Top 10 Tips for a Dog-Friendly Holiday
1. Avoid Christmas tree disasters. Christmas trees are a wonderful tradition, but they can lead to problems if you have a curious canine.
a. Prevent the tree from tipping. Anchor it to the ceiling or wall.
b. Hang non-breakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree.
c. Tinsel can be deadly when eaten. It can twist in your dogâ€™s intestines and cause serious problems. Just donâ€™t put it on your tree.
d. Donâ€™t let your dog drink the Christmas-tree water. It often contains chemicals to help the tree last longer; these chemical can cause severe indigestion in dogs.
e. Pine needles can cause health problems. If ingested, they can puncture holes in your pet’s intestines. Regularly sweep up fallen pine needles to avoid a trip to the emergency animal clinic.
2. Mistletoe, poinsettias and amaryllis are toxic. Be aware of these poisonous holiday plants and keep your pets away from them.
3. Keep â€œblowingâ€ snow in the globe. Many snow globes contain antifreeze, which is extremely toxic to dogsâ€”so itâ€™s best to keep snow globes and all antifreeze out of the reach of a happy, tail-wagging dog. If there is an antifreeze spill of any kind, send your dog out of the room while you clean up the liquid. Dilute the spot with water and floor cleaner to make sure your dog does not lick these harmful chemicals later.
4. Holiday sweets are not dog treats. Candy, cookies, cakes, peppermintsâ€”and especially chocolateâ€”can trigger life-threatening illnesses in dogs.
5. Make no bones about it. Cooked turkey and chicken bones are not for dogs as they can easily break and cause choking, and bone shards can get stuck in your dogâ€™s gums. Stick with â€œbonesâ€ specifically designed for dogs to chew. Ask your local veterinarian for suggestions.
6. A relaxed dog is a good dog. Most dogs are excitable when guests arrive. Exercise your dog prior to the arrival of guests. After 30 minutes of walking or playing, most dogs will be more relaxed or ready to take a nap. As a general rule, itâ€™s best not to allow the family dog to greet unfamiliar guests. Commotion and unusual circumstances can cause stress for dogs. Give your dog a break in a quiet room with a familiar doggie bed or blanket. Allow your canine companion to join the festivities after the initial commotion of arrival has subsided.
7. Keep the liquids flowing! When pets are stressed by unfamiliar circumstances, they typically pant more, so keep fresh water readily available for them to drink.
8. Beware of cold and snowy weather. While it might be convenient to put your dogs outside when guests arrive for holiday festivities, falling temperatures and snow can be dangerous to pets. In addition, never let your pet roam freely, as icy roads can make it hard for cars to stop if your dog wanders into the street.
9. Do not give pets as surprise gifts! A cute and cuddly puppy might seem the perfect gift choice, but many of these holiday presents end up at animal shelters. A dog takes a real commitment of time, and adoptive owners must be ready to participate in training and managing the responsibility of their new family member.
10. Add your pet to your gift list. Help your dogs stay occupied and out of the holiday decorations by giving them their own gifts. .