It’s the holiday season and there is so much to do! There are things to buy and decorate; people to see and places to go; and things to cook, bake and serve. The last thing you need is some sort of pet-related disaster to encounter. As you know, there is always a natural uptick in activity during the holidays. Especially as we have different events from last year where we are starting to see loved ones again. As you are planning a magical holiday, here are some pressure points to take note of and how to relieve them. We have the Top 5 disasters to avoid during the holiday season AND a free Dog Christmas Printable gifts just for reading this blog post!
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1. Holiday Decorations = Furry Frustrations
We agree: the holidays without all the beautiful decorations just wouldn’t be the same. You know your dog is really wanting to eat some of the new decorations. But just like children, your pets don’t want to get into trouble. Plan on how to handle it so you aren’t taken by surprise when it happens.
There are some serious no-nos for your pet: be sure there is nothing your dog can eat to make them sick. Some main offenders include tinsel on the tree, fake berries made of styrofoam which can get stuck in their throats and definitely keep Poinsettias up high as they can be toxic to pets. One trick an avid dog mom uses is not putting all the ornaments on the tree at first. The most beauiful glass ornaments are added a week before Chirstmas, after the dog is more used to the tree to prevent them from being knocked off and broken.
2. Make Time for Your Pet
Those of us honored to work at Parnell Living Science, the makers of Glyde™ Mobility Chews, are actually a very organized bunch. But we all agree: during the holidays it’s impossible to keep everything in order. We are just like you trying for a magical season. This takes valuable time away from what we really need to focus on which is quality time with loved ones. This includes your pet as well. Are you dashing from one project to the next without making time for your fur-baby? By taking time to step back and let some things go, you will enjoy more of what you are trying to create. There is nothing better than sitting with your dog in your lap and relaxing to calm your own stresses and give them the attention they deserve. This will also avoid your dog from getting bored and eating the presents under the tree while you are out.
3. Too Much Food
There is more good food to eat during the holidays than at any other time of year. Be sure not to fall into the habit of sharing too much with your beloved family dog or cat. Just like humans, your dog does not need a few extra pounds from the holidays. Some say the average man and woman can gain as much as 5 pounds over the holidays. In dog terms, it is a bigger issue. According to the non-profit organization, Pet Obesity Prevention, one pound can increase the overweight percentage of a dog by 3-5%, which in turn harms your dog’s health. On the organization’s website, you can find weight translator charts. Stick with healthy snacks whenever you can for you both. Then you won't feel guilty when you indulge.
There are also family feasts. If you aren't sure what your dog can and can't eat, be sure to check out our blog: "Thanksgiving Feast: What Your Dog Can and Can't Have" which goes through the foods your pets should and should not eat.
4. Less Exercise
The health benefits for you and your dog taking a walk during the stressful holiday season is tremendous. If your dog is at home all day, and you stay home all night, your dog can get cabin fever. Most dogs need to be outdoors for exercise. As the days get shorter and colder, they stay inside more. If you notice your dog misbehaving and chewing up your holiday wrapping paper, it may be they are simply bored and need to get out for exercise. Indulge them, because as you get outside in the cold air, your body will release good serotonin and relieve seasonal stress.
5. Lost in The Chaos
Dr. Seuss said it best in How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but it is very true: “Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!”
Family visiting, talking, laughter, doorbells, holiday music, vacuums, pots, and pans banging – this is all a lot of stress for people and dogs alike. People visiting and unloading things from the car means the doors may be open more than usual. Don't let Fido slip out and get lost during the Christmas shuffle. Always have someone attending to the dog while people unload to be sure they don't run away given the chance. This is a problem more for folks with certain breeds like hounds, ready for the hunt or shepherds wanting to herd.
Be sure to schedule peaceful moments in your day, every day. Nothing calms us more than time with our pets. The best peace of all is knowing our fur-babies love us no matter if we burn the cookies. If you are truly in the mix of getting ready, let a family member be in charge of your fur-baby and take them for a walk. Or put them in their kennel or the room they enjoy most to get away from it all while you are busy with last-minute details.
6. Don't forget your Dog supplements, meds
Bonus reminder: we can't forget the pet health routine! The holidays are a busy time. Do not forget the health of your dog, especially if it includes supplements and medication. If you are giving your dog a joint supplement such as Glyde™ Mobility Chews, do not lose the momentum you gained when you gave it in a timely manner. Glyde works best when it's given every day. All supplements and medications are like that. The last thing you don't want is to take two steps back, after taking a step forward when you forgot to give your dog their supplements and medications. Be sure you have set a reminder on your phone to make sure you don't forget!
No matter what: enjoy the holiday season with those you love, which certainly includes those fur-babies!