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Getting Ready for the Holidays…

It is truly the most wonderful time of the year! But as we prepare for the holidays, it’s important to consider how holiday plans will affect the four-legged members of the family. To ensure that everyone has a joyful memory of the holiday season, we’d like to share a few tips for keeping your dog safe.

Plants: Toxic or Not?

A home full of greenery is one of the simple joys of winter, but unfortunately many of the traditional choices are mildly or moderately toxic to our dogs. Highest on the spectrum of toxicity is mistletoe, but as long as it’s kept up high, as per tradition, everyone should stay healthy! Holly, amaryllis, rosemary, and daffodils are also considered poisonous to pets. And if possible, try to keep the dogs away from any poinsettias and Christmas tree residue (sap, pine needles), which are considered mildly toxic.

Ooh, Shiny!

We love a sparkly home as much as you do – but so do the animals! Tinsel is one of the top choices in holiday décor, but a quick chew of this favorite product can easily lead to an obstructed digestive tract and cause a number of health complications for your dog, including vomiting, dehydration, and the need for potential surgery. Keep the tinsel up high and tied tightly to avoid easy access. The same rules apply for any delicate ornaments that could break into sharp pieces and cause injury if consumed.

Burn, Baby, Burn

“Winter” is synonymous with “cozy,” and nothing says cozy like a scented candle – especially balsam fir. But an open flame is intriguing for dogs and an obvious fire hazard, so keep your candles on stable surfaces that are out of reach. If you’re leaving the room, be safe and just blow it out!

I Want Candy

And so do they! But it’s not good for them. Everything from hot chocolate to cakes and candies are potentially toxic for dogs. Chocolate in all forms is always toxic. Additionally, candies with the sugar substitute xylitol can cause illness in pets. Keep the sweet treats far out of reach to avoid any potential medical ailments. The same rules apply for holiday meals. Fatty or spicy foods should not be shared under the table, and ingested alcohol can cause health complications in your dog.

Let’s Party

We love a good celebration, but too much noise or crowded rooms can cause serious stress to dogs. If necessary, designate a room in the house that’s theirs for the night to avoid any potential issues. And make sure to clean up at the end of the night for all of the above-mentioned reasons. If you observe them ingesting any festive greenery or décor, or displaying unusual or sick-like behavior, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Holiday Gift Suggestions

Now for the fun stuff! If you’re looking to fill your pet’s stocking or need a gift for a new pet owner, please take a look at our suggested products here: Atlantic K9 Shopping Guide

And as always, please remember to share with your fellow pet-owners 🙂

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