The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their dogs in their holiday plans. As you prepare for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet's eating and exercise as their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to keep your dog clear of unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.
Seasonal Plants and Decorations
Christmas Tree: Anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't fall and hurt your dog. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea if they drink it.
Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when eaten, can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Choose artificial plants made from silk or plastic.
Candles: Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of your dog's reach. A wire can shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth. Breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.
Avoid Holiday Food Dangers
Skip Dessert: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol. Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and abandoned plates of food. Be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans and move them to locations where your dog cannot reach it.
Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and other human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your dog. The seasonings we use in our holiday meals can be just as dangerous and lead to expensive vet bills.
Alcohol is a No-No: If your celebration includes alcohol, be sure to place your unwatched drinks where dogs cannot get to them. If consumed, your dog could become sick and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats. Avoid the holiday themed rawhide treats (for more information check out our rawhide blog here) and aim for natural treats like turkey tendons, dehydrated salmon or yummy training treats.
A Dog Safe Holiday
Rules of the House: If your guests would like to give your dog a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, tell them to feel free to start a nice play or cuddle time.
Keep Medicines Away: Make sure all of your medicines are locked, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds hidden too.
Dog Room: Give your dog their own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the noise or activity.
New Year's Noise: Remember that many Dogs are scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches. Calming treats can also be purchased to help your dog feel a little better. If your dog has extreme fireworks fear, consider investing in a thunder shirt.