Making sure your dog enjoys the holidays

There are many things you can do to make sure Fido has a festive and happy holiday season.

A potato chip here, some mashed potatoes there, and just one more spoonful of stuffing because it’s a holiday and Fido likes it so much! All of these table snacks may seem harmless but this high fat and calorie diet can lead to acute Pancreatitis, which can be a serious medical condition for your dog.  Symptoms include abdominal swelling, lack of appetite, loose stool and possible vomiting. Often times, people equate these symptoms to their pup just having too much holiday excitement so they delay contacting the vet. Do Fido a favor, and leave the leftovers for you!

Cooked Turkey bones splinter easily and even small amounts of Onions or Chocolate can be dangerous for your pup so make sure to keep all out of reach! This includes taking the trash out after the holiday dinner so your dog doesn’t try to get some of these items out of the trash while you are distracted.

The house may look magical as it is filled with holiday glitter and glamour but some of those decorations can actually be dangerous for your dog. Cedar pine trees, poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly berries are poisonous. Tinsel, Holiday decorations, and Christmas tree lights are also dangerous if chewed on. Make sure to always supervise your dog while he is around the decorations. If you have a younger dog, you can also put a fence around the Christmas tree or a gate to prevent him access to the room where the Christmas tree is. This will help keep your decorations and your dog safe.

Holiday Guests Holidays often bring out of town visitors-adults and kids-who may not have as much experience with dogs. This can make your guests and your pup nervous.  Plus as people arrive, it’s easy for the front door to be left open during all the holiday greetings. As a result, make sure to provide your pup with a safe place away from all the festivities.

Finally, giving your dog a special place to go that is away from the table and all of the action is helpful to both you and your dog! You can do this by teaching him to go to his bed or kennel on command and to stay there until he is released. “Bed” gives your dog a sanctuary and allows you to enjoy the day knowing that he is safe and sound!