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Pet-Safe Labor Day Celebrations

Friday, August 30, 2013

Dog playing in fieldEnd-of-summer fun at home often includes outdoor dining, games in the pool and yard, and people coming and going. Your pet can enjoy this time, too, if you take a few steps to enhance everyone’s safety and sanity.

For your pet, these activities can mean noises, smells and traffic that are –unusual and often stressful. Whether you’re gathering outdoors or in the living room, it’s all happening in your pet’s valuable territory. You can head off most problems by respecting his view and giving him some space of his own.

Create a safe place

Your pet will be happier and safer in a room away from the hectic entry area. Before people arrive, put him in one room with toys, water and “dirty laundry” — a shirt or pillowcase that smells like you. He’ll be comfortable and more relaxed.

Turn on some “white noise”

In your pet’s safe room, play a radio softly or run a fan on low speed. The soothing background sounds will help block out the strange, loud noises of the people party.

Give him things to do

Provide interesting activities to keep your pet occupied during the people party. For dogs, try a heavy rubber toy filled with treats he has to work to remove. (Freeze it beforehand for added value!) Cats always enjoy something to chase and somewhere soft to lounge.

Keep him away from “people food”

Sweets and bones (especially from fowl or pork) are especially hazardous for pets. No matter how nicely he asks, be strong and stick to his regular treats. The quickest way to ruin a good time is an upset tummy caused by unusual goodies.

Respect his turf and boundaries

Especially in his yard, your dog values his territory. The noise and activity can excite a dog’s “chase” and “protect” nature. Watch your dog for signs of overexcitement or stress. If you sense that he’s a little wound up, for everyone’s safety, it might be time for some indoor “chill time” until things calm down.

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