How to Keep Pets Happy and Healthy this Holiday Season

(Family Features) The holiday season means fun and festivities for all, but getting wrapped up in all the excitement and celebrations can lead to forgetting about safety and precautions, especially for pets.

Consider these seven tips to help you spot potential hazards around the holidays and keep your pets healthy and happy.

Food for Thought: Sweet treats and savory bites are treasured holiday pastimes for humans, but that can also mean things like chocolates, nuts and animal bones should be supervised carefully so your pets don’t ingest something toxic or harmful. Other human foods to put on the do-not-share list include garlic, onions and grapes. It’s also wise to keep your trash in a tightly sealed container or hidden somewhere your pet can’t access.

Keep Calm and Carry On: The holiday season brings people together for milestones and celebrations, but all the hoopla can be stressful for pets. From the loud music and new visitors to kids running around or fireworks going off, some pets can become overwhelmed. To help keep your pets comfortable and calm, try turning on a TV or some soothing music in a quiet room away from the noises or let them curl up on their favorite bed with a toy or treat to distract them. You can also try introducing a calming supplement like Zesty Paws Calming Bites for Dogs that may help with normal stress, nervousness and hyperactivity during stressful situations.

Watch Out for Tree Trimmings and Poisonous Plants: While poinsettias and festive fir trees are holiday classics, they can also be extremely hazardous to pets. It’s important to be careful about what you’re bringing inside your home. Many holiday plants like holly, lilies, amaryllis and even pine needles from trees can be toxic if ingested. If ingestion does occur, contact a pet poison hotline or your veterinarian. If it’s after hours or in the event of an emergency, find your nearest 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic.

Watch the Weather: Changing temperatures and harsh conditions can wreak havoc on human skin, so it’s no surprise it can also affect pets’ skin and coats. You can try reducing their bathing frequency, keeping up with brushings and providing extra hydration to keep them feeling their best. Another way to keep your pet’s skin and coat healthy is to add supplements that contain essential fatty acids. A fish oil, like Zesty Paws Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil, provides omega-3s for dogs to help nourish their skin and coats.

Stick to a Routine: Pets thrive on routines for feeding, potty breaks and exercise, so be conscious of how your holiday plans may shake things up. Try to stick to your regular schedule as closely as possible or consider asking a friend or relative to help if you’ll be away during regular feeding or outdoor break times.

Spend Some Quality Time: In addition to providing companionship and love, spending time with pets can also reduce stress, anxiety and depression; ease loneliness; and encourage exercise and playfulness. Even though you may be traveling or partying with friends, be sure to spend some quality time with your fur babies this holiday season, too.

Give Them Gifts: Humans aren’t the only ones who love to get gifts. Few things beat the look on dog’s faces when you pull out a new toy or treat for them to enjoy. Whether it’s a new leash, ball or cozy bed, be sure you have a little something to give your furry family members this holiday season as well.

For more information and ways to keep your pets happy and healthy, visit


Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family with dog)



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