The holidays can be a stressful time for us as we prepare to host gatherings, decorate, or prepare for travel. All this activity can also be a stressful time for your pets! Watch our segment on KELOLAND Living here!
Prepare for extra commotion: To help your dog to cope with all the extra activity, make sure you are getting them out for physical exercise as well as giving them some brain games. This will help keep their body and their brain busy and content. Give your dog new activities to play by checking out our Brain Games and Boredom Busters ebook!
Understand why they might be stressed: If guests are coming to your house with their four legged family members in tow, your pet might be extra stressed with the new guest in their space. Your pet might need breaks to relax away from your human and pet guests, as well. Many pets are nervous around new people or children. Giving them quiet time to take in the new situation from a safe area can help relieve the pressure and stress of the party.
Plan to keep them safe: With guests coming in and out, it can be easy for a pet to slip out a door. Be sure to take steps to keep your pet from taking an unauthorized walk-about! Also, ensure all food is put out of reach by pets when not directly supervised. Foods that are dangerous for dogs include onions, garlic, caffeine, medications, avocado, walnuts, grapes, and chocolate. Pay special attention to food left on countertops or in garbage cans without lids!
With holidays come festive decorations – there are a things we need to be aware of to ensure their safety. Look around your room and identify potentially dangerous items. Things like low-hanging ornaments may tempt a dog or cat to play with them, and presents at their level can be dangerous when they contain chocolate or other toxic gifts. Also keep in mind that holly, mistletoe and lilies and can be dangerous to dogs!
When the party Starts: It is a great idea before the event to have someone whose job it is to monitor the dogs throughout the event. They would be in charge of making sure the dogs are comfortable and happy, not eating food that is dropped on the floor, and watching children interacting with the dogs. This may seem like an unnecessary step, but it is really important to ensure that your pets are safe and happy during the holiday gatherings.
Last, always know your local emergency veterinarian’s number and location and have it easily accessible. Having the information ready to go will save precious minutes just in case an emergency does occur!