Holiday Safety at Home
Sweet treats, sparkling lights, and gifts galore mean holiday celebrations with friends and family. Preparing for the magic of the season comes with a long to-do list: Dress up the house with treasured decorations, put out fresh-scented greenery, and oh yes, don’t forget to exercise by enjoying a brisk winter walk! Naturally, you’ll want your dog to participate in the festivities, but beware—the holly jolly good times can be hazardous and stressful to dogs. To help keep your four-legged friend safe and free from danger, it’s important to take a few precautions.
Begin by making a list of all the seasonal extras around the house, and check it twice for potential danger to your dog. It’s amazing what dogs will think of chewing up! They never make the connection that what tastes good one minute may cause them extreme stomach pain the next, so it’s up to you to remove all potential irritants.
For rooms with too many goodies, consider using baby gates to block off areas of your home to prevent your dog from getting into things he shouldn’t.
Decking Your Halls
What’s a holiday without decorations? Just keep colorful knickknacks and gifts out of your dog’s reach. This goes for tinsel, artificial icicles, low-hanging lights, electrical cords, or any garland-type decorations that incorporate bits of food, such as cranberries, crabapples, or popcorn combined with string or wire. Don’t leave ribbon, wrapped food-presents, or scented candles lying around either. If your dog decides to see what these taste like and chews or gulps them down, he can get shocked, electrocuted, or become very ill.
Few plants tell the story of the festive season more so than poinsettias, mistletoe, holly berries, and Christmas trees, but it’s important to keep them away from your dog’s playful paws and jaws. Once swallowed, these live plants can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe irritation to his digestive tract. As an alternative, consider using artificial arrangements instead.
Presents all Around
Keep children’s plastic toys picked up, too. Teething puppies and mouthy dogs love to gnaw on these playthings, but pliable pieces that break off can be life threatening. Your dog could choke while trying to quickly gobble up an item. Ingestion of plastic toys can cause serious intestinal injuries.
When guests come calling for household get-togethers, your dog may seem fidgety and uneasy. That’s because he may not be accustomed to all the commotion. Some dogs feel frightened or stressed around a crowd of people they don’t know, especially if they sense that a visitor isn’t completely comfortable around dogs. To help calm and relax your dog, consider giving him a Bio Spot Active Care™ Stress Management Chewable Tablet.
You can also confine him to a quiet room where no one can upset him. If your dog is already crate trained, you may want to let him rest inside his crate with a special chew toy filled with treats.
In all the hubbub of old and new acquaintances coming in and out of the house, it’s possible that an uninvited guest or two may sneak in by hitching a ride on someone’s coattails. Contrary to popular belief, fleas can survive indoors during winter months, especially when the thermostat is turned up. A warm home creates the ideal environment for fleas to reproduce, and they can survive under decks and around household foundations. To combat fleas during the holidays and to keep your dog pest-free, try using a flea preventive like Bio Spot Active Care™ Flea & Tick Spot On® product.
To help your dog deal with seasonal stress, maintain his regular playtime and exercise schedule throughout the holidays. After shopping, cooking, wrapping presents, and decorating, an outing will give you a chance to unwind, too. Take some time with your dog to go for an easy walk once a day. The fresh air and change in scenery will help both of you reduce your stress levels.
Above all, enjoy this special time of year by keeping your dog safe and healthy!
Bio Spot Active Care is a trademark of Farnam Companies, Inc. Spot On is a registered trademark of Wellmark International.