Happy Holidays! This time of year can be happy, hopeful, relaxing, stressful, or hectic- it all depends on what you make of it. Hopefully your holidays are a time of relaxation and celebration! I don’t know about you, but I have two furry family members that partake in our Christmas festivities. My babes are getting lots of gifts and love this season, but it’s important to remember some pet-related tips this holiday…
1. Keep an eye on the table scraps
There are foods that dogs and humans can share, but during the holidays we tend to bring out the more toxic yummys. Dog should not consume caffeine, beer, wine (no grapes!), nuts, certain holiday spices, chocolate, and anything with a garlic or onion base! Also, chicken bones are a no-no for any animal.
2. Plant life can be hazardous (and so can everything else)
My dogs love to chew on sticks and mulch so we have to keep a close eye on our tree. Additionally, poinsettias are poisonous to dogs, cats, children, etc. Be smart about your decorations- tinsel, ribbon, fake snow, and garland can all be big problems if you own a curious dog or cat!
3. Giving a pet as a gift is rarely a good idea…
I feel so strongly about this one. DO NOT give a dog or cat as a Christmas gift unless everyone is on board and ready to take responsibility. Do not give Jr. a dog for Christmas and take it to the shelter in a January because “he wasn’t taking care of it.” A pet a is a WHOLE family’s responsibility and when you make (stupid) decisions like this it’s not the kid who “learned a lesson” or was punished- it’s the pet who really suffers. Don’t adopt an animal unless everyone is ready to accept responsibility and everyone is in agreement.
*Side note: Every year, as people prepare for the holidays, veterinarians are asked to euthanize perfectly healthy dogs and cats. People cleaning up their homes for the holidays make the decision to get rid of the dog “no one cares for.” Additionally, shelters FILL with animals after the holidays because the novelty of the “gift” wears off and housebreaking turns out to be harder than one thought. Don’t be one of these pathetic excuses of a person.
4. Travel Intelligently
If you are traveling with your pet for the holidays then it’s important to make sure they are welcome at hotels and relatives’ houses. Additionally, be sure to have collars and tags on your pet at ALL TIMES. Animals can slip out the door when you unload the car or welcome guests. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. Know your pet
I know that my dogs are hyper. I know that my dogs love children. I know that my dogs are temperamental around other dogs. If you have a puppy then it’s important to watch for messes and give him a nap break. If you’ve got an older dog be sure to give her some alone time away from the chaos and children. Additionally, don’t forget about your pets at home- check on them, stop by your house and let them out for a bit, etc.
Any questions? 🙂