Health

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy During the Holiday Season

December 11, 2018

The holidays are upon us, which means spending lots of quality time with friends, family, and our furry friends. But the cold weather and festivities of the holiday season mean dog owners must be extra vigilant to protect their pets’ health. Read on for our tips to keep your dog healthy during the holiday season.

Don’t share the holiday feast

It may be tempting to give your dog a taste of all your family’s holiday treats, but doing so can be extremely harmful to him. Many human foods are toxic to dogs, including chocolate, grapes, garlic, onions, and more. To keep your pooch safe, it’s important to avoid sharing table scraps with him. Stick to dog treats, instead!

Protect against the cold

For many, the holidays mean dropping temperatures and snowy conditions. This weather can wreak havoc on your pup’s health—but it doesn’t have to.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, a seasonal wellness check-up can help protect your pet’s health. Some ailments, such as arthritis, are made worse in colder weather. Visit a vet early in the winter to ensure your dog is healthy through the holidays.

In addition, cold conditions can cause cracked paws and ice accumulation between dog toes. Luckily, these problems have relatively simple fixes. For example, petroleum jelly helps soothe cracks, and ice accumulation can be cleaned out from the toes after a walk.

To prevent your dog from licking potentially toxic salt or antifreeze from their paws after a walk outside, carefully rinse and dry his feet when you get home. Paw care becomes especially important in the colder months, although you should always contact a vet if your dog’s paws are persistently dry or bleeding.

Dog-proof decorations and events

Tinsel, candles, lights, ornaments…the list of oh-so-chewable household objects grows dramatically during the holiday season. If consumed, the decorations that bring holiday cheer to humans bring a slew of health concerns to our dogs. To minimize these health risks, keep decorations tucked out of your pet’s reach. Remember that exposed flame and wires should never be within a dog’s reach.

For puppies, consider introducing holiday decorations slowly, so as to not over-stimulate them or increase the appeal of chewing. And when getting your house ready for the holidays, take care not to purchase decorations that could be dangerous to dogs.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, holly and mistletoe are poisonous to dogs and should never be used as decor where pets may reach them. Remember that pups explore the world by chewing—and that they will always find a way to eat something they’re not supposed to.

By implementing these tips into your festivities, you and your pooch can have a safe and healthy holiday. This time of the year is all about slowing down and savoring the little things, notwithstanding the special relationships we have with our pets.

Enjoying time with your family and furry friends is part of what makes the holidays so special. Show your love by giving your dog their favorite treats from Best Bully Sticks this holiday.