Preparing for the Pawlidays - Dog Star Ranch

Preparing for the Pawlidays

Between cleaning the house, meal prepping, and preparing for your guests to arrive, it’s important to remember to prep your fur-friend for the festivities as well. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind during the holiday:

1. Avoid Feeding Table Scraps

As tempting as it might be to fix your pup a plate of delicious human food, it can wreck havoc on their system. It’s also important to watch out for counter surfers and food bandits as well, so be sure to remove the temptation from counters and tables. There are a lot of foods that are toxic/harmful to pets that you should avoid, such as: chocolate, onions, garlic, xylitol, caffeine, alcohol, nuts, grapes/raisins, fatty foods, mushrooms, and dairy. What about the cooked bone? Nope, cooked bones can splinter into shards that can cause choking or serious damage to the mouth, throat, or intestines. To avoid cleaning up diarrhea, vomiting, or a visit to the emergency vet, we recommend sticking to your pups regular diet.

2. Be Careful Where You Leave Presents

Even Santa Claus has to make sure that his reindeer don’t get to the presents. It doesn’t matter how well a present is wrapped, a pup will find a way! It’s a good idea to keep presents behind closed doors or up high where they can’t be reached.

3. Hide Electrical Cords

To prevent your pup from chewing up electrical cords, which could cause burns to their mouth from electrical shock, consider covering them with cord covers or use battery-powered holiday lights.

4. Pet Proof the Tree

When it comes to decorating the tree, there are a few things to take into consideration to make sure that you, your pup, and the tree stay safe. Here is a list of safety tips to help you pet proof your tree:

– Secure it: This will prevent your tree from accidentally falling or getting knocked over by a rambunctious pet.

– Be careful of fallen needles: Whether you are Team Real or Team Fake, fallen needles could become a problem if ingested. Fallen needles from both live and artificial trees can cause intestinal obstruction or puncture the gastrointestinal tract. Oils from certain real trees could also cause mouth and stomach irritation. 

– Don’t let them drink the water: It’s a good idea to limit access to the water reservoir, especially if you add aspirin or other preservers to the water. Some trees are also treated with preservatives, pesticides, and fertilizers that can be harmful to pets.

– Ornaments: Secure fragile ornaments high in the tree, or use plastic or shatterproof ornaments instead. Avoid scented or edible decorations; the tree is already enticing enough as it is, best not to tempt your pup even more. Use plastic hooks or hang ornaments using ribbons or yarn instead of metal hooks, which can cause trouble if swallowed.

– Avoid tinsel: When ingested, tinsel can cause blockage or become wrapped around the intestines. Surgical intervention is almost always required to remove ingested tinsel.

– Pet-proof barrier: This easy fix will hinder your pet from getting to the tree. You can use a child’s playpen, Amazon sells Christmas Tree Fences, or Pinterest has a lot of creative and festive DIY options as well.

5. Avoid Toxic Holiday Plants

Certain holiday plants, such as: Poinsettia’s, Holly, or Mistletoe can be poisonous to pets when ingested. Poinsettia’s can cause irritation to the mouth and esophagus, as well as nausea and vomiting. Holly and Mistletoe contain multiple substances that have a greater toxicity to pets that can cause intestinal upset, vomiting and diarrhea, excessive drooling, and abdominal pain.

6. House Rules

Just like you, pets can get stressed and anxious about schedule changes and visitors too! It’s important to try and maintain a consistent feeding and exercise schedule with your pup. Inform guests ahead of time if your pet will be joining the festivities. Let your guests know how to greet your dog, the rules you have in place, and that you expect your pup to mind their manners. Provide your pup with a safe “getaway”, this can be any room in your home just as long as it is somewhere that your pet won’t be disturbed.

Consider bringing your dog to daycare leading up to the holiday. Not only will this provide them with entertainment and exercise, but it will also help them destress and burn off any extra energy. Or, if your pet is nervous or anxious around visitors, consider boarding them. Boarding your pup will give you peace of mind knowing that they are in an environment that is stress-free and safe.

Holiday Tips provided by:

“May the Christmas season fill your home with joy, your heart with love, and your life with laughter.” – Anonymous


  1. Star Buddy | | Reply

    Have tips and tricks when it comes to saving your tree from curious pets? Post them in the comments! We’d love to hear them.

  2. Sue Siwicke | | Reply

    Great idea! Hope this subscribes me. We now live permanently in Texas but miss your Ranch and services SO much. Nothing even close down here.

  3. Beth McGough | | Reply

    I had a shiba inu that would make the tree skirt her personal dog bed. It was very cute! With a bigger dog these days we are sure to hang the delicate ornaments high so they don’t get in the way of a wagging tail.

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