The holiday season is here bringing with it excitement, joy, gatherings of family and friends, and tasty treats the whole month through. This is a very busy time for most families bustling around to enjoy the lights around town and (if you’re anything like me) scrambling to get a last-minute gift or two together. While there is much to celebrate and appreciate, this time of year brings with it seasonal stresses for both two and four-legged creatures alike. Here are a few tips to ensure you and your pets enjoy a safe and fun “howliday” season.
Ever heard the phrase, “a tired dog is a good dog?” It’s true! Consistent, moderate exercise that your pet can rely upon is one of the best ways to help keep them healthy and out of trouble. Set a routine and stick to it. A 30 minute walk or jog at the same time of day is a great way to strengthen your bond with your pet, provide good aerobic exercise for you both, and can prevent boredom trouble-making. Bundle up and get out there!
This time of year, most of us allow ourselves to indulge in the holiday delicacies we enjoy so much! Use caution in doing the same with your pet. New, rich treats or bones can upset sensitive stomachs and result in diarrhea. Try to remind house guests that your pet should not be getting people food. If everyone is sneaking the family pet “just a small taste” of their holiday dinner, that same family pet may leave an unwanted present under the tree.
My dog thinks every gift under the tree is for her. If you have a nosey pet too, consider purchasing a few sturdy rubber chew toys such as those made by the Kong ™ brand. Stuff them with canned dog food or a small amount of peanut butter and freeze. When it is time to open gifts, give your furry friend their treat as a project to keep them occupied.
Even if you’re not a Clark Griswold, decorating for the holidays is one of the best ways to get in the holiday mood. Remember to keep toxic plants out of reach of curious pets. Ingestion of Mistletoe, Holly, and Amaryllis can all result in varying degrees of gastrointestinal distress among other clinical signs. Ensure electrical cords are out of reach of puppies and kittens who are teething. Consider placing a gate or large gift boxes around your Christmas tree to prevent your pet from bumping into it or attempted to climb.
Wishing your families a very happy holiday and health in the coming year!