Popular dog daycare franchise—Hounds Town USA–was featured in the Lynchburg News and Advance this holiday season. CEO and founder Mike Gould offered readers his expert advice and tips on holiday safety for pets.
Even if your dog or cat has been with you for years, pet owners need to be aware of just how stressful the holidays can be for them. “They react to changes in odors, sounds and movement in their environment,” says Gould, a former K9 handler with the NYPD and Nassau County Police departments. That means all the parties, food, and music can be extremely overwhelming for pets. And unfortunately, dog bites are sometimes the result, with children often the victims. “These accidents increase exponentially during the holidays,” according to Gould.
So what can you do to help? “Provide consistency with their routines,” says Gould. “You can teach a dog to go to a designated quiet spot with treats so they will feel rewarded, not punished, when directed away from excitement.” Make sure you remember to keep the dog away from danger foods like candy, and above all pet owners should remember to “be considerate of the dog.”