veterinary care.” Unfortunately, during the chaos of a party, it can be hard to know how much your pup has ingested! If unknown, seeking your local vet is optimal.
Treatment for severe cases will include intravenous dexterous (additions of sugars), IV fluids, warming measures, and in-hospital monitoring. When the proper care is given, your pup will recover in excellent shape!