helping pets avoid holiday pounds – part 2

Posted by Dr. Ernie Ward on Dec 20 2013

Last week I gave you some advice about which treats pets can eat during holiday feasts. Today, I’d like to offer some safety tips to keep holidays happy:

Don’t Be a Bonehead

A word about left-overs, especially turkey bones. Don't do it. The three days following a major holiday are replete with emergency surgeries to remove all varieties of boney fragments from dogs that didn't know better. You do.

Don't risk injury no matter how big or seemingly safe the bone may be. Don't do it even though your Aunt Myrtle has been giving her eighty-seven dogs bones all their lives and never had a problem. Buy a chew toy instead.

Hidden Hazards

Other holiday hazards we often forget about include those almost-empty cocktails that can wait until morning to be put in the dishwasher. As you slumber your kitties are canvassing the celebratory carnage and seem to be especially fond of sampling alcohol. Alcohol can be deadly to cats and dogs. Put everything away before you retire or you may stumble downstairs to discover a seriously ill pet (talk about a buzz-kill!).

Also be sure to secure any second helpings from counter surfers. How many times must we be awakened by the sound of crashing crystal after our curious canines were scouring the premises for scraps? Okay, maybe that's happened to me a time or three. Candles, ribbons, table runners and other decorations can be irresistible to pets and darn-near impossible to pass without surgical intervention. Did I mention I had to remove at least three ash-tray's worth of cigarette butts and who knows what else from a crazed Corgi one year? Some dogs take clean-up duty way too seriously.

Exercise Off the Excess

My final tip for trimming excess holiday pounds from your pets is exercise. I know you'll be crazy-busy with guests and preparations but be sure to set aside a few minutes each day for one-on-one time with your pets. Nothing beats holiday stress and the accompanying eating urges better than a brisk half-hour walk. Make it your goal this holiday to walk your dog each day regardless of weather or worries. You'll both feel better and be healthier for it.

I encourage everyone to share good times with their pets; just make healthy choices this holiday season. Try this approach and see if both you and your pet aren't healthier, happier and perhaps a bit lighter when the New Year begins. Besides, that makes your resolutions that much easier!