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10 dog safety tips for New Year’s Eve parties

New Year’s Eve is upon us. The champagne is ready, the guests have been invited, but what about the family dog?

We often forget about the comfort of our family pets during the holidays. Although most families never have a problem with dog bites, a dog attack is always a possibility, especially when your house is full of New Year’s Eve revelers.

“The holiday season can be a stressful time of year for dogs,” said a veterinary association member. “There is lots of coming and going, strange faces, excited children and changes in routine.”

Make it a safe New Year’s Eve for your dog and your guests by following these 10 simple steps:

  1. Properly introduce new guests to a dog.
  2. Make sure that children know to respect the dog’s toys, food and sleeping areas.
  3. If you dog starts showing anxiety, move the dog to a room without guests or a crate.
  4. Teach children to ask before petting the dog.
  5. Never put a baby on the floor with a dog.
  6. Ask guests not to feed a dog. This will help prevent food aggression.
  7. Correct the dog for any rowdy behavior. Aggressive behavior can quickly get out of control. Muzzle or crate the dog if necessary.
  8. Discourage rough play with the dog during the party.
  9. Never leave the dog alone with small children and close the door if you put the kids to bed early.
  10. Make sure that the dog is properly walked before the party. The dog may become antsy later on otherwise.

Source: Meaford Independent, “‘Tis the Season for Dog Bites,” Dec. 20, 2011

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