The holiday season can be a fun and hectic time for the whole family, and just like young children, your pets will feel the effects of all the excitement. Cooking, shopping, relatives visiting and traveling will disrupt your pets comfortable routine. He will need to have his place, whether it be a crate or a room out of the way, where he can feel safe and secure. Remember, not all your guests will like dogs and your dog may not like all your guests! If your dog is going to be able to mingle with family and friends, ask them not to feed your dog any treats. Rich, spicy food, chocolate and fatty foods, can all cause gastric upset.
All the pretty ornaments and decorations can be very tempting for your dog, either to play with, chew on or eat. Keep live greens and plants off the floor and out of reach. It may be a good idea to tie your tree down so it cannot be tipped over. One year we had a 13 foot tall tree and while we were out, our Lab knocked it over…what a mess! Use unbreakable ornaments on the lower branches of your tree and avoid using tinsel or garland where your dog can reach it. Of course the best solution is to train your dog to stay away from the tree, but it may just be too tempting for even the most angelic of pooches.
If you have children opening presents with lots of parts, make sure they keep all the pieces together and off the floor. There are any number of toys or even socks and gloves that your dog can ingest. The last thing you want to do on your holiday is make a trip to the emergency vet. Another potential danger is your dog escaping out the door as guests are arriving or leaving. Be aware if your pup is likely to make a run for it and keep him safely secured.
If you are going to travel with your best furry friend, make arrangements well in advance. Have a copy of your dogs vaccination record and make sure he has a collar with a tag listing your name and phone number. Bring his bed or blanket and favorite toys. The best way for your dog to travel buy car is in a harness or in his crate. You should have his crate with your so he can sleep there or just hang out there if he needs quiet time. If you are not staying with family, there are now many hotel chains that are pet friendly. Look online and call ahead to find out the specifics. Do not plan to sedate or medicate your dog for travel unless your veterinarian recommends it.
Air travel with your pet has become easier, especially if you have a small dog that can travel in the cabin under your seat. Again, check with the airline for their rules and restrictions. Remember no one wants to hear your dog barking all the way to grandmothers house. If your dog needs to fly cargo, your flight plan will need to be made based on the airlines live cargo restrictions. Call ahead or look online for the airlines information on flying your pet in cargo. We have sent puppies to different parts of the country and have never had a problem. The airline we use is extremely capable and well organized and take good care of the pups. Size restrictions on the crate as well as temperature restrictions can impact your flight plans.
With some extra care and planning ahead, your holiday season can be safe and enjoyable for the whole family, four-legged members included.