The holiday season is known as the happiest time of year for a reason. You get to spend tons of quality time inside your cozy home with all of your loved ones and, of course, your furry family members. With all of the happiness that comes with celebrating the holiday season, it's important to take some time to make sure your pets stay safe.
If you don't know which threats to look out for, we've got you covered! Read on for some of the most important holiday safety tips to follow to keep your dog safe this holiday season!
1. Secure Your Tree
Christmas trees are the center of the holiday experience for a lot of families. It might be a beautiful sight, but it isn't always safe for your dog to play around.
Excited dogs who get the zoomies might find themselves buried under a fallen tree. Dogs who let their curiosity get the best of them might destroy your presents or take a sip of the bowl of water at the base of the tree. All of these scenarios can result in serious illness or injury.
Anchor your Christmas tree so it can't be tipped over. If you want to keep it extra secure, put the tree in a room your dog cannot access without supervision, or place a baby gate around the tree.
Taking these extra steps will make the holiday season far less precarious.
2. Keep Your Dog Inside
We know that our dogs love to play outside no matter what temperature it is, but during the winter season, it can be dangerous.
Dogs might have warm fur coats, but they don't provide enough protection when the weather gets below 32 F/0 C. Large dogs with double-layered coats like Siberian Huskies can tolerate colder temperatures, but dogs with thin coats and small dogs are much more susceptible to the cold. Dogs that have less body fat are also sensitive to the cold.
Keep your dogs inside when it dips below freezing, except for bathroom breaks. This will help prevent things like frostbite and hypothermia.
3. Nix the Table Scraps
It's hard to ignore your dog's begging for scraps when you're gathered around the holiday table. Those rich foods that we love so much during the holidays are not great for Fido, though.
Our meals tend to have far too much fat and sodium, and they can be tough on your dog's stomach. This might result in stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Instead of feeding them prepared foods, swap them for raw veggies like carrots and green beans.
There are some foods you need to avoid altogether and are toxic to dogs, including:
- Raw onion
It is best to stick to feeding your dog their regular dog food. You can even build them a nice party bowl by mixing both wet and dry food.
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4. Boarding or Pet Sitter?
Many families choose to go out of town for the holidays. Whether you're getting away to a new location or visiting distant relatives, you need to make a plan to make sure your dog is in good hands.
Two popular options are having a pet sitter come stay at your home with your pet or boarding your dog at a local facility. Both are great options, but it's important to do your research before dropping your dog off to stay.
Check with local veterinarians in your area and meet with the staff that'll be taking care of your dog. Ask them about how much supervision they'll have, how often they'll feed your dog, and how often they take the dogs out. If you're considering a pet sitter, ask for references and if they have any kind of insurance.
5. Watch Your Plants
People love to decorate their homes with fun things like mistletoe and holly to make their spaces festive. If you have a curious puppy, however, those decorative plants could land them at the vet.
Keep the following decorative plants out of your dog's reach:
If you still want that holiday feel without the safety risk, consider putting up faux versions.
6. Practice Candle Safety
Who doesn't love a scented candle? They might make our homes look and smell amazing, but they're a hazard to all occupants of your home if they're left unattended.
Pets might burn a paw or knock it over, causing a fire. If you must burn a candle, keep it out of reach, and be sure that they're placed on a stable surface with candle holders. Blow out the candle when you leave the room, and you'll be in the clear.
7. Provide a Safe Space
The excitement of the holiday season is a lot for some dogs to deal with. This is especially true when you have a lot of company over or when fireworks go off during New Year's Eve. As a result, many dogs deal with anxiety or try to find a way to escape.
If you sense that your dog is feeling overwhelmed, designate a safe space in the house for them. Put a crate in a bedroom with a nice comfy bed, bowl of water, and plenty of toys.
If your dog is still struggling, consider talking to your vet about alternative solutions to help them deal with holiday anxiety.
These Dog Holiday Safety Tips Are Essential!
If you want to make this holiday season one of the best, then it's important to ensure that all the members of your family stay safe and happy by following these holiday safety tips. Make sure that all of the tasty holiday snacks you give your dogs are safe for them to consume. Keep your vet's number handy in case you have any emergencies.
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