Like so many things at this time of year, the holidays bring about questions and concerns for your pet’s safety. In fact, safety is on the minds of nearly every pet owner during the holiday season. What and how to occupy their time while you’re away or when there are special guests in the house can not only be difficult, but stressful too. Not to mention the thoughts that might cross your mind about giving your furry one special treats at this time of year too. It’s a fair question to ask and concern to ponder, ‘How can I keep my pet safe and happy too while I’m enjoying the holiday with others?’ Consider these tips for keeping them not just safe, but happier while you’re engaging in holiday hub-bub!

  • A Well Balanced Diet is for Everyone
    It’s tempting to offer your pet human food during the season of joy and giving. Remember, you feed them what you do all year long, because it’s best for them. That’s true now too. Keeping them on their normal diet of dog food is the right call. Do not overindulge them. This can cause havoc on their stomach, intestines, and other systems. In some cases, the foods and seasonings we use as humans can be toxic to our pets. For example, foods such as onions, grapes/raisins, garlic, salt, avocado, chocolate, and sweeteners such as xylitol, are very toxic for your pets.
  • Well-Being Means Well-Controlled
    Your home is their dwelling and a haven for the pet(s) in your life. When that environment is suddenly over filled with relatives, friends, noisy gifts, music, and even ornaments (including lights); your pet will know it is not the “norm.” This can cause stress to the pet. Pets will need a quiet place away from guests and noise to ease this stress.

The signs of stress can be pretty obvious. Some of the signs you might see are; barking, heavy panting, shaking/trembling, or even abnormal behavior (such as jumping or being defensive). This is when you’ll know it’s time to bring your pet to that separate room, basement, or even outside to play. Giving them space and safety in their surroundings thru an environment they are familiar with can really help.

  • Decorations & Safety
    During this festive time of year it is not uncommon for you to hang lights, have special plants, and a variety of decorations. These new things are very curious and tempting to our little furry friends. Cats especially love to climb the tree or paw at decorations.

Other furry friends see sweet smelling plants, sniff boxes, or even see a ‘bowl of water’ under the tree for drinking. Remember, the tree water is not a back-up drinking bowl. It can contain fertilizers from the tree or ‘keep green’ type products in the water itself (much like we add to fresh flowers). Or some dogs like to pull on the tree skirt and cause it to tip over. Electrical lights look fun to paw at or chew on.

Gifts that are scented can entice your puppy to try and get into the box (for example: lotions, candles, or even candy). Finally, make sure plants are out of harms way for pets. These include holly, poinsettias, pine needles, mistletoe, and amaryllis.

  • When You Enjoy Your Holiday, They Will Too!
    Following each of these basics will go far to ensure you and your pet(s) will have a safe and happy holiday season. The little time you take to help make your guests aware of the pet rules at the holidays helps too. Pets are part of the family and you want them to be happy, safe and sound during this special time of year so follow this tip list, check it twice and have a happy holiday season.