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Holiday dog tips


Decking the halls and rocking around the Christmas tree may be exactly what we have been waiting all year to do, but for our little furry buddies this is the season that can be the most stressful.

Local dog trainer Brad Pattison sat down with Castanet to share some tips on how to keep your dog safe this holiday.

Pattison says when decorating the tree always keep your pet in mind - try not to put edible items on the branches because it could be in for a disaster if Fido gets a hold of that popcorn garland - and make sure not to hang tinsel too low or at all, as it is dangerous for an animal to ingest.

"The treats may be attractive to dogs, they may jump up, try to eat it and then you may have a problem."

If you're giving the gift of baked goods this holiday season, Pattison recommends not putting these presents under the tree until Christmas morning, as dogs will sniff out the treats and think Christmas came early.

"That just happened to a client of mine, she put her presents under the tree and the dog opened them all up."

For those who have a live Christmas tree this season Pattison says to make sure the dog isn't around when you water it, because they may see the tree stand as a new watering bowl.

"So the dog will go to the tree and tip it over then when you come home you're devastated."

As for stress around the holidays, we are all feeling it, but so are our pets explains Pattison.

As time off for Christmas approaches, he recommends taking your dog out as much as possible, whether it's running errands, going out for a hike or even down to Stuart Park if the kids are going for a skate.

No dogs in the kitchen, especially while cooking Christmas dinner he lectures.

"We don't want the dogs begging and scrounging for food."

Get rid of your turkey carcass right away if you're not using it for a soup stock, as the lingering odours from the bird will have your dog getting antsy for a treat.

"Another important tip is no treats, no food, to the dogs from the guests," he says. "Because the last thing you want to be doing is going to the veterinarian."

For more dog training and safety tips contact Pattison at [email protected]

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