Donate to Dogtown

Help a furkid in need

Keeping Your Vulnerable Pooch Safe at Your Next Party

Keeping Your Vulnerable Pooch Safe at Your Next Party

By Mary-Jane Gallagher

Screen Shot 2019-03-26 at 9.34.33 PMCats and dogs are able to hear a wider range of sounds, according to the South African National Council of SPCAs, so you have adopted  a pooch that is old, has heart disease, or any other condition that may make it more vulnerable, take precautions when you throw your next party. Of course, noise is just one of many issues that can turn your normally happy dog into a shaking mess. Others include bright lights, toxic foods, and unwanted attention from strangers. If an important birthday is coming up, how can you ease the load on your beloved four-pawed friends?

Finding a Quiet Spot

If you have a soundproof room or one that is far from your living room and garden, this is the ideal spot for your dog on an evening in which you are having a party. To make this room appealing, fill it with your dog’s favorite toys, a big bowl of fresh water, a few treats, and of course, the comfiest dog bed possible. Test out the room beforehand by playing music in the spaces your guests will be using. If the sound is loud enough to be a bother, consider asking a good friend or family member to ‘dog sit’ your pooch for the night. He may miss you, but he will undoubtedly be much better off enjoying peace and silence in the home of someone he knows and trusts. You might also want to ask your vet about natural calming homeopathic remedies which are approved for your dog’s age and condition, and which won’t interact with any medication.

Picking the Right Party Theme

Revelers like their parties, with popular themes including seasonal parties, dress-ups, bake-offs (for kids) and movie days or nights. If you are having a small party and your dog will be allowed to venture near guests, you should ideally avoid food-centered parties, particularly if the celebrant is a child. Children can easily drop ingredients dogs shouldn’t be eating (including chocolate, pistachios, grapes, and sugar-rich snacks). Choose healthy foods and snacks, and remind guests not to feed the dog. Better yet, have someone take him for a long walk when others are eating,or place him in an area of the home that guests cannot access.

Using Decorations Sparingly

Some pets who are ill with diseases such as mitral valve disease and other heart illnesses will be on medication that may increase their appetite. This may make them more likely to eat items they would not have otherwise been interested in, including confetti and small decorations. Use larger decorations that can be placed on walls or hung from the ceilings, rather than small items your dog can access.

If you have an older pet or one that is battling disease, you can still celebrate important occasions, making a few changes to benefit your pet. These include selecting safe foods, finding a quiet spot for your pet, and avoiding fireworks and loud noises. If you are having a big party or a fun-filled costume party with loud music, flashing lights, etc., the best gift you can give your dog is probably a sleepover in a quiet, loving, warm home. Your pooch might miss you for one night, but his health will benefit from a relaxing, quiet evening instead of a stress-filled one.