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Tips for a Happy Holiday For Your Pet

Holidays are a time of celebration, gathering with family, special meals, entertaining friends, decorating,  a time of joy.  In planning your holiday, take a bit of time and make sure that you’re not creating risks to your dog’s health and wellbeing.  Each year vets have a rush of emergencies over the holidays that could be avoided.  Here are some tips to help you avoid the vet emergency room during the holidays.

Food – During the holidays food may appear where it seems to invite Rover to take a bite or two or more.  People food is not good for dogs, and some people foods are dangerous to your pet.  Holiday meals and treats are particularly likely to contain ingredients dangerous to dogs.  Most holiday vet emergencies come from food issues.

  • Chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs. Candy dishes on coffee tables may be an irresistible temptation that can be fatal to your pet. 
  • Sweets – Sweets of all sorts are dangerous – and those containing xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can cause death.
  • Turkey – The holiday favorite can cause pancreatitis which can be life-threatening.
  • Baked goods – yeast can create painful bloating as a serious health issue.
  • Plate Cleaning – Holiday table scraps can contain raisins, high fats, onions, grapes, all dangerous to pets.
  • Marijuana – legal for humans in some places but potentially toxic to pets

Plants and Decorations – Those beautiful holiday decorations can be dangerous and even fatal to your pets.  Take care to keep risky items out of reach.

  • Christmas trees – a source of great sniffs for your dog can be a danger if not anchored securely. A danger hides in the tree water which can contain fertilizer which can make your dog sick.
  • Holiday decorations – glass ornaments can look like doggie toys to your playful pup and be very dangerous.
  • Holly and Mistletoe – can cause stomach upset and diarrhea when eaten.
  • Candles – however securely set can be easily knocked over by an excited pup.
  • Wires – for a dog who enjoys chewing a wire can be an irresistible attraction
  • Amaryllis – danger from upset stomach to life-threatening emergency

Environmental Issues –
Holiday time means many visitors, noise, strangers, activity which can create the potential for risk.

  • Doors and windows – The door propped open can be an invitation to an unauthorized excursion for your pet.
  • Guests – may leave medication or other items of risk where they pose a risk
  • Noise – your quiet world is full of noisy strangers. Your dog may need a safe quiet retreat
  • Children- if your pet is not used to children – establish pet visitor rules for visitors
  • Trash – all that food where dogs can reach it – the main source of emergency room visits!

Your Holiday Pet Plan
– Make the holiday not only safe but a positive one.  A few tips:

  • Establish a safe place for your pet to retreat to – a separate room or a crate in a quiet space
  • Keep your pet’s excitement level down with extra long walks before company arrives
  • Have the vet’s emergency number on hand
  • Give your pet extra attention so they don’t feel abandoned
  • Keep your daily routine of walks and feeding
  • Don’t forget pet presents – your dog might love a pet stroller!

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