The Holidays are here! Thanksgiving came and went and no doubt we all indulged a little! It’s been a challenging year but we’ve made it through to the tail-end and now we can let go – for ‘tis the season to be jolly after all! And we need it.
Our puppies do, too. They pick up on stress and maybe they haven’t been out and about as much as they are used to. When we spoil ourselves this Holiday season, shouldn’t we be spoiling them just as much…?
“All I Want For Christmas…”
Chloe’s got some great ideas for some designer-inspired dog clothes that it’s not too late to pick up (see below), and what better way to spoil our babies than by buying them a new outfit? All the best-dressed dogs need a constant supply after all.
To help you decide what to buy, Chloe has provided us with a neat Top 10 list of her must-have clothes. And they’re perfect for Holiday wear! They’re all available on her site and ready to ship right to your home and go right under your Christmas tree!
Can You Have a Real Christmas Tree with a Dog?
Now on the subject of Christmas trees, and Christmas/Holiday items in general, Chloe wanted us all to know that while the Holidays are all about fun, there are some things that all doggie moms and dads should be aware of to keep their pets safe during this wonderful time of year.
While we humans get caught up in the buying, wrapping, decorating, cooking, and all the other joys of the season, we must remember that inherent in all our activities are dangers for our pets – especially young dogs. If you have a puppy you better have eyes in the back of your heads!
So Chloe asked if we could add a different kind of list to go with her fun Top 10 one. She wanted us to list all of the hazards that can arise for dogs as we go about our celebrations.
And she’s right to do so. We all love our little pets and we would never want any harm to come to them. But in the excitement of the moment, things can and do happen. Let’s get on top of that this year and learn all about them. Let’s make a Holiday pet safety checklist.
Holiday Safety Tips
So, what are the main things that can affect pet safety and why? We don’t need to eliminate them from our homes but we do need to put them where pets cannot reach or supervise pets when they are near them, just as we do with toddlers.
- Christmas trees: yes, we can most definitely have a Christmas tree in our homes for the Holidays. We need to be aware of the pitfalls, however. The only exception would probably be if we have a puppy. The temptations of a glittering tree full of interesting “toys” can be too much for very young dogs and skipping a tree might be advisable. If we have a tree we should make sure it is stable and not likely to fall over on top of our unwitting pets! Not good! For real trees, an added danger comes from the water underneath. It can contain bacteria, fertilizers, and additives for preservation.
- Electrical cords: if a dog bites into one they can get shocked of course. Puppies are most at risk but even older dogs that love to chew might be tempted to bite on the plastic cords. This is a biggie for Holiday pet safety.
- Toys and batteries: Toys for children can be dangerous for dogs and small batteries for the toys can easily be swallowed.
- Alcohol: there can be more drinking over the Holidays and guests who are not pet-aware can leave glasses lying around that still have alcohol in them.
- String lights and candles: pets can get tangled (and possibly strangled) in lights. They can be burned by candles or knock over causing a fire.
- Plants: we bring special plants and trees into our homes for the Holidays but some of them can harm our pets. The ones to watch out for include holly berries, poinsettias, mistletoe (the berries in particular), lilies (some are worse than others, click here to see which ones), amaryllis, chrysanthemums, and evergreens such as ivy and juniper used for garlands.
- Holiday decorations: tree ornaments, tinsel, and ribbons can cause cuts and obstructions, and snow globes contain dangerous chemicals.
Food Glorious Food!
Food is a category in itself and Chloe’s last post covered this in detail. Click here to zoom over to that. But let’s go over Holiday food to be careful with:
- Cookies and candies both make a stronger appearance in homes during the Holidays. Dogs will go for them every time as they love sweet things. And talking about sweet things –
- Artificial sweeteners such as xylitol can kill dogs, period. One of the most dangerous things a dog can eat. Peanut butter can contain it. We should be very aware of that if we are making peanut butter cookies.
- Nuts are a huge Holiday treat. The worst two for dogs are macadamia nuts and walnuts.
- Fatty trimmings and bones: meat abounds over the Holidays and we all know dogs love meat. They can be given some for a treat but ensure it is lean. Fatty bits can cause problems up to and including pancreatitis and should be avoided at all costs along with cooked bones. Just don’t do it! No matter how much they beg!
- Chocolate: another huge no-no – highly toxic to dogs and one of the most common Holiday dangers for pets.
- Grapes and raisins: charcuterie boards and party trays will be full of such things.
- Onions and garlic: seasonal foods contain lots of these ingredients.
- Yeast dough: we often make special breads and baked goods from scratch for the Holidays.
Three More Holiday Pet Safety Tips To Consider
- Parties and gatherings will be fewer this year for many of us, but we should remember that any time there are more people in our homes than normal dogs can get over-stimulated. It’s a good idea to keep a separate quiet place for pets during get-togethers.
- Fireworks on New Year’s Eve are terrifying for most pets. As we all know. Always shield them as best as you can from this noise. Chloe can’t stand them and her mom and dad have to hold her tight and give her lots of cuddles. They also turn the TV on to mask the whizzes and bangs. Music works, too. There is a lovely product on the market called the iCalmPet. It consists of a small speaker that looks like an Alexa and contains an SD slot. The SD cards inserted in the speaker play classical music scientifically proven to calm dogs. Different cards can be bought for different issues. There’s one for separation anxiety, for example, and one for thunderstorms and fireworks. They are highly recommended. Thundershirts (left) are a great idea and also very effective for calming dogs. Simply wrap the shirts tightly around the pet for instant relief.
- Anti-freeze and ice melt: not everyone lives in cold climes but those of us that do use these two products to help us function in very cold weather. I think most of us know that anti-freeze is deadly to our pets as it contains ethylene glycol. But ice melts are also dangerous. If pets walk on rock salt their paw pads can get irritated and they will want to lick them. This can induce agitation and vomiting. Look for ice melts that are more pet friendly, such as those containing propylene glycol.
If Your Dog Could Write Its Own Wish List!
Now Chloe is saying enough of all this bad stuff! She wants us to point out that there are a few things we can do to offset some of the Holiday hazards for pets:
- Walks: number one on Chloe’s list is to go for a walk! Dogs love it! Going out to check the “p-mail” is a big event in most dog’s lives. Walking naturally calms dogs, de-stresses them, and burns off their energy. For those of us with very young dogs full of vim and vigor, a trip to the dog park or the local doggie daycare for some running around and ball chasing can be the most fun of all…and highly beneficial.
- Stick to your routine: Dogs rely on us for everything! So their routines are crucial to them. If you change their routine you’ll automatically stress them.
- Loving and snuggling: Chloe will take this any time! There is nothing like a snuggle on the couch to calm and reassure our dogs. In the hectic Holidays snuggling our pets benefits us humans, too!
- Healthy snacks: while we are in the kitchen preparing our special Holiday food, how about preparing some special treats for our dogs while we’re at it? Then if they try to beg for our food we can present them with something special of their own. There are some great recipes if you click here.
Shop ‘Til You Drop!
OK, let’s go shopping! We’ve examined all the do’s and don’ts for this season so now let’s have some fun!
To end Chloe’s blog post today she has picked out her favorite clothes for the Holidays. Online shopping has never been needed more and for those of us who are still needing to find that special something for our babies, Chloe’s Top 10 is just for us. Enjoy!
Please comment in the box below and let us know what you think of this post on Holiday pet safety. If you purchased one of Chloe’s picks – which one did you get? What Holiday gift do you think your dog would like the most? And don’t forget to share this post so others can benefit from it, too! Thanks!
Chloe’s Top 10 Favorite Things
Please click the links below to get all the facts and figures for each item.