Follow These Holiday Tips for Dogs for a Safe Holiday
15 Holiday Tips for Dogs to Keep Them Safe and Happy
A couple of excited dogs can bowl over two year olds, Christmas trees and Great-Aunt Erma in about two seconds flat, leaving tears, bruises, and scattered ornaments. Hopefully, they missed the goodies on the coffee table and the gifts are still intact.
The holidays are a hectic time and our schedules are crowded and unpredictable.
We’re away from home more often attending holiday parties and shopping and after weeks of limited attention our pets may suddenly have a houseful of guests. All this upheaval mixed with the decorations, gifts and rich food hanging around can be a source of stress and maybe sickness for our furry friends.
Keep these 15 Safety Tips in mind to keep your pets safe and away from the emergency vet.
1. Be especially diligent about keeping foods/goodies out of reach of pets
It’s easy to forget and leave something to close to the edge of a counter or a guest may leave a plate on a chair without thinking.
Not only might your dog gorge himself on rich holiday foods left within reach but holiday packages of cookies or chocolate left under a tree can be sniffed out and eaten before you realize it. Even a small amount of chocolate can sicken your pet causing vomiting and diarrhea. Large amounts can be potentially deadly.
2. Don’t feed your pet rich gravies, or fat trimmings
If you’d like to give your pet a little something special, lean meat and veggies are ok. Or put a little chicken stock over his regular kibble. Or get one of the canned desserts made by the pet food company Nutro. Flavors like Pumpkin Crumble and Apple Tart will help your pet feel pampered.
3. Make sure tree decorations are out of reach of your pet if she’s likely to chew them
Some decorations that can be toxic. Tinsel, garland and artificial snow can all look like tasty chew toys to our friends. Make sure they’re out of the way if you have a chewer. They are not digestible and can cause internal blockages, they can also be made of toxic materials.
4. Use non-toxic tree water preservatives
Be aware that a lot of tree water preservatives can seem enticing your pet, these fertilizers can cause illnesses. Look for tree water preservatives that have a non-toxic label.
5. Make sure Christmas trees are securely fastened in their holders to prevent tipping
Or, keep rambunctious or overly curious dogs out of the room with the tree. Use a baby gate or other barrier.
6. Curb Cord Curiosity
Make sure cords are out of reach. If you have chewers, cover electric cords with a chew-proof guard. Dogs can receive a nasty shock or be electrocuted by chewing on cords.
7. Make sure gift wrap, ribbon, toys and plants are out of tempting chew reach of your pet
Watch your pet, if he/she appears to be chewing on the needles of your tree don’t let him alone with it. Needles, real or fake can cause blockages potentially causing a need for surgery.
Many of the plants associated with the holidays can cause stomach upset if eaten or even be deadly, Christmas cactus, hemlock, holly, ivy, mistletoe, and poinsettia.
Chewing on them can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, coma, central nervous system or cardiac problems, even death. Tip: Spray leaves with a Bitter repellant. Pick up dead leaves, stems, or berries immediately. This is one holiday tip for dogs (and cats) that can often be overlooked.
9. Wrapping Supplies
Ribbon, tape, wrapping paper, foam packing supplies can all be dangerous if eaten as they aren’t digestible.
10. Fireworks held on New Year’s Eve
Most dogs are frightened by the loud booms and blasts associated with fireworks. Keep your pet secured in the house during fireworks activities. If they are especially anxious, try a calming flower essence such as Pet Calm or Rescue Remedy available at specialty pet stores or online at Only Natural Pet.
11. Don’t let anyone give your pet alcoholic drinks
Or leave them on the floor where a curious dog might take a drink. Dogs do not have the system to cope with alcohol and even a little can make a dog develop respiratory failure.
12. Candle safety
Dogs can be burnt or singed by dripping wax and excited dogs can knock over candles creating a real fire hazard.
13. Fasteners for decorations
Metal hooks, staples, string, tacks, tape, even ribbon can cause mild pain or serious complications if swallowed.
14. Potpourri, incense, simmer pots
Nasal or respiratory irritation, skin rash, stomach upset, burns. Keep high away from dogs potpourri especially often contains cones, needles and berries that can be toxic.
15. The excitement of travel and/or lots of visitors can stress out your pet and cause stomach upsets.
Try to maintain your dog’s regular feeding and exercise routine to minimize stress.
While these holiday tips for dogs (and cats) are not complete, a few precautions should ensure you and your pets a safe holiday season.
Follow these holiday tips for dogs and make positive memories, not ones of being at the emergency vet.
If, your dog should get hold of something he shouldn’t have and shows signs of illness, call your emergency vet or the National Animal Control Poison Center
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