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The holidays are here! We love seeing cute seasonal photos of dogs and cats. In fact, some of our patients have been sending us holiday cards for years. As your pup ages, you may want to make some adjustments to his holiday routine. Read on as a local Oconomowoc, WI vet offers a few tips on getting Fido safely through the holidays.
When shopping for your canine buddy, opt for gifts that will help keep him comfortable. Good beds are a definite must for older dogs. Your pup may also appreciate things like pet ramps, elevated dishes, or soft toys. Your vet can also recommend supplements, treats, or vitamins that were made specifically for older pups.
We know, food is a huge part of many holiday traditions. It’s also easy to want to spoil your furry best friend by giving him yummy treats. However, older dogs often have very sensitive stomachs, and can actually get quite sick from eating too many fatty foods. Stick to things you know are safe for Fido, like plain, cooked turkey, without the skin, bones, or fat. If you’re hosting celebrations, ask your guests not to feed your pup without checking with you first.
Dogs tend to thrive when they are on a set schedule. In fact, Man’s Best Friend is very much a creature of habit. Disruptions to your pup’s normal life and schedule can be quite stressful for him. This includes things like decorations, travel, guests, noises, and general commotion. If your dog seems stressed or undeasy, pay extra attention to him, and make sure he feels loved and safe.
While older dogs aren’t as playful as puppies are, they can still get into mischief. Toxic plants are one concern. Many of those classic holiday fixtures, such as holly, ivy, mistletoe, and poinsettias, are poisonous to dogs! You’ll also want to be careful with candles, fireplaces, and even potpourri burners.
Senior dogs can be quite sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Try to avoid taking Fido from warm to cold areas very often. If your canine pal has thin fur, he may also need a jacket on chilly days. Also, make sure that your pup’s bed isn’t in a drafty spot.
Happy Holidays! Please reach out to us if ever we can be of assistance. As your Oconomowoc, WI animal hospital, we are here to help!