The Holidays are a wonderful time of year for family, friends, and festivities! Our homes are filled with new gadgets, sweet treats, and lots of company. The DogRunnin team members love the holiday season and we have a few tips to keep things merry and bright for you and your pup!
- Stick to your normal routine as much as possible. While you may really enjoy all the buzz that the holidays bring, keeping to your dog’s regular schedule will helpt to minimize any of your dog’s holiday stress. This is particularly important at feeding times to avoid the upset of sensitive bellies! Exercise schedules should also be maintained to guarantee your dog plenty of energy expenditure so you can both relax when enjoying holiday cheer!
- Have a quiet space. Some dogs, much like some humans, are social butterflies. Others don’t appreciate the chaos and noise that additional houseguests bring. Make sure that your dog has a quiet space where they can relax tucked away from the party if they choose. A favourite blanket and a peanut butter Kong will make this space even more appealing to your pooch.
- Feed your dog in a low key area. Humans love to gather around the table but unfortunately, dogs do not always enjoy company around their food bowl. Having lots of people around their bowl may provoke stress and cause them to eat faster and increase the chances of indigestion and choking. Dogs may also feel threatened by increased traffic in the area of the food and may become aggressive as a result. To keep your dog relaxed, we suggest that you feed them in their quiet space or be sure to do so before guests come over.
- Ignorance is not bliss! There is no such thing as perfect dog, so make sure that your guests know of any quirks your dog has. Some dogs loved to be petted, but need to be introduced first. Others may have sensitive ears or paws, so love chest scratches, but don’t want to be petted all over. If this is your pet’s first holiday gathering, be sure to pay special attention to how they interact with strangers in their home and if you notice that they are uncomfortable, encourage them to go to their “quiet space” and ask guests to stay out of that area. By making sure your guests are aware of your dog’s sensitivities, you can ensure that your dog and your guests are safe and happy during their time together.
- Have a back-up plan. Sometimes even quiet space is not enough to keep your dog happy. Additional help for exercise, pee-breaks, or pet-sitting may also be beneficial for busy days and parties.
- Paws off the chocolate! Sweet treats are abundant this time of year, so make sure your dog does not have access to them. Gifts that include tasty treats should not be placed under the tree until they are about to be opened. If they need to be there sooner, consider blocking off the tree area. Chocolate can be toxic to dogs in large quantities, so restricting your pet’s ability to eat it may save you a costly trip to the vet!
- Watch the wrapping paper! Many of the DogRunnin staff dogs love to help their humans open their gifts (and then shred the rest of the paper), but this can be quite dangerous if not monitored! Gift wrap and ribbons can cause blockages in the stomach and intestines if consumed, as they are not digestible.
- Trim your tree accordingly. Excitable pups and wagging tails are lovely to see but they are not always helpful near the tree. Many of us at DogRunnin have learned that glass ornaments should never go on the lower branches and the most sentimental ornaments should be hung on higher branches. Not only will our beloved ornaments break, but they also pose a risk to our dogs! Broken glass can easily cut tender paws or cause internal damage if ingested.
- Toys are not always meant to be shared. We always teach children to share, but an exception should be made when it comes to Christmas toys. Small toys, or toy parts, pose a choking risk to dogs or can cause intestinal blockage.
- Festive plants can be poisonous. Many of us do not think twice when decorating our homes with holiday plants such as Poinsettia and Mistletoe, but these plants can actually be very dangerous for your dog. The red leaves of a Poinsettia contain a poisonous sap that can cause vomiting and pain. Mistletoe causes more than just kissing, too! There are many toxins in Mistletoe that can cause serious health problems such as decreased blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizure. Both plants can be fatal if a large enough amount is ingested. To prevent your pup from getting sick, keep your plants up high and away from wet noses!
Most importantly, have a VERY merry Christmas!!