The Holiday season is in full swing with decorations, planning upcoming events, and designing the family meal. As we begin to setup our homes with holiday plants such as poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe, we must remember that these as well as others are toxic to our pets. Dogs and especially cats like to chew on houseplants most of which are poisonous.
Keep an eye out for any electrical wires and batteries that might be within reach of your pet. Chewing and biting on cords will cause shock and larger dogs can easily swallow small batteries. Candles can give your home a fresh scent while adding ambiance, but left unattended on a low coffee table and a swinging tail will send them flying, possibly burning your pet or causing a fire.
Christmas trees too can be hazardous if your dog drinks the water. Tree water is often filled with preservatives that are poisonous while standing water will harbor bacteria that can cause digestive irritability and vomiting. Be sure to sweep or vacuum up any fallen needles as they can puncture your dog’s digestive tract if swallowed.
While it is very tempting for holiday guests, to give a little sample to your dog during the festivities it can result in disaster if over done. Set some ground rules or better yet during mealtime put your dog in his or her crate. Most holiday meals contain higher levels of fat, fresh herbs, and can be spicy all of which are not healthy for your dog; sweets especially chocolate can be deadly and should be avoided all together.
Many dogs suffer from anxiety and with all of the excitement of the holidays, the noise and crowds, can be a trigger. There are some holistic remedies available like HomeoPet® Anxiety that can help keep your dog calm. It is best not to allow your dog to greet strangers at the door but rather keep your dog in their crate or in a quiet room until things settle down before introducing your dog.
Lastly, never give a puppy as a gift for the holidays. While the look on a puppies face can be irresistible, your intentions noble, the responsibility of dog and pet ownership is a big one and not for everyone. If you know one of your friends or family members is serious about getting a dog, consider giving a dog leash or dog toy, better still a gift card from your favorite pet supply website. Following these hints will keep your dog and pet safe & happy during the holiday season.