The holiday season is finally here! While you are enjoying holiday festivities, it is important to remember your canine family members. Here are a few tips, from our PAWS® family to yours, to help ensure that everyone has a wonderful holiday season:
Keep the human holiday treats for yourself - Human holiday treats can be unhealthy for your puppy. In some cases causing digestive issues, in other cases these treats can cause serious health problems. Make sure to keep holiday treats well out of your dog’s reach. If your dog gets something off of the counter, he is automatically rewarded with his stolen treat and his behavior is reinforced. Since this can lead to behavior problems that may not be easily fixed, it is much better to keep the treats out of puppy’s reach and prevent the behavior from developing in the first place. And no matter how sad his puppy dog eyes may look, resist the urge to share your holiday feast with him.
Look at your holiday decorations from your dog’s eyes - Holiday decorations and toys can add a festive flare to your home, but keep in mind that these shiny objects are temptations for your dog. Consider placing breakable ornaments higher up on the tree and make sure that all stuffed snowmen and other holiday decorations are up off the floor. Electrical cords should also be secured otherwise your dog could become tangled in the cords potentially pulling your tree or display down. Keeping electrical cords up off the floor will also prevent teething puppies from chewing on them.
Know which plants can be harmful to dogs - Some popular holiday plants, such as mistletoe and holly, can be toxic to your dog. Make sure to keep them out of reach if you decide to decorate with them.
Keep your furry friend’s paws safe in snowy environments - If you live in a state that gets snow and ice be sure to monitor your dog’s paw pads, as ice and salt can cause irritation. It is a good idea to wipe your dog’s paws off with a damp cloth once he is inside to remove any residue. At home, use pet friendly products to remove the ice and snow from your sidewalks.
Find their happy place - While many people enjoy hosting friends and family during this time of the year, all of the activity can be stressful to your dog. Consider setting up a quiet spot for your puppy away from the hustle and bustle of your holiday crowd. And if you are going to someone’s house it is ok to leave your dog at home for the evening.
With a little planning it can be a safe and happy holiday season for all.