Yes, it really is December – already and again. All the leaves have fallen, some places have snow on the ground and many of us have pulled out the heavy doggie sweaters for our fur-deficient Sighthounds
So now is the time to revisit some Holiday Pup-Proofing Tips. As we’ve noted before, it’s no fun to spend Christmas Eve at the e-vet. Here are 10 ways to make sure you have a very happy holiday this year:
- Keep ornaments up high. They don’t digest well. Neither does tinsel, garland or twinkly lights. Consider putting a barrier around the tree to keep the pets from grabbing a nibble. The barrier is also a good idea if your dog likes to sample the water in the tree stand. That can make him sick. Best yet, put the tree in an “off limits” room.
- Also watch your decorative plants. Mistletoe and holly can cause vomiting. Poinsettias, despite their reputation, are not deadly and often cause little more than mild stomach upset. But it’s still best not to tempt fate by placing them where hounds can snatch a sample.
- Watch the candy dishes, too, and keep them out of reach of pets. No candy is good for pets and chocolate can be lethal.
- During family gatherings and holiday parties, it might be best to keep pets confined. Not only can all the coming and going make some pets anxious, but the doors may be open more frequently and for longer times, and pets may try to escape. Spending Christmas Eve looking for a loose Sighthound is no fun at all.
- Keep the people food snacks to a minimum. Yes, there will be lots of cooking going on and it’s easy to drop a few tidbits on the floor, but too much rich food won’t sit well with pets’ digestive systems. And it settles on their hips, Just as it does on us.
- Be careful with candles. They shouldn’t be left unattended anytime, but candles on lower tables are especially vulnerable to being knocked down by rambunctious pets – with disastrous consequences.
- Loud noises can panic some pets, and lead to injuries. Remember that before cracking out the New Year’s poppers, noise makers or champagne bottles.
- When unwrapping presents, keep ribbons, paper, packing peanuts, bows and even batteries away from pets. Better yet, keep pets away from the whole present opening extravaganza.
- Pick your own pet presents with care. And if you have multiple dogs, be careful when introducing high value goodies that can cause disagreements and destroy the holiday spirit.
- With the winter weather upon us, take a few minutes before the holiday spirit gets in full swing to double-check fences and gates. Make sure no gaps have been created, branches haven’t knocked out a part of the fence and that the wind can’t blow gates open. If you haven’t already, and you live in an area of winter weather, make sure you’ve stocked up on pet-friendly ice melt.
SHUG wishes all of you the very best for the holidays and the happiest New Year.