Ensuring a Pawsitively Safe Holiday Season

safety tips

We must keep our four-legged companions in mind as we deck the halls and indulge in festive feasts!

The holiday season is a time of joy, celebration, and togetherness.  Our precious pups are a part of the family, and we want them to share in the holiday spirit.  However, not all aspects of the season are pet-friendly.

Consider these safety tips to ensure a safe and happy holiday for your canine family members.

Deck the Halls with Caution:

Putting ornaments on the tree and hanging decorations are cherished traditions, but be mindful of where you place them. Ensure that low-hanging ornaments, tinsel, and electric cords are out of your dog's reach to prevent unintended accidents or ingestion.

Canine-Friendly Holiday Feast:

While we may be tempted to share our holiday meals with furry friends, not all festive foods are safe for dogs. Some safe options include plain cooked meat (without bones or seasoning), plain cooked vegetables like carrots and green beans, and small amounts of simple cooked sweet potato.

However, avoid feeding them chocolate, onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, and anything sweetened with xylitol, as these can be toxic to dogs.

Dog-Safe Treats and Stocking Stuffers:safety tips, enrichment, canine enrichment

Spoil your pup with special holiday treats made just for them. Look for dog-friendly recipes, like this super easy tuna-fudge recipe, or purchase your dog's favorite treats from your local pet store.  If you are local to Orange County, CA, check out Pet Supply!

Fill their stockings with durable toys and chews to keep them entertained and discourage them from exploring potentially hazardous decorations.

Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Classic Kong Toy - Stuff with your dog's favorite treats.
  2. Stuffed Tuffy Toys - These are great for heavy chewers.
  3. Kong Wubba - Durable and great for interactive games like tug.

Guest Management:

It is essential to consider your dog's comfort, especially if your home is about to be filled with family and friends. Not all dogs are social butterflies, so provide a quiet, safe space where they can retreat if the festivities become overwhelming. Ensure your guests know the rules about feeding your dog, especially avoiding table scraps and treats that might upset their stomach.

If you have a particularly excitable pup, use tools like the Tie Down to keep your excited dog from jumping on guests.  You can also give them a fun enrichment activity to entertain them while you and your guests are enjoying a meal, playing games, or opening gifts.

Here are the enrichment toys we recommend:

  1. Lick Mat - Spread dog-safe peanut butter on the lick mat and stick it to a flat surface for long-lasting entertainment.
  2. Puzzle Toys - these will stimulate your dog's brain, which will tire them out.
  3. Snuffle Mat - this is a puzzle toy that also helps with stress relief.

Safe Space for the Night:

With the celebration of the new year to come, New Year's Eve celebrations often involve fireworks.  It is common for the sounds of fireworks to upset your dog, so create a safe, secure, and quiet space for them to curl up for the night.

Giving them a cozy and secure area can help ease their anxiety.  We also recommend putting on some calming music to help drown out the sounds of loud noises.

Identification is Key:

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, pets can often slip out unnoticed.  Ensure your dog's identification tags are current, and consider having them microchipped if they aren't already. This safety tip can make a world of difference if your pet goes missing.

Healthy Resolutions:

As we approach the New Year, consider incorporating your dog into your resolutions for a healthier lifestyle. Plan outdoor activities and walks, benefitting you and your canine companion.  Taking your dog on hikes, like the Salt Creek Trail, is a great way to exercise your dog's body and mind.

Plan things like picnics and play dates with you and your dog's best friends.  If you want to make a day of it, visit Laguna Niguel Regional Park where they have lots of nice walking trails and picnic benches.

For days that your schedule is full or there is inclement weather, bringing your dog to daycare is an excellent way for them to still get the enrichment and exercise they need!

Let's cherish the moments with our dogs this holiday season while prioritizing their safety and well-being!

By following these tips, you can ensure a festive and stress-free holiday for your entire family, four-legged family members included! We wish you a joyful and safe holiday season!

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