When the holidays approach, people’s lives seem to get even more fast paced. We think about Thanksgiving preparations, and we start stressing because we know Christmas is soon behind the Thanksgiving celebration. Where is the attention to your small dog, during all of this hustle and bustle? Some things you do during the holidays can be dangerous for a small dog.
Danger of Behavior Issues in Small Dogs
Believe it or not, your small dog may feel depressed and neglected as you busily hurry around in preparation for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We all get so busy, that we sometimes don’t have any extra quality time to spend with our little dog. This can make for a very unhappy little dog.
He may even suffer from separation anxiety as you find your self spending more time away from home, shopping and attending holiday parties. If the small dog is left alone and anxious she may develop behavioral problems, such as leaving a potty mess or destroying things he normally wouldn’t bother. This can make the holidays miserable for both of you!
Danger of Small Children and Small Dogs
You may be having more company than you or your small dog is used to. Small children will become very excitable around a cute little dog. They are excited about the holidays already, so a small dog running around will heighten their excitement and may terrify the small dog, if he is not used to being chased by children.
The children may not realize that they have to look out for the small dog in your house. As they run and play in their excitement, there is a danger that your small dog may get stepped on or worse yet, fallen on. Toddlers, that are just learning their balance, fall quite easily.
They do not intentional want to harm the small dog, they just will not realize that falling, sitting or picking the small dog up by the head or neck will harm her. Keep a watchful eye on your small dog, or better yet, hold her in your lap so that the children can see her, but she is well protected.
Danger of Food Problems and Small Dogs
Everyone feeds their pets differently. You may have your small dog on a particular diet and adhere to it strictly. Not all guests will listen when you tell them not to feed your dog. Small children, especially will not understand that the cookie or candy that they find so “yummy” may harm your small dog.
Chocolate is abundant during the holidays. We have chocolate cookies, fudge, chocolate and chocolate cake piled everywhere. Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and it will not take much to make a very small dog sick or worse.
No matter how careful they are, guests, especially children, will drop crumbs or pieces of fudge in places that only a small dog might find! Even if you avoid the chocolate, sugar cookies, candy canes and gum drops pose dangers of upset stomachs and choking for a small dog. Slightly less dangerous is picking all of the sticky candy from the small dog’s fur!
Bones from the Trash Can are Dangerous to Small Dogs
Your guests may feel they are being quite helpful during the holidays by scraping their plates into the trash can. If you are using paper plates, they will toss it in the waste can, or at least at it! Think about it, how many times have you cleaned a food and spills that was aimed in the general vicinity of your trash can?
Small bones will easily slip off of plates being scraped or disposed off by your holiday guests. Your guest may not realize they have dropped a bone from the turkey until your small dog has grabbed it and ran. Even if they see this happen, they may not think to tell you that the small dog just grabbed a bone.
Even if they do tell you, it might be too late and the small dog is either choking on the bone or has already eaten it. Even if the small dog managed to chew and swallow the bone there is a danger that sharp shards of the bone will poke, jab or tear the small dog’s stomach or intestines. This can lead to minor infections, or even medical emergencies!
Be Aware of Your Small Dog to Avoid Dangers
If you do not wish to keep the small dog in a room away from holiday guests, be aware of where she is and what she is doing at all times! If he becomes very excitable, remove him from the surroundings, or hold him until he calms down.
Arrange your time so that you and your small dog have some quiet together time, even if it is just a little snuggling at bedtime. Letting the small dog know that she is still loved will go a long way in helping both of you enjoy the hectic holiday season. She can’t tell you she is lonely, anxious or upset, except with actions. It is up to you as her small doggie parent to recognize her distress and to protect her from the dangers of the holidays!
Personal Experience as the owner of a 12 pound Shih Tzu