How To Prepare Your Pet For The Holidays
By: Jeff Noce, Voyce President
In just a couple of weeks, the holiday season will be in full swing. Homes will be decorated, guests will be coming and going, and delicious dinners will be shared with family and friends.
It’s a busy, fun, exciting time. But during all the festivities, don’t forget about your pets. The whirlwind of activity can be over stimulating and stressful for them, and holiday temptations can potentially lead to an unexpected visit to your vet.
By taking some time now to prepare your dog for the holidays, you can help ensure he has a tail-wagging good time!
Brush up on manners
Many pups get excited when company comes to visit. But the last thing you want is for yours to knock down elderly Aunt Gladys in his exuberance. So spend a few minutes each day going through basic obedience skills like sit, down, come, stay and relax. Extra attention should be given to teaching him not to rush toward or run out the door (but make sure tags are up-to-date just in case!).
When sitting down to a holiday feast, most of us can’t resist sneaking our dogs a bit of turkey or a nibble of pie. Just don’t allow him to overindulge in fatty, rich foods, since this can cause stomach upset or even pancreatitis. Make sure guests know the rules, too! And always avoid foods like onions, grapes, cooked bones, alcohol or anything sweetened with Xylitol, as these can be toxic to your pet.
Decoration do’s and don’ts
Christmas trees are a fixture in many homes over the holidays, but care should be taken when decorating them. Put smaller, breakable ornaments (or those that might look like squeaky toys) on the taller branches. Tinsel and lights may also pose a hazard to some overly curious canines, so keep your pet away from the tree if this is a concern in your home. And don’t forget to designate a tall shelf or counter for lit candles and poisonous plants like poinsettias, holly and mistletoe.
Know your pet’s limits
Too many disruptions in the daily routine can cause anyone to get tired and cranky…and that includes our pets. So keep an eye on your dog and watch for signs of stress like panting, lick licking or avoidance. If he appears uncomfortable – for instance, if your 10-year-old niece won’t leave him alone – take him out of the situation and allow him to relax in a quiet area.
Remember, if your pet has a Voyce Health Monitor, it’s easy to keep track of how he’s really feeling during the holidays by checking key wellness indicators like resting heart rate, activity level, sleep patterns and resting respiratory rate. A sudden and/or prolonged change outside his normal trends may indicate he’s not feeling well or is stressed. You can then take proactive steps to make sure his holidays stay healthy and happy.
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