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  1. Keep your dog safe over Christmas

    The festive season is nearly upon us. We transform our houses and fill it will Christmas trees, lights, holly, decorations, presents and lots of unfamiliar friends and relatives to your dogs!

    This can be a dangerous time for our dogs, so it’s a good idea to think ahead. Some of the most common Christmas dangers in your home for your dogs are as follows:

    Chocolate!

    Don’ let your dog eat chocolate as it’s toxic to your dog. If you have chocolate on your Christmas tree or have it wrapped up under the tree – remember your dogs can unwrap it and eat it!

    Other foodstuffs which are toxic to dogs can be grapes. Also avoid giving raisins, fruit cakes, mince pies, nuts, blue cheese, puddings (alcohol), turkey bones or any COOKED bones!

    Christmas Trees

    Don’t let your dog chew the Christmas tree. Sounds obvious but most trees are toxic and can cause stomach complaints and make your dog very sick.

    Pine needles can drop on the floor and get stuck in your dog’s paws causing mild irritation. Vacuum up the pine needles so they don’t get trod on or eaten. Place your Christmas tree in a bucket and water it well to reduce the amount of needles that drop off.

    Decorations

    Decorations can get eaten and cause blockages so make sure they are out of reach. Place them higher up the tree rather than where your puppy can reach them. Some baubles are made from glass and can smash into shards. This can be very dangerous if your dog tries to eat one. Dogs can also chew through Christmas lights and get an electric shock, so make sure they can’t reach them and always supervise your dog around the Christmas tree.

    Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia

    Festive foliage can be toxic to your pets so best to avoid them being ingested altogether! They can cause vomiting & diarrhoea so keep them high up out of the way.

    Batteries

    Batteries can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning if chewed by your dog. If swallowed, they can cause obstruction and are toxic, so if your dog accidently chew or swallow any batteries then seek veterinary help.

    Presents

    We usually like having our presents under the Christmas tree but this is too tempting for puppies and young dogs who can smell them and want to chew on just about anything. Make sure all presents are kept off the floor and supervise your dog near the tree.

    Antifreeze

    DANGER – POTENTIALLY LETHAL TO YOUR ANIMALS!

    Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is extremely dangerous to your animals and should be kept away from it. It is sweet-tasting and very palatable. Even the smallest quantity can cause serious kidney damage and can be fatal.

    If your animals are suspected of ingesting antifreeze – seek veterinary attention straight away without delay.

    Just remember if you can reach anything on your side boards (on your knees), then your dog can reach it too. Don’t leave anything on tables or side boards that your dog could jump up and eat. Keep bins shut away in cupboards or use a lockable bin!

  2. Logo - colourYour puppy's start in life is so important. The moment it's ears and eyes 'open' your puppy starts learning about the world around them. This is why it is so important to get your puppy socialised as soon as possible.

    The first stage (around 3 weeks) starts with the breeder and hopefully they are socialising your new puppy to a home environment where they can see, hear, and experience home life similar to where they are going to live with you.

    Puppies brought up away from family life will not be used to domestic noises such as hoovers, washing machines, telephones, etc. If they haven't expereinced these noises and inaminate objects, they may become frightened  and fearful of them later on in life.

    The best age for your puppy to come home is seven weeks old. Any later and your puppy will have missed out on getting socialised with the out side world. The sooner they can be vaccinated, the better. Some breeders will have started your puppies vaccination programme. This is very useful as the next vaccination your puppy will need will be two weeks after the first vaccination and they can they go out sooner. Great news for socialising your puppy to its new world. 

    So how soon do you need to start training them? Don't wait until your puppy is six months of age, otherwise they will have missed out on so much by that age. Book them into a puppy class as soon as you can. Even before they are vaccinated. Visit puppy training classes and make sure you are happy with the training methods that the trainer is using. They should be using Reward Based Training and not adversive methods that can harm or frighten your dog. The classes should be small so that they can give you and your puppy the attention you deserve. Overcrowded classes can result in puppies becoming overwhelmed and frightened. The last thing you want for your puppy is a bad expereince.

    Any experinces that your dog has between 3 weeks and 12 weeks will be crucial so make sure its all a GOOD !

    Happy socialising ! Enjoy your puppy x

     

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     Visit www.puppyschool.co.uk for lots of helpful information.