Dog Days of Saratoga

November 2010 Archives

Dogs and Holidays

Because your dog is special to you, you want him to share all the special times in your life, including holidays. Here are some ways, according to the American Kennel Club, to keep your dog safe and happy during those festive times.

General Tips

  • Stick as closely as possible to your normal routine. Try not to vary your dog's feeding, walking, and playtime schedule.
  • Don't give your dog scraps from the holiday buffet. Cookies and pies,stuffing, potato chips and fancy hors d'oeuvres, are inappropriate foods for dogs and may make them sick.
  • If you host a party, remember that some guests may be uncomfortable around dogs. Your dog may, in turn, be uncomfortable or frightened around a large group of unfamiliar people. You may want to confine him in a crate or a room that will not be used by guests. Otherwise, keep him by your side, or with another family member, to keep him from getting into trouble or underfoot.
  • No matter how fun the party gets, never ever give your dog alcohol.
  • Thanksgiving

    • Turkey bones can pose a choking hazard for dogs. Do not give turkey bones to your dog.
    • Keep an eye on the holiday table and secure leftovers and garbage to prevent your dog from foraging among the holiday foods.


    • Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.
    • Do not put lights on the lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn your dog.
    • Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
    • Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog's feet or mouth.
    • Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
    • Keep other ornaments off the lower branches; if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he can be made sick by the materials or paint.
    • Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off (with a playpen or other "fence") or in a room that is not accessible to your dog.
    • Tinsel can be dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
    • Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog's wagging tail.

    But most of all ENJOY the Holidays with the ones you love...both human and CANINE!!


 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has issued several tips to keep dogs safe as temperatures begin to drop and as holiday baking and decorating abound.

Keep dogs warm and dry. Pets should have a warm place to sleep that's off the floor and away from drafts. Wipe dogs' legs and stomach when they come inside from the snow, sleet or ice. Don't leave dogs alone in parked cars, as temperatures can fall quickly in a short period of time.

Clean up after yourself. Coolant and antifreeze are toxic to dogs. Pet owners should thoroughly clean up any vehicle spills and be aware of melting ice that may be contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Keep pets close. Dogs should be kept on a leash during inclement weather as they can more easily become lost; make sure dogs' identification tags are up-to-date.

Keep pets on their regular diets. As the season filled with treats and goodies approaches, pets should remain on their normal diets. Changes can affect their digestive system causing indigestion and diarrhea.

Keep alcoholic beverages out of pets' reach. If dogs accidentally ingest alcohol, they can become sick and weak.

Consider dogs when decorating for holidays. Lilies, mistletoe and holiday berries can be toxic for pets. And decorations such as ribbons and tinsel can cause intestinal obstruction if swallowed.

If a dog has accidentally ingested a harmful substance, contact a veterinarian immediately.

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Melanie Dallas

Melanie Dallas is the owner of Sloppy Kisses, the area's premier dog bakery and designer pet boutique with locations in Saratoga Springs and Clifton Park, N.Y. A retail shop owner since 1997, she opened her first pet boutique in 2006. The second boutique opened in March of 2009. Strong motivation and a dedication to marketing have made Dallas a success in the pet product business. Melanie resides in Wilton with her husband Eugene , her 2 daughters Madison & Ava and her 13 1/2 yr old Chocolate Lab Marley. Read her blog about everything doggie-related in the Saratoga area.