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How to Keep Your Dog Party-Safe All Summer Long

For most of us, summer parties mean summer DOG parties. Here's how to keep Spot safe when things get wild.

 |  Jun 22nd 2012  |   3 Contributions


Today, June 22, is the second annual National Dog Party Day, with parties to be held in San Diego, Miami, and New York City. Net proceeds from these fun, festive events benefit three charities: Spay Neuter Action Project (SNAP) in San Diego, Bideawee in New York City, and Paws 4 You Rescue in Miami. 

All this is the brainchild of nationally respected dog-behavior expert, author, and Pet Life Radio personality Arden Moore, who explains that her goal in creating Dog Party Day was "to give party-goers the rare chance to revel in the moment. At most parties, we fret about what we're wearing or what small talk we will engage in. At my parties, dogs take center stage, allowing you to live in the now and enjoy creating wonderful memories with your dog."

Right now is a great time to be raising awareness of party animals. Let's face it -- summer is one long party opportunity, what with July 4 around the corner and all the barbecues, picnics, and other festivities happening between now and Labor Day. Here are some pointers to ensure that your party-hearty pup stays safe and happy all summer long.

1. Take the Party Off-Site

Planning to invite canine guests other than your own dogs? Then make it a pup picnic outdoors on neutral territory, like a nearby park, so your dog won't become turfy about his home or lawn, potentially getting into a skirmish with other canine guests.  

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Party animal by Shutterstock.com.

2. Secure Your Yard

If you're having mostly human guests at your summer soiree, make sure the dog can't escape your home and/or yard. That goes double if it's July 4 and your dog is terrified of fireworks -- he could get freaked and run away. Help Spot stay calm with a few drops of Rescue Remedy in his water bowl, or confine him to the safety of, say, your bedroom, with some soothing harp music designed to destress.

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Girl reading to dog by Shutterstock.com.

3. Make the Menu Safe for Dogs

Of course dogs, like most human party animals, are mainly focused on the food, so please make sure to serve only pet-friendly foodstuffs. With all the commotion of a summer party in full swing, it's inevitable that Spot will score a scrap or two -- and nothing wrecks a summer party like a trip to the emergency hospital if the dog ingests something toxic.  

From hors d'oeuvres to dessert, why not make everything safe for Spot to snack on? Onions, chick peas, and avocado are all bad for dogs, so that eliminates guacamole, salsa, and hummus from your menu. Instead, whip up a refreshing yogurt-dill or yogurt-cucumber and mint dip to serve with baby carrots, celery sticks, and sweet pepper slices. Or, make deviled eggs with turmeric (which has numerous health benefits). All delicious and safe for Spot to share!

Munchables should be plain potato chips or corn chips; nothing containing onion or garlic powder, which is bad for dogs. Or make your own fresh popcorn with coconut oil -- a delicious treat for dogs and people alike!

If you're serving a fruit-and-cheese platter, remember: no grapes or raisins (they're toxic to dogs), and stick with firm cheeses such as cheddar. The firmer the cheese, the easier it is on Spot's digestion.

Keep the chocolate and chocolate chips out of the baked goods -- that means no chocolate cake or chocolate chip cookies. Offer lemon or carrot cake, blueberry muffins, or banana bread instead. Also, don't bake with raisins.

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Dog party by Shutterstock.com.

Once you get in the habit of catering for canine safety, you'll be prepared for those other big, food-focused holidays such as Thanksgiving. Safety will be part of your normal celebratory routine, and resident dogs can safely enjoy table scraps without occasioning a disaster.

What are some of your summer-party survival tips? Please share in the comments!

Source: National Dog Party Day official site

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