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Enjoying the Holidays with Your Dogs

Tips from USDAA



Holiday festivities are fun for us, but can be both stressful and dangerous to our dogs. Here are few tips to make sure everyone in your family has the happiest of holidays this year: 

Food and Parties

If you're hosting a holiday party and your pets are not party animal types, keep them in crates and/or in a separate room to help reduce their anxiety and your stress. If your dogs are the life of the party, remember to keep food out of their reach.
  • Stealing food is dangerous since you don't know what the dog has eaten, how much they've eaten, or if they've eaten other things besides food such as utensils, plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
  • Chocolate and macadamia nuts are holiday favorites, but very dangerous to dogs.
  • Uncooked cookie dough also poses a hazard since it can expand in a dog's digestive system creating gas, blockages or bloat.
Christmas Trees 

Until your pets are trustworthy around holiday decorations, it's recommended to use some type of barrier around your tree. That spare ex-pen in your garage would work great for this purpose! It also prevents your dog from thinking you just installed indoor plumbing for them too. 
  • The water in your Christmas tree can contain both preservatives and toxins that can be harmful to your pets. Even if you only refill with fresh water, the preservatives from the tree will end up in the water.
  • If possible, do not allow your pets to eat the tree needles, whether its a live or artificial tree. The needles can be difficult and painful when passed through an animal's digestive system.
  • Avoid decorating your tree with food like popcorn or cranberries. These are an invitation to "taste" your tree. Round, glass ornaments can tend to look like tennis balls and can be too tempting for your "ball crazy" dog.
  • Other plants, such as mistletoe and poinsettias, are harmful to dogs and should be kept out of reach from your pets. 
Ringing in the New Year 

New Year's Day is the second busiest day at your local shelter; second only to July 5th. 
  • Fireworks and loud celebrations can scare even the calmest dog, causing them to run away. Remember to keep your pets indoors, and in a crate, during this celebration. 
Melissa Bishop's Friday, pictured here at age 12, shows off his Christmas spirit. Photo courtesy of Melissa Bishop. 

Although USDAA normally does not permit reposting of articles without permission, this post may be shared to promote canine safety. Happy Holidays from USDAA.com!

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