The holidays are upon us! Many of our canine patients seem to really enjoy this time of year. And why wouldn’t they? Man’s Best Friend often scores lots of extra treats and belly rubs around the holidays, plus some new toys and other goodies. However, this can be a dangerous season for Fido. A Wichita, KS vet offers some helpful holiday pet safety tips below.

Decorate Carefully

Some dogs, if left alone with a Christmas tree, would chew through every gift, drink the water, and then knock the whole thing over onto a candle. Others wouldn’t even notice the tree at all. Even if your dog is a furry couch potato, we recommend erring on the side of caution here, and puppyproofing your holiday setup. Some potential dangers include ribbons, tinsel, ornaments, ornament hooks, pine needles, electric lights, candles, garlands, and anything small or sharp. Many seasonal plants, such as poinsettias, holly, ivy, mistletoe, and lilies, are toxic as well.

Be Careful With Food

Food is always at the top of the list when it comes to holiday pet hazards. While your canine buddy can certainly have some plain, boneless meat, fish, or poultry as a treat, many of the dishes on those holiday spreads are dangerous to him. The list of unsafe foods includes garlic and onions, as well as scallions and chives; grapes and raisins; caffeine; chocolate; meat on the bone; avocado; pitted fruit; raw dough; macadamia nuts; anything with seeds or pips; and products that contain xylitol. Ask your vet for more information.

Head Off Stress

Anxiety can have a negative impact on Fido, both mentally and physically, just as it does with us. Anything that changes or disrupts your canine friend’s usual routine and environment can be a source of doggy angst. This includes things like noise, visitors, decorations, travel, schedule changes, and even the shorter days. New Year’s Eve can be particularly traumatic for dogs, because of all the fireworks. One thing that may help is giving your furry friend a quiet, safe space to retreat to, such as an open crate with a comfy bed. If your pooch gets severely anxious, ask your vet about using pet-calming products.

All of us here at Hodes Veterinary Health Center, your local Wichita, KS animal clinic, want to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Please feel free to contact us anytime!