Handy Holiday Tips for Puppies and Pet-Parents
It’s the holiday season and the hustle-bustle of it all is in full swing! Shopping, planning, cooking, decorating, wrapping, and celebrating oh my! It can be easy to be swept away by the demands and excitement, but this time of year can be very stressful for our puppies, dogs, and other animals in the household. Read on for several tips to help make it a great season for our beloved fur babies.
When decorating, be aware of real candles and certain holiday plants. If you chose to use them, place candles in a spot where Fido can’t knock them over. Likewise, Poinsettia, Holly, and Mistletoe are all toxic to dogs if eaten, so be sure to put them in places where your dog will not have access.
Either anchor your Christmas tree or make sure it’s super stable to avoid tip-overs. Try not to let your pet drink from the water in the tree stand as it can contain fertilizer, pesticides, and/or bacteria.
When trimming the tree, place fragile glass ornaments at the top and make sure they are secure, avoid using tinsel or food like popcorn strings as decoration. Keep ornaments above the height of your dog so they aren’t tempted to tug on them.
Keep wires like light strings and extension cords out of reach so they aren’t chewing hazards.
In general, choose your decorations wisely, lots of loud, bold decor may make your dog anxious.
Gifts, wrapped or otherwise, should be kept out of reach or grandpa’s new slippers could end up the new dog toy instead! Also, eating wrapping paper could cause stomach upset.
Beware of chocolate! While we humans tend to love and even crave it, it’s toxic to our beloved fur babies. Similarly, alcohol and pups aren’t good mixers, so don’t give them any of the spiced rum egg nog.
While we’re talking about food, avoid giving them table scraps, especially if they are not used to it. Or else, you may end up with a scene reminiscent of Cousin Eddie’s dog yacking on a bone in that famous Christmas movie. ;-)
Be aware of food, ingredients, or pans left on the counters. Push it all back so if your sweet pet-kid is tempted to counter-cruise, he won’t be able to snag any of it.
As far as guests go, educate your friends and family on how they should act around your dog, especially if children are involved. Guests can be overwhelming for your pup, so we want to prep them for success! Pay attention to their body language. If at any time they appear fearful or stressed, remove them from the situation. Place them in their crate so they can relax, rest, and feel safe.
If dogs are among the folks coming to visit, introduce them outside in a neutral location before bringing them inside.
As much as possible, try to keep the dog on his regular schedule. Having the same walking, sleeping, and eating times will help him feel secure.
These tips may seem like a lot of hard work, but it only takes some practice and before long, you’ll be a pro at having a super fun, safe, holiday season! If you’re an old hat at puppy proofing Christmas, what are some of the things you do or don’t do? Do you have any other tips? If so, comment below to share them!
PS. We’d love to see you and your family with your pet kids over the holiday season! Feel free to email them, message them, or tag us on social media. :-)
Happy holidays and Merry Christmas to all!