The Holiday season brings a lot of changes to your dog's normal routine. These changes will have an impact on your dog's behavior, so you want to try your best to keep your dog's schedule as close to normal as possible. Dogs are creatures of habit, and can be very upset by changes to their routine.There are other things that may have an impact on your dog's health and well-being, so as we get into that crazy mode of holiday shopping and parties, we could all use some little reminders:
- Make sure that your Christmas tree is sturdy enough that a curious dog won't be able to knock it over, or pull it down as they grab at branches and bulbs. To your dog, this tree may look like a giant tree full of toys, or a big scary thing to be avoided at all costs. Either way, be mindful of your dog's reaction.
- If your dog is curious, erect a little barrier of sorts, using a folding baby gate or by positioning a long table to block the path.
- Tinsel can lead to an obstruction and possible surgery, it is best avoided.
- Shards of breakable ornaments can damage your dog's mouth and digestive tract, so be sure to keep them out of reach.
- Decorative lights are all powered by wires, which can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock should your dog chew through one of them. Be sure to position them out of reach.
- Make sure that your dog cannot access the tree water. Drinking from this standing water can cause stomach upset, and it's a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Watch that curling ribbon, too, as it can get stuck in your dog's intestines, often necessitating surgery.
Plants to Avoid:
- Holly can cause dogs to suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Mistletoe can cause dogs some tummy upset and cardiovascular problems.
- Poinsettias are toxic for dogs.
Around the Home:
- Lighted candles can be knocked over if left on an unstable surface. And watch out for curious noses around low tables!
- Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, can cause serious issues with your dog's digestion and be dangerous for smaller dogs.
- Avoid anything sweetened with Xylitol - this is usually found in sugar-free gum and similar products. It is toxic for dogs.
- Be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans, as lots of new and interesting things will be showing up in there!
- Leftovers are best saved for humans, as fatty, spicy foods can cause issues for your dog. Lean un-flavored meat and (especially raw) veggies are usually fine, if you want to share.
- Dogs can digest raw bones, but any type of cooked bones are a big no-no!
- Watch that alcoholic drinks are not left where your dog can get to them.
- Always ask guests to refrain from offering yummy nibbles off their plates; there are a lot of human foods that are not okay for doggies to eat, so a friendly guest may inadvertently cause your dog some serious GI trouble if they slip scraps to him! Sometimes its best to just give your dog his own quiet space to retreat to—especially if crowds make him nervous.
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