How to Give Your Puppy a Merry and Very Healthy Holiday

Make your puppy’s holiday a healthy and happy one with these seasonally smart tips.

Decking the Halls

A playful, curious puppy will be intrigued by shiny, dangling decor—especially since so many decorations look like toys. Keep your puppy safe by placing decorations far, far out of reach. Use only unbreakable decorations that won’t splinter or shatter if chewed and that are too big to be swallowed. Be aware that the small metal hooks used to hang decorations can be swallowed, too. That goes for tinsel: the shiny strands are a chocking hazard and can cause serious intestinal distress if ingested. Keep holiday light strands out of harm’s way as well.

The Christmas Tree Cover Up

Water that keeps a Christmas tree fresh can be a hidden danger. Some tree saps are toxic, as are the chemicals often used to make trees last. Not to mention the bacteria that can grow in standing water. Keep your puppy out of harm’s way by covering the base with a tree skirt that’s not easily removed by inquisitive paws and noses.

All the Trimmings.

Gift wrap strewn around the floor poses quite a temptation for a rambunctious puppy. Clean up right after unwrapping—especially ribbons, Styrofoam and packing peanuts, as they can be a danger if swallowed. A gift ribbon tied on a puppy’s neck may make for a sweet photo op, but can also be a choking danger.

Party Pooches

A houseful of people can be stressful to puppies not used to company. People entering and exiting your home also means open doors and opportunities for escape. Make sure your pooch has up-to-date ID tags and is microchipped. But for safety’s sake, it might be smart to crate her out of the way of foot traffic, and possibly even in a separate room altogether until guests are gone, or at least until the excitement has calmed down. Puppies and children should not be left alone together unattended and unwatched. Supervise their playtime to make sure teething pups don’t unintentionally hurt children, and that children don’t play too rough with your puppy.

Stick to the usual routine

Your schedule may be topsy-turvy, but your puppy’s shouldn’t be. As much as possible, stick to regular walks, meal, training and play times, which will provide the sense of stability and regularity puppies need. And make sure to squeeze in extra time together, without the extended family, so your puppy doesn’t feel left out of the holiday fun.