A helping hand for your pet this holiday season

Originally published in the Rolesville Buzz
November 2013

Traveling with my dogs is a frequent occurrence in my life, but for some it’s a holiday event. And with the holidays almost upon us we want to make it a no-stress, fun filled adventure. Whether having family dinner at home or traveling to Grandma’s house, there are many things you can do to make you holiday more enjoyable for the whole family including Fido.

Crates and harnesses in the car in the car are a must. The ASPCA reports that unrestrained pets are responsible for more than 30,000 accidents every year. So take time to buckle up … both you and your pet.

Fido loves his regular routine and often show signs of discomfort when his routine is interrupted. Even though you want to hang out in your jammies a bit longer and sip your coffee during the holidays, just don’t forget to keep you fur baby on schedule. It will keep him more settled when you want to have more family time.

Mom is cooking, the turkey is in the oven and Fido will not leave the kitchen. A dog’s sense of smell is its primary sense. It is estimated to be 100,000 times better than a human’s. Just imagine how good that turkey smells to your dog. But no matter how much Fluffy begs, Thanksgiving dinner is not always full of healthy goodies for him.

Many delicious holiday fixings contain ingredients and seasonings, or are prepared in such a way that makes them very unhealthy or even potentially toxic to your pet. So it is always best to just say no to Fido.

But, you can keep healthy doggie treats or something that you prepared especially for your dog on the table to feed him that when he begs and flashes you those big brown puppy eyes. Don’t hesitate to ask guests to not feed him table food. Instead, guide them to the Thanksgiving doggie dinner. This can be a little turkey cooked separately with doggie-approved veggies served on a special platter. Make sure to let the turkey cool and remove all of the bones. Voila; now Fido and Fluffy feel special also.

After dinner it’s very easy to want to just take a nap. But snap on your dog’s leash and get out there for a nice walk. This is great exercise for you after eating a huge dinner, and a great treat for your pooch. Make it special. Go a different way or go for a longer walk. Just make sure you get that walk in and burn a few calories.

Wishing you and your furry family members a Happy Thanksgiving.