Keeping Your Dog Safe and Healthy During the Holiday Season
by Tudor Nikolas on Nov 05, 2023.
The holiday season can certainly be one of the most anticipated time of the year for us. It can also be the most hectic. For our furry friends, it's essential to remember that they can be indirectly affected by all the changes that are happening at home.
At Fetched, we believe every dog deserves a joyous and safe holiday experience, which starts with their owners being informed.
For the rest of the article, we are going to cover common holiday hazards and how to avoid them.
Ah, look at that crackling..
Or that amazing desert..
Oh my... What a succulent turkey!
The holiday feast can be a challenging time for pups and adult dogs. The house gets filled with mesmerising smells and flavours both in preparation and during the main holiday meals.
What is a hungry pup meant to do?
Avoid dog obesity
While we might be tempted to share a morsel or two with our eager-eyed pups, some of these foods can be harmful, even toxic for them. We must also remember that having extra calories in addition to their usual daily meal, is not going to benefit most dogs.
Dog obesity is more common than we think, and the number of obese dogs only appears to be going up. Almost 80% of vets agree with this sentiment. The trend seems to also follow the increase in human obesity, which is not surprising.
Avoid toxic foods
Besides the risk of obesity in your dog, certain foods can be directly harmful for them.
Chocolate, for instance, contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Grapes, raisins, and certain nuts can also be harmful.
Chocolate hanging down from the Christmas tree can be a particular concern as your dog could easily grab this and eat it straight away. The risks are even higher if it comes wrapped in aluminium foil. If this gets stuck inside the gastrointestinal system, it could lead to an obstruction requiring surgery.
The best way to avoid an expensive trip to the vet and risking your dog's life is to avoid hanging chocolate on your Christmas tree. If you really want to, then place it higher up and ensure it's safe and secure.
The glitter and shine of holiday decorations can be irresistible to our curious canines. However, the decorations both for the tree and the ones that go around the house could be hazardous.
For example, tinsel, can be a choking hazard if swallowed. Or depending on the size of your pup, it could even cause intestinal blockage since it will not get broken down by stomach acid.
The smaller ornaments you use for the tree could also be choking hazards or have sharp edges. This applies especially to glass ornaments or those with any sharp or pointy parts.
What about those beautiful lit candles? They can be knocked over by a wagging tail, causing burns or even starting a fire.
Remember to always keep such decorations away from doggy level. Cats can also cause problems even when the candles are on shelves or on a table, so it’s best not to leave lit candles when you’re not in the room.
Most plants are safe for animals, dogs and cats included. However, some traditional holiday plants are toxic to dogs.
For example, Poinsettias, while not deadly, can cause mouth and stomach irritation.
Mistletoe and Holly can also cause gastrointestinal irritation, nausea and vomiting. In high concentrations, they could even cause other more serious problems.
If you do find that your dog has eaten any of these plants leaves or flowers, contact your vet immediately for more advice.
The Holiday Stress
Having covered the physical potential hazards, what about the physiological side?
The constant commotion, ringing doorbells, and influx of visitors can be overwhelming for our dogs... and we're only just in the midst of the fireworks season. I guess you could compare most dogs to an introverted person. Excessive interaction with new people and noises all the time can be anxiety inducing.
Consider setting up a quiet space for your dog. This should have familiar toys, their bed, and even the occasional treat. Dog calming supplements such as our natural CALM. food topper could also lower your dog’s stress levels.
This quiet space, especially if it’s in less frequented area, can be a haven for your dog when things get too hectic.
Furthermore, the natural lemon balm form our supplement could help with your dog's cognition and calmness at the same time according to these two studies. The latter study showed an improvement in anxiety symptoms in both mice and humans.
As much as 95% of subjects (19/20) responded to treatment, of which 70% (14/20) achieved full remission for anxiety, 85% (17/20) for insomnia, and 70% (14/20) for both.
Unfortunately there haven't been many studies done on dogs, but other animals and humans can always be used as proxies.
Dog Christmas Presents
What would Christmas be without presents?!
Of course we wouldn't want our dogs to be left out on Christmas day when everyone unwraps their Christmas stockings.
If you're unsure what to get for your dog, we have a few bundles and suggestions that you can choose from.
First off is our dog advent calendar. This has homemade biscuits and healthy macarons that your pooch is going to love.
We also have dog hamper baskets and various supplement bundles that you can choose from in our store.