May 20, 2006

Small Dogs Require Extra Care During the Holiday Season

The Holiday season is a time of joy and celebration. To keep itthat way for everyone, people with small dogs should take somecommon-sense precautions. Especially now, when tiny dogs areincreasingly popular, families need to stay aware of theirspecial needs.

Most people know that chocolate can be lethal to dogs. But otherHoliday favorites can also pose hazards, including: turkey,pork, onions, even raisins and grapes. Other foods may simply betoo spicy or rich for the dog’s digestive system to handle.While a single raisin or grape may not seem like much, it couldbe a toxic meal to a four-pound dog.

With holiday decorations coming out of their boxes, keep an eyeon that little dog. It may be fun to play “chase the tinsel”with your Chihuahua, but if she swallows some when you’re notpaying attention, the consequences could be dire. That ornamentmay look a lot like your little dog’s favorite ball. Poinsettiasand many other plants, including lilies, are poisonous to dogs.

Small dog owners also need to pay attention to their little petswhen company arrives. Even the best-socialized little dog mayfeel threatened and defensive in a crowd. Just think of how theroom looks to your shin-height dog when your Holiday Party is infull swing! The obstacle course of potentially damaging feet isintimidating, to say the least! Toddlers who move erratically orgrab tails may be frightening to a tiny dog. Small children anddogs of any size should not be left alone together.

Pay attention to your small dog’s location. Dogs can slipoutside with the constant opening and closing of doors. Some canclimb onto counters and tables. They can even disappear under apile of coats! The most tragic tale we’ve heard is of a smalldog, taking advantage of a warm, cozy visitor’s bed, was killedwhen a folding bed was put away for the day. Small dogs don’tmake much of a lump under the covers and the owners just didn’tsee him. Very sad, and very easy to avoid – just find the dogbefore you move the furniture.

Paying attention is the key to a happy and safe holiday seasonfor the entire family – including your toy dog.

About the author:

Hope Saidel is the co-owner of GollyGear , abricks-and-mortar and online small dog shop featuring fun,affordable and practical products for small dogs. She hastrained and competed in Obedience with small dogs for over adecade and is on the Board of Directors of the North Shore DogTraining Club.

Hope Saidel

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