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Lessons Learned: How to Have Happy Holidays with the Hound

shutterstock_113454991This week’s post is by our guest writer and dog trainer, Deborah Rosen of Good CitiZEN Dog Training, whose franchises span from coast in coast in WA State, Denver, and Florida.

 Every year Deborah shares her list of helpful tips for the holidays, also known as “how to stay out of the emergency Vet Clinic” with your favorite canine companion! Make sure your holidays stay positive and mishap free, this year and every year!

 Tip #1 – Stow presents until Christmas morn!
Young dogs have energy to burn and enjoy exploring novel things. So, DO NOT put holiday presents under the tree until it’s time to open them. We love to display presents, but keeping them hidden beats the disappointment of a present destroyed before it’s been opened. And it’s certainly better than making a trip to the emergency vet to surgically remove whatever was ingested. No harm, no foul!

shutterstock_154188704Tip #2 – It’s All About the Food, Bout the Food, No Begging!
We know feeding the dog from the table will encourage begging. And, there’s nothing worse than a dog begging at the holiday table. And an occasional bit of turkey or holiday fare should be no big deal. But, if you multiply that bit by the number of people likely to be present you’ve got a serious problem. Of course, no one will admit to slipping the dog just a little tidbit. The only one who knows is the poor puppy with her belly stuffed with rich foods she’s not accustomed to eating. End result? You’re up with a sick dog and your merry holiday is now a wretched one involving you cleaning the carpet in the middle of the night. Good times!

I suggest the following with just a tad bit of mocking. Hang a sign above the dining table that says, “Human Food is for Humans Only!” When queried about this tell your guests that if the dog gets sick in the night, each person at the table will receive an immediate phone call to come help with the cleanup. Problem solved – on with the merriment!

shutterstock_124417567Tip #3 – Exercise and a little training!
Whether it’s raining, snowing, cold, or sunny and warm, exercise the dogs before your guests arrive. A dog that has not been attended to will be much more difficult to handle when your guests arrive. Dogs that jump up on guests will jump more if not given any exercise.

Better yet, do some advanced training leading up to your holiday event. Have someone ring the doorbell and insist that the dog “sit” at the front door before opening it. If the dog does this fairly quickly, deliver a treat along with a verbal praise. If necessary, put a leash on the dog and step on that to prevent the dog from jumping. Practice this every day for a week leading up to your event and, along with a good long walk, you’ll have a better chance of guests arriving without incident.

Tip #4 – Keep the licks and kisses coming up roses!
Are you a household with a variety of pets – perhaps cats? If so, the holidays are a busy time and the pets are often neglected while cookies are baked and presents are wrapped. Remember, if you do not attend to the kitty litter, the dog will! Whether the dog is hungry or well fed, cat poop (known in the dog training world as “kitty rocha”) will attract many dogs and your guests may be the unfortunate recipients of a kiss delivered shortly after feasting on kitty rocha. Eck! Do everyone a favor and put “clean the litter box” on the “to do” list for the day the guests arrive.

Tip#5 – Tidy Fido will make guests happy!
Store a dog towel by the doors where the dogs go in and out. When your guests arrive in their holiday finery, nothing will make you feel worse than having muddy paw prints all over your guests’ new clothes. People are good-natured, but why put a damper on the holiday by “muddying” things up? Attend to your dog’s comings and goings and wipe their paws when they come inside, especially when you live in wet areas like in the Northwest.

shutterstock_107786723Tip #6 – More About the Food, Bout the Food, No Trouble!
By now everyone knows that certain foods will make dogs sick. Chocolate, raisins, grapes, onions, and garlic are some of the common foods that most people know will make dogs unwell.

Here are some others that are more obscure, but very dangerous, if consumed by dogs. Macadamia nuts and nuts, in general, may be toxic. Raw bread dough is another food that can make dogs very sick. According to the ASPCA’s website, “the warm, moist environment of the stomach provides an ideal environment for the yeast to multiply, resulting in an expanding mass of dough in the stomach.” The stomach may become so distended it becomes difficult for the dog to breathe. Keep bread dough that is rising in a safe place where the dog cannot reach it.

Christmas labsWhile you are preparing your holiday foods, it’s best to give dogs something to do. A frozen marrowbone or a bully stick or a stuffed toy is something that will keep most dogs occupied and happy and not looking for things that might make them ill.

 

In general, the holidays are a time when family is home, people are happy and the family dog is enjoying attention from everyone. By taking a few precautions and making time for a bit of extra training, the holidays can stay happy and healthy for everyone!

Feliz Navi-Dog!

 

Deborah Rosen_small About the Author

Deborah Rosen is President and Founder of Good CitiZEN Dog TrainingⓇ, a dog training franchise business based in Tacoma, WA. Deborah is known within the industry for her innovative ZEN dog-training methodology and her commitment to using positive and progressive techniques to teach clients the science of canine behavior. Deborah is now spreading her training philosophy of “peaceful living with your dog” from coast to coast through her Good CitiZEN Dog Training franchisees. In addition, Deborah also authors blogs, magazine articles, and is working on a book. For more information about Good CitiZEN Dog Training, see www.goodcitizendog.com.
 

Dog Care 101 Tip #195 – Quick Tips for Holiday Dog Safety

 If you haven’t already started your holiday festivities, BestBullySticks.com knows there will soon be a whirlwind of places to be and people to see. We urge you not to leave your dog out of the holiday happenings! However, there are a few things to remember to keep Fido happy and healthy during this busy time of year. Here are a few quick tips for holiday dog safety!

1. Stay Calm! Your dog can feel your stress. Spending a little quiet time with your dog during this busy time will help both of you de-stress.

2. Keep to your Daily Routine. Dogs thrive on a predictable routine, so don’t throw him for a loop just because it’s the Holidays. 

3. Wear him out! If you’re worried about your dog being rambunctious before your big holiday get-together, play hard right before the party! This will ensure Fido will be too tired to get into too much trouble.

4. Food Prep & Food Precautions. Food prep and presentation objects like toothpicks in food or cooking bags can easily become foul play when your dog is trying to sneak a bite. Make sure your food is out of reach or free of anything that could cause Fido harm. Make sure you also keep a tight lid on the garbage can!

5. Pretty Poisonous Plants. Toxic holiday plants include holly, mistletoe, ivy, Christmas cactus and poinsettias. Call your vet or poison control immediately! National Poison Control can be reached at: 888-426-4435 and 900-680-0000

6. Visitors & Guests. If your dog isn’t used to being around large groups of people, a major holiday isn’t the time for socialization training. Keep Fido nice and cozy in a crate or his favorite room of the house. Visit your dog every once in a while to let him know everything is okay. If your dog is out, make sure you tell all your guests not to feed any table scraps! Also make sure your dog won’t bolt out the door every time a new guest enters your home.

BestBullySticks.com hopes these quick tips will help you remember Fido’s needs during the Holiday season.

Happy Holidays to you and your four-legged friend!

Dog Care Tip #193: Dog-Friendly Holiday Decorating Tips

BestBullySticks.com knows decking your halls should help make your season jolly! However, holiday decorating and keeping your dog out of it may not always be the easiest of tasks. This season, BBS can give you some simple and quick ways to have a beautiful home for the Holiday Season while keeping Fido safe.

Choose Decorations Carefully – It shouldn’t be a surprise that some decorations are less potentially harmful than others. Here are a few that could cause your dog harm.

Tree – If you choose a live tree, make sure you don’t allow your dog to chew on the branches. If your dog chews on them too much, it can lead to excess drooling or vomiting. Many trees are also treated with chemicals, which help preserve the tree. These chemicals can seep into the water at the base of your tree, making it toxic to dogs. Make sure you cover the base of your tree with a skirt, aluminum foil or plastic wrap to deter your dog’s curiousness.

Lights & Glass Ornaments – If your dog has a penchant for chewing, think about making the switch to plastic lights and ornaments. Non-breakable ornaments will help keep any rowdy dog from knocking over glass baubles, or cutting his mouth on broken glass.

Garlands – Strings of popcorn and cranberries, tinsel or flocking (a imitation snow decoration) are all great ways to make sure your tree dazzles. However, if your dog were to ingest any of these, it could be a major problem. Upset stomachs, intestinal blockages and more can be caused from these garlands.   read more…

Weekly Drool Recipe: Peanut Butter Pumpkin Puppy Treats!

The holiday season is a time to think of your loved ones and treat them to a special gift! If some of those loved ones are four-legged, BestBullySticks.com has just the thing to please the pups in your life. With just of your dog’s yummy favorite and a special Fido-friendly frosting, you’ll be the best gift giver around! Enjoy these Peanut Butter Pumpkin Puppy Treats! 

 

Ingredients
3 cups brown rice flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

 

 

 

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl stir all ingredients until soft dough forms.

2. Divide dough in half. Using brown-rice-floured rolling pin, roll each dough half to 1/2 inch thickness on brown-rice-floured surface. Cut with 3-inch cookie cutter. On ungreased cookie sheet, place cutouts about 1 inch apart.

3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until dry and golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

Frosting Ingredients:

1 cup yogurt chips (you can find these at most pet stores!)
1 tsp vegetable oil

Directions:

1. Microwave in microwavable bowl uncovered on High about 1 minute or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over puppy treats.

Recipe Notes: Store in a dog treat jar at room temperature up to 1 week. For longer storage, keep in the refrigerator or freezer.

Check with your vet to make sure these puppy treats fit into your dog’s diet. Be sure to check the recipe for any known foods or ingredients your pet may be allergic to.

Bone Appétit & Enjoy!

Recipe and photo courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens.

Be sure to check out our other seasonal dog treat recipes that would be great stocking stuffers, goodie bags or party treats! 

Simple Ways To Pamper and Spoil Your Holiday Pet: 101 Dog Care Tips- Tip 141

shutterstock_127637096  
If you are like many pet owners, your dog or cat is probably hanging in your hall of frame or will grace your Christmas family photos. We pet owners love our pets so much they we even carry pictures of them in our wallets. For us, our pets are part of our family and are irreplaceable. Our furry life co-pilots give us joy, humor and unconditional love and make life worthwhile.

One of the things we love to do is pamper our fur-kids, just ask our adorable pugs Sushi & Espy. So, here are a few simple things you can do each day to spoil your best buddy rotten.

  1. Keep their toy box full & interact. Buy them toys and play with them! Playing with your dog is a great way to develop a bond and your dog will be happy.
  2. Feed them good all natural, healthy and nutritious food & treats without preservatives, additives or byproducts.
  3. Walk them everyday around the neighborhood. Great for excercise, staying fit and releasing pent up energy in hyperactive dogs.
  4. Praise them regularly for good behavior.
  5. Give them their very own safe place to flop. Every dog loves a comfortable dog bed to catch up on some sleep after a long day at the dog park.

But what do you do for the pampered pup or feline that has everything? Hmmm..For the pet that has everything give a Best Bully’s Gift Certificate and take the guessing out of gift giving! This is a  great way for you to give that furry special someone in your life or loving pet owner a special gift by allowing them to select the exact products their furry companion are looking for.

The Benefits of a Best Bully Sticks Gift Certificate!

1. Since very few people will actually tell you what they truly want as a gift, a gift card can eliminate the disappointment that is evident when you get someone something that they do not enjoy. With a gift card, the receiver is free to pick out whatever they choose, instead of relying on your psychic abilities to provide a good present.

2. Gift certificates make perfect last minute presents. Whether you are celebrating the arrival of a new pet, bark-day, or decking the halls with your pet this howliday, gift cards are great for any occasion.

3. Foolproof white elephant gift that anyone could appreciate. Perfect for any secret gift exchange.

 
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