Make sure your dog survives the holidays in good health by following these health tips. (You may want to adopt a few for yourself too!)
#1 – Keep Seasonal Foliage Out of Reach
According to the ASPCA, most of the holiday plants we decorate with, including holly and mistletoe, are toxic to dogs. Opt for fake ones to be safer (plus it saves you money every year).
#2 – Don’t Overfeed Your Pup
We all feel like our dogs should get to indulge during this time of year, like we do. Sometimes people even bring them dog treats as gifts, or want to give them a bite of their own food (try to discourage guests from doing this, and make sure you know what foods to avoid giving your dog). As always, moderation is key.
#3 – Don’t Forget to Exercise
Make sure your dog is not forgotten with all the craziness; she still needs exercise daily. Maybe the visiting kids will want to play with her or, you can take her on a walk as a family. She will be please with all the attention and it will keep her fit.
#4 – Watch for Signs of Stress
Dogs can get stressed around the holidays with all the changes, new people, and commotion. Watch for signs that your dog has “had enough,” and then give him a break. Having a quiet space set aside – equipped with his bed, water bowl, and a couple toys – is a good idea in case he’s feeling overwhelmed.
#5 – No Table Scraps
Many of the foods that we eat during the holidays – alcohol, chocolate, onions, etc. – are harmful to your pets. Resist the urge to give them scraps off the table to keep them healthy, and make sure your guests know this, too! It may be a good idea to put out a bowl of healthy snacks, like pieces of carrot, for guests to offer to your dog instead of bites from their plates.
#6 – Keep an Eye on Decorations
Watch your dog to make sure he is not ruining any of the decorations. Ingesting bits of plastic, glass, fake snow, etc., can block up your dog’s system. And of course, they can be electrocuted by chewing on light cords. If you have a puppy, don’t leave her unattended.
#7 – Give Them Attention
Yes, your dog needs attention to stay healthy! Don’t just lock them away while company is over and forget about them. If you have a dog that is not social, make sure he gets plenty of attention before the guests arrive, then check on him periodically during the day.
#8 – Bundle Up
If you have a dog with short hair or your pup will be walking on ice or de-icer, make sure they are bundled up before going outside. A jacket can help a short-haired dog stay warmer, and booties will protect their feet against ice and/or de-icer.
#9 – Use Safe Paw De-Icer
Traditional de-icer is hazardous to your dog, so if you need to use an ice-melter, use the Safe Paw brand, it’s safe for animals and plants.