Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pet Pointers: Holiday 101 for Pet Owners

Keeping your furry family members safe during the holiday festivities can be a difficult task. Whether you're traveling or celebrating at home this year, it's important to be mindful of your pet's well-being. From unhealthy treats and toxic plants to hazardous decorations and presents – the list is never ending. So how do you make sure you avoid an emergency trip to the veterinarian this holiday season?

I have the chance to offer insights from self-proclaimed human trainer for dogs and pet expert, Alyona DelaCoeur of Why Does My Dog, a video-driven website devoted to delivering bite-sized tips and techniques, to offer her professional expertise on how to keep your furry loved ones safe throughout the holidays.

1.       Make sure your family is ready for the responsibility.
A puppy for Christmas sounds like a wonderful gift. Before running off to purchase a dog however, make sure your family is ready for the responsibility of owning a dog. Children do not understand how much goes into caring for a dog, therefore the adult should be ready to take full accountability. Consider these tips before buying a new dog:
2.       Body language is key.
Children (and some adults) can get very excited and noisy during the holidays. Pay close attention to your dog's body language to make sure that he is comfortable and is not getting overwhelmed by the festivity. Have an available escape place that is quiet if your dog needs it.
3.       Keep hazards out of reach.
Dogs will eat pretty much anything they set their eyes on! If your dog has a tendency to get into anything within his reach, it's important to think about putting a barrier around your Christmas tree. Although they may want to play cleanup crew, wrapping paper, gift boxes and stuffing are dangerous for your pup to ingest. Make sure you keep stockings full of candy and other treats far away from where your furry loved one can reach.
4.       Beware of cooked bones.
Every now and then, it's okay to feed your furry loved one some scraps of your meal. However, you should NEVER feed your pet cooked bones. Be sure to throw away those leftover turkey and/or ham bones. Cooked bones have the potential to splinter and can be extremely detrimental to your pet's health, causing damage to the intestine if accidentally swallowed.
5.       Give your dog some extra love.
Remember that your furry loved one can sense when you are stressed out and may begin to act up or get scared. Try to give him some extra love and treats during, what can be, such a stressful time of year.

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