The Importance of Supervision
As a pet owner, keeping our pets healthy and safe is our number one priority. With hazards present around the house, outdoors and even alongside other pet owners, keeping a watchful eye during times of play have never been more important as it is around Christmas.
With some of us preparing to join together on the big day, socialising our furry friends and keeping them free from harm may appear tricky in these busy times. From supervision during chew times, with new toys and even meeting other dogs, we have all the tips you need to keep your canine companion safe over the festive period...
Supervision with Chews
As more and more chews hit the pet food market, many of us are left wondering which chew is actually best for our dogs. As a natural pet food store, we would never recommend cheap and ill-manufactured chews to give to your pet that may be available as cheap Christmas chews.
Chews made from materials such as Rawhide are some of the most dangerous chews available to our four-legged friends. As they chews are often coated in artificial flavourings, these chews can be tricky and harmful to dogs with sensitive bellies. We always recommend, for dogs out there with precious tummies to give a natural, 100% meat chew that is easily digestible to prevent tummy upsets and further digestive complaints.
In terms of risks, Rawhide bones and other edible chews can pose a choking and blockage problems if broken off in larger and indigestible pieces. It is so important, no matter what chew given to your pet that they are supervised whilst enjoying it. Unlike, rawhide chews, all-natural varieties have a smaller risk of breaking thus lowering the risk of potential choking and blockage issues.
No matter what chew your dog may have and no matter what size or breed they are, supervision must always be given to your furry friend when having a chew. Never give a chew to a dog unsupervised (even if they have had that chew many times before). Chewing episodes should always be undergone with an owner or carer present and never during times of separation.
Take Care with Toys
Like chews, some toys can pose choking hazards if left unsupervised for long periods of time. As rough play often results in parts of teddies or rope pulls being damaged in the process, choose a toy designed for troublesome chewers or made from durable fabrics to avoid your furry friend swallowing pieces of cheaper and ill-made toys.
In addition, toys that are designed to encourage stimulation that may have a reward focus can also pose problems for your canine companion. Treat dispensing toys should always be given to dogs under the supervision of their owner as over excited dogs may gobble down those treats too quickly leading to choking and upset tummies.
The sharing of toys during socialisation periods must also be heavily supervised. Although your dog may love to play with others, we recommend if two dogs are going to be playing in doors together that any “favourite” or highly-used toys are removed from play. Like a small child, your dog will become defensive if another dog attempts to play or chew their favourite toy or bone thus removing it from the equation ensures stress-free and fun play all day long.
For some of us this festive period, we may use this time to socialise dogs with others. Perhaps a friendly walk to the beach or a wander in the woods, we encourage socialising your dog in an array of activities but doing so must be done with supervision.
When introducing your pets for the first time, we encourage socialising in small measures whilst both dogs are present on a lead. Do not attempt to force the animals to get close, although them to slowly approach one another and let nature do the rest. Instinctively, our dogs will choose to get close to one another for both ancestral defensive and offensive purposes. If any dog shows signs of distress, then remove them from the situation immediately by calmly walking them away. Under no circumstances, for first time meet & greets, do you let your dogs off lead to socialise themselves – this can lead to anxiety and stress in your dog which may result in aggression or fear.
If your dog is nervous and anxious, we encourage the use of yellow leads, collars or bandanas which symbolise that your dog struggles to socialise with others. This symbolic colour will let other dog owners know not to let their dog near yours meaning you can engage in a wonderful walk with any fear or anxiety.