Holiday foods can be harmful
• Many holiday foods are harmful or even toxic to canines. These include fatty or spicy foods, bread dough, fresh herbs, alcoholic beverages, and sweets of all kinds—especially those with chocolate or xylitol, an artificial sweetener.
• Particularly dangerous are cooked poultry bones. Cooked bones easily splinter, and the bone shards can cause choking or get stuck in your dog’s gums. Instead, give “dog bones” specifically designed for dogs to chew. Ask your veterinarian for suggestions.
• Discourage your dog from foraging in the garbage—secure lids on all trash cans.
• It’s natural that you’d want to share holiday treats with your dog. While a little taste of turkey or sweet potatoes can make your dog happy, don’t overdo it—too much of a good thing can make him sick.
Decorations are not playthings
• Keep your pet away from holiday plants, many of which are poisonous, such as holly, mistletoe, poinsettias and amaryllis (a type of lily). Also be sure all potpourri is our of your pet’s reach.
• Snow globes can contain antifreeze, which is extremely toxic to dogs. Keep any antifreeze products away from your happy, tail-wagging dog. If there is an antifreeze spill, send your dog out of the room while you clean up the liquid. Dilute the spot with water and floor cleaner to ensure your dog does not lick the area later.
• Keep electrical wires and batteries out of your pet’s reach. Chewing or biting anything electrical can cause him shock or burns.
• Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. A lit candle knocked over by a swinging tail can burn your pet or cause a fire.
Christmas trees can be hazardous
• Anchor the tree to the ceiling or wall to prevent it from tipping over.
• Hang non-breakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree.
• Avoid putting tinsel on your tree. If ingested, tinsel can twist in your dog’s intestines and be deadly.
• Don’t let your dog drink the Christmas tree water. The water may contain preservative chemicals, which can trigger severe indigestion in dogs. Stagnant plain water can breed bacteria and cause nausea or diarrhea to the pet which imbibes.
• Regularly sweep up fallen pine needles, as they can puncture holes in a dog’s intestines if ingested.
Help your dog feel safe and relaxed
• Most dogs get very excited when guests arrive. To help your dog be calmer, exercise him prior to the festivities. After 30 minutes of walking or playtime, your dog will more likely be relaxed or want to nap.
• As a general rule, don’t allow the family dog to greet unfamiliar guests since unusual activities and commotion can cause him extra stress.
• Give your dog a break from the hubbub by putting him in his crate or in a quiet room with his doggie bed. Allow him to rejoin the festivities after guests have arrived.
• Pets stressed by unfamiliar events typically pant more, so keep your dog’s water bowl filled with fresh water.
Pets like presents too!
• Help your dog stay busy and out of the holiday trimmings by giving him fun, safe gifts.
• The Buster Cube™ and Kong™ are virtually indestructible puzzle toys that reward your dog with treats and keep him well entertained.
Please don’t give a pet as a surprise gift!
A cute puppy might seem like the perfect gift choice, but many of these holiday presents end up at animal shelters. Owning a dog takes a genuine commitment of time and responsibility, and adoptive owners must be ready to participate in training and other activities. If someone you know seriously wants a dog, consider giving a leash and collar, or a dog training certificate from Bark Busters along with a note saying a dog of the recipient’s choice comes with it. This helps ensure the lucky person gets just the right pet to bring into the family.
“Following these simple tips will help make the festivities safe and happy for your whole family, including your canine companions,”
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Bark Busters, the world's largest dog training company, mission is to build a global network of dog behavioral therapists to enhance responsible dog ownership and reduce the possibility of maltreatment, abandonment and euthanasia of companion dogs.