Your dog is adorable and hilarious, but that doesn’t mean they won’t turn into a little monster when the holidays come around. Between the flying wrapping paper, visiting relatives, cooked goodies, and general heightened energy, it is always important to practice pet holiday safety this time of year.
The Association of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has compiled a list of helpful hints for ensuring cat and dog safety amid the festivities. We narrowed down five important reminders for a fun, festive, and safe holiday season.
Use Dog-Friendly Tree Fertilizer
The water used to hydrate Christmas trees can pose potential problems for dogs. When you add fertilizer to perk up your tree, that additive can harbor a threat of poison if ingested. In addition, a mounted water basin can topple over if the tree becomes jostled.
Counter this by keeping your tree water toxin-free; use only pet-safe boosters, such as sugar. Anchor your tree to reduce the chance of water spills.
Beware: Out-of-Bounds Bounty
Table scraps can be sacrificed from time to time – depending on your philosophy of feeding dogs from the table. Some foods, however, are verboten when dogs are involved. Chocolate has been clearly categorized as dangerous to dogs. The sweetener Xilotol should be eliminated from offerings to dogs, too, for example.
Offer unseasoned turkey and other low-sodium treats to pets if you have an urge to share the holiday spirit. Keep a tight lid on food for people only – and, while you’re at it, keep a tight lid on that garbage can, too. Our pups are pros at opening a tempting trash bin in the hunt for treats.
Candles supply a warm glow over all our yuletide pastimes. But unsupervised open flames, as we know, can damage more than merry memories.
Ensure your candles are in firm holders that can’t be shaken. Also, put out candles when you’ll leave the room. Think about getting flameless candles.
Beware: Set Up Sanctuary
Noisy celebrations – especially surrounding New Year’s Eve – can upset pets. Between the present-opening glee, the “Cheers” that come with cups of good cheer and the loud countdowns and Auld Lang Synes, your dog will want a respite from the high spirits.
Give Fido sanctuary space to settle in and clear his head. A quiet room devoted to your dog will help put your pet’s fears at ease until the noise passes.
Pick Pet-Safe Presents
Give your dog a gift that’s perfect for pets. A toy that can be destroyed and have stuffing strewn across the floor – or, worse, eaten by your dog, presenting indigestion and choking problems – will do more harm than holiday good.
Pick a present that’s made just for dogs. Indestructible balls and toys are a great way to spread joy. Toys made for filling with food are twice as good a treat and expand the happiness over a longer period of time.
For more holiday precautions and suggestions for a fun and fulfilling season that’s safe for dogs – and happy for humans! – check out the ASPCA’s page on seasonal safety for pets.
Barking Around the Christmas Tree
When it comes to holiday traditions like holiday parties, opening presents from Santa Claus or a big dinner celebration, your furry best friend wants in on the action. How best to include your four-legged friend? Easy!
- Dogs know when they are being left out, so make sure your dog has a present under the tree and a stocking filled with goodies so he can sniff and tear through his gifts at the same time as you!
- Lots of people over? Are kids running around? Keeping your pup busy will help decrease stress and give him purpose amongst the chaos of shredded paper, boxes, and people. Hide treats in a box filled with tissue paper or fill a Kong toy with peanut butter (freeze overnight for maximum distraction).
- Christmas dinner is a special occasion for many people, and your dog should get to enjoy it, too. Fill up his bowl with a special doggy dinner like Merrick’s Holiday Venison or a Merrick rib bone. Remember, dogs should not eat human food, especially cooked bones – they splinter and can get caught in their throat!
- Get merry before Christmas by taking your dog along as your date to a Howliday Party, like our Ugly Sweater Party tomorrow! (Yes, this is a great excuse to both dress up and take some awesome holiday pictures! You know you want to!) Find more awesome events in our dog-friendly events blog!
Post updated 11/7/2019