Tuesday, December 14, 2010

American Kennel Club Offers Tips to Keep Your Dog Safe and Happy This Holiday Season

While it’s easy for us to enjoy household parties with friends and relatives, holidays are a special time of the year filled with many surprises. Oftentimes we forget about our little four-legged family members during the excitement and festivities. The American Kennel Club® (AKC) offers the following tips to keep your furry friends safe among the hustle and bustle this holiday season.

* Daily routines tend to change during the holidays. Maintain a feeding and walking schedule as close to your dog’s normal routine as possible.

* Avoid feeding your dog table-scraps and sweets. Chocolate contains harmful, and sometimes fatal, chemicals to canines. Poultry bones can splinter and cause intestinal blockages.

* Avoid decorations with popcorn or cranberry strands or tinsel and glass ornaments. Keep small decorations out of your dog’s reach.

* When decorating with holiday lights, remember that exposed indoor or outdoor wiring could electrocute a curious canine that chews on it. Tape wires to the wall or sides of the house.

* Real Christmas trees pose numerous threats to dogs, so consider an artificial tree. If you do buy a natural tree then make sure your dog doesn’t swallow the pine needles. Dogs also find the tree water tempting, so be sure to use pet-friendly preservatives in the water.

* Plants such as poinsettias, holly and mistletoe can be poisonous to pets and should be kept out of reach.

* Dispose of all wrapping paper, bows and ribbons as soon as presents are opened.

* Resist the urge to give your favorite dog lover a cute, cuddly puppy during the gift-giving season. Puppies are a lifetime responsibility requiring exercise, training, veterinary care and – most importantly – love and attention. Instead, consider gift wrapping dog toys or supplies such as a leash or food bowl to symbolize the gift of a dog to come.

Additional tips on how to keep your dog safe during the holidays can be found on the AKC Website at www.akc.org.

© The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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