Holiday Pet Guide; What's Naughty or Nice?
Holiday decorations are beautiful. They can also present a danger to our pets. Now is the time for pet parents to make a list and check it twice to learn what's healthy and not so nice.
Holiday plants like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe can be dangerous to your pets if ingested. The toxins may differ from each plant, yet your pet's symptoms are the same. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet is drooling, vomiting, or having diarrhea.
Holiday decorations like tinsel on the tree or ribbons you wrap presents with are tempting for some pets to play with or ingest. What makes these decorations dangerous is that they can get twisted in your pet's stomach or intestines. In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, you may notice your pet lacking an appetite and energy.
Holiday food/beverages, like ham, candy, or eggnog, are not for your dog. Alcohol, raw eggs, fatty ingredients, and spices are equally dangerous for your pet's health. Be mindful of sugar-free mints, baked goods, or anything containing the natural sweetener xylitol.
Rawhide chews look harmless and fun when humans see the many shapes they come in. The holiday season brings candy cane-shaped rawhide, for example. The truth is, not all rawhides are the same, from ingredients used to make them to digestibility. Rawhide may swell up to 4x its size in your pet's stomach, causing pain, potential surgery, or death.
No-hide chews are a healthy alternative to rawhide. They are safe, long-lasting, nutritious, and easy to digest. Gibbs loves his salmon, turkey, or peanut butter selections. I give him a no-hide chew once or twice a week.
A new dog bed. Think about how your pet's needs may have changed in the past year. Gibbs will likely get an orthopedic bed this year as he is now seven years old. Smaller dogs may love the donut beds for snuggling. These beds are so comfy yet not meant for an older dog. Matt beds are great to line a dog crate or for a "place" to have treats and chews without getting that on your flooring! Gibbs has a matt bed specifically for that purpose. Finally, you may check out an elevated bed. I had one of these on my deck outside, and it helped with air circulation during the warm days of summer. Perfect if you like your pet to be with you, not on your outdoor furniture.
Winter dog gear. Do you live in a cold climate? Your pet may benefit from a vest or winter booties to protect their paws.
Reflective gear. Dog collars, leashes, and harnesses will help to keep your pet safe when walking either early morning or at night. Gibbs has an LED leash and collar. I have to charge it more to keep it bright during the fall and winter as daylight diminishes.
Travel bag. You don't think about it until you need it. Gibbs has a travel bag ready for road trips or any weather-related emergency requiring us to evacuate quickly.
Professional photo session. Bring out your pet's personality for the howl-idays with memorable professional photos. Brainstorm with the photographer what your pet loves to do, wear, and play with or if you are open to exploring. The photo credit for Gibbs's wreath picture is Hello Hound.
Now that you've got an idea of what's naughty and nice for your pets' health and happiness, you won't have to think twice! Season Treatings!