By Steve Dale
When the house fills up with guests for the holidays, pets often receive a lot of attention, sometimes in the form of table scraps. Before Aunt Sally and Uncle Bob give your pet that extra turkey bone or bread roll, it is important to consider the dangers that can come with feeding your pet human food. Dogs are known to visit the pet ER the next day with painful and potentially even life-threatening pancreatitis or a gastro-intestinal obstruction because they got a little too much food from the dinner table or managed to swallow the full turkey bone.
Instead of leaving pets to roam around eating potentially dangerous items, feed your pup in a far-off room from behind a closed door. To ensure Fido doesn’t miss out on the traditional holiday meal, give him the next best thing to a turkey dinner, Vita Bone® Artisan Inspired® Biscuits, which come in Turkey Stuffing & Cranberry flavor and are perfect for the holiday season. Stuff a few of these biscuits into food puzzle toys (available online and at any pet store), and your dog will be busy while your family enjoys their meal.
Socializing is another big part of holiday festivities. Some dogs are social butterflies, who enjoy all the relatives – maybe even more than you do. But not all dogs are fans of crowds. When the doorbell is repeatedly ringing and strangers are entering the home, some dogs become worried or anxious. The best favor you can do is to place your pup in a secluded room, so your visitors aren’t repeatedly barked at and your dog can have a chance to calm his frazzled canine nerves.
With all your guests coming and going, there is also a higher chance your dog could escape, whether they want to run away or simply play outside. Either way, that’s not what any pet caretaker wants to deal with. One way to keep your dog from the door is to place him in a secluded room, turn up the stereo and play Spotify’s calming music for dogs or check out any number of other sites, including www.icalmpet.com.
Typically, you know in advance when you will be hosting a crowd. Several days before the event, plug in an Adaptil pheromone diffuser in the sanctuary room. Mother dogs deliver an appeasing and calming pheromone in their milk when they nurse and Adaptil is a copy of that pheromone. This is a natural way to lower your pet’s anxiety. Still, if your dog continues to be nervous about all those visitors, speak with your veterinarian about a nutritional supplement like Zylkene or Zentrol, or even a prescription for a pharmaceutical anti-anxiety medication. But when our pets feel it chronically or even for hours at a time when there’s a better option – that better option makes sense.
This holiday season, don’t forget about your pets. Keeping them away from table scraps and loud guests who may startle them is a great start to providing them a safe, fun holiday. After all, our best friends deserve a good holiday too!