Tis the season to be jolly with your pets!  As us dog walkers and pet sitters get prepared for this year’s festivities, don’t forget to include your dog in the holiday planning.

 

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  1. Manage holiday stress

 

The holidays can be a fun time for dogs, but all the new toys, decorations and visitors can also be stressful for your pooch.

 

During the busy season, a consistent exercise and feeding regime will keep your dog happy and healthy.  If free time is limited for your family, a professional dog walker can help with your dog’s much needed exercise and pet sitters are available for routine feeding.

 

The holiday commotion and visitors can be overwhelming for your dog.  It is important to provide a quiet area in the house where they can rest and will not be disturbed.  Always supervise your dog around young children and educate them on the importance of respecting your dog’s boundaries.

 

  1. Be vigilant around holiday decorations

 

Christmas time brings about many new sights and smells for your dog.  Their natural instinct will be to investigate.  Supervise your dog around holiday decorations to avoid accidents with the Christmas tree or ingestion of tinsel and other ornaments.  Do not leave edible gifts under the tree or anywhere within reach of your dog (they will chew right through the gift wrap!)

 

Take care with holiday plants as many are toxic to dogs.  Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias can all cause gastrointestinal upset and are potentially fatal when ingested.  If you absolutely must have them, place them out of reach from your dog.

 

  1. Go easy on the snacks

 

It can be hard to say ‘no’ to those puppy dog eyes, but human foods are not very good for dogs.  Chocolate, candy and Christmas pudding can be toxic to dogs, fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, and bones can contribute to intestinal blockages.  Even small variations from your dog’s regular diet can cause vomiting and diarrhoea.

 

Do not leave Christmas dinner unattended and within reach of your dog.  Inform your guests not to feed table scraps and set aside some dog treats that visitors can give instead.

 

 

Your dog will enjoy participating in the holiday festivities, especially if you have a plan to keep them comfortable and safe this Christmas.