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26 tips to keep your dog safe over the holidays

26 tips to keep your dog safe over the holidays

How to increase your chances of spending the holidays at a veterinary emergency clinic
My team requested that I write about what foods are toxic for dogs, and how to make a festive dog meal for the holidays. When I am asked to do something like this, I confess I feel like a teenager who was told to do his homework. I find it booooring! 🤣

Instead, I decided to ask you for some ideas around dos and don'ts with dogs around the holidays, and my team and I have made them into a parody, interwoven with some legitimate warnings. You will find the video below, so please keep reading!
How to ensure you spend your holiday season with your vet
A not so serious list on the serious topic of toxicity and holiday emergencies
  1. Teach your dog the right moves so he can knock your Christmas tree down as soon as you finish decorating it. If your dog is a smart cookie, you can teach him/her how to pull the tree down with a plugged in electrical cord.
  2. Let your dog bite and chew on Christmas ornaments, allow a little sparkle in his life!
  3. Entrust your dog with babysitting your children, grandchildren, or the turkey, when you need to do some last minute shopping. If you are super caring, leave a smorgasbord of food on the coffee table so they all can help themselves when hungry.
  4. Leave chocolate readily accessible around the house, the darker the better. ¹
  5. Ensure that you add raisins to the snack tray if you want to increase the chances of spending the holidays with your vet.²
  6. Leave your purse on the floor for better access and 100% satisfaction during your dog’s purse chewing experience. If you are a perfectionist, place a piece of parmesan cheese in the purse to guarantee results!
  7. Offer your dog xylitol sweetened chewing gum and other products with Xylitol.³
  8. If your dog is a runner and loves to chase a ball, make sure he does so on a full stomach as it improves the chances of stomach bloat.⁴
  9. Leave eggnog, beer, and other spirits easily accessible so your dog can join in on the holiday festivities. After all, dogs don't drive!
  10. Blast your music at the highest volume. If you do this often enough, your dog will eventually stop hearing when you argue with your family members.
  11. Buy the cheapest and largest possible treats and toys made in China. Buy them from companies with a history of tainted products to increase the chances of toxicity.
  12. Make sure that you take your dog to the local firework hotspot on New Years Eve, especially if they don't like loud noises and fireworks.⁵
  13. Give your dog a whole bunch of cooked indigestible bones to ensure you spend the holidays with your veterinarian.⁶
  14. Allow your dog free access to all kitchen counters. Even better, purchase steps and place them strategically in the kitchen for an easier counter surfing experience!
  15. Leave potato chip bags accessible. Dogs love oxygen depletion when the bag gets stuck on their head.⁷
  16. Instruct your family member that they must teach your dog how to beg by sharing their dinner with your dog. If they refuse to share, send them to the local McDonalds and offer your dog what is left on their plate.⁸
  17. Ensure that every time visitors ring your door bell, your dog is let out the door to roam the neighbourhood and get some fresh air. This gives them the opportunity to test the latest emergency breaking systems of cars on the road. Plus, if you have a cute puppy, perhaps someone else is looking for a last minute gift for their family, and your cute puppy fits their plans perfectly.
  18. Whenever your dog stays home alone, make sure you leave their collars and harnesses on to increase the chances of your dog getting injured or catching their jaw in the collar.
  19. If you are going away, find the lowest rated dog kennel in your area on Google and send your dog to spend holidays locked up away from home. Never leave your dog with people he knows and loves. After all, he just needs to toughen up!
  20. Go through the list of toxic plants and make sure you place your poinsettia within your dog’s reach.
  21. Ensure that you disinfect the hell out of your place so superbugs have free range to spread and multiply.¹⁰
  22. Never ever use natural cleaners in your house, especially when cleaning before the holidays. A good load of toxic chemicals is good for you and your dog to train your liver and immune system for a more effective defence.
  23. If you are visiting friends and family, make sure your dog comes into their home nice and muddy. There is nothing cuter than having paw prints on a freshly cleaned carpet. If your friends object to this original paw-print dog art, make sure you tell them their carpet is ugly and that they do not understand contemporary art. Then leave immediately.
  24. When you are buying food, always go for the cheapest possible kibble. Make sure that the packaging is brightly coloured and the ingredients include corn, starches, rendered fat, meat by-products and so-called 'pink slime' (mechanically separated meat). Make sure that you believe everything that is written on the pet food bag.
  25. When you are giving your dog supplements and vitamins, make sure that you buy cheap vitamins that are made from crude oil and coal which includes most of them. There is no reason to give highly rated all natural fermented supplements. Who needs a healthy and mobile dog with a shiny coat?
  26. Make sure that a "ball-chucker" and tennis balls are under the Christmas tree for your dog, and throw them until your dog is totally exhausted and his teeth are worn down to nothing from the abrasive tennis ball fibres.

Thank you for reading these 26 tips on what not to do, and for sharing them with those you care about.

Dr. Peter Dobias



PS:  Now seriously, please read the following footnotes and click on links for the "sarcasm free" information.

¹ Chocolate is toxic to dogs.
² Raisins and Grapes are severely toxic to dogs and cause acute kidney failure.
³ Xylitol can cause life-threatening hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) and liver disease.
⁴ Never feed your dog before exercise to avoid stomach bloat.
⁵ If your dog is afraid of fireworks, try homeopathic remedy Aconitum Napellus 200 C (200CH) doses given 4 and 2 hours before fireworks.
⁶ Never, ever feed cooked bones as they are not digestible. Raw bones are fine for dogs - more info here.
⁷ Snack and other plastic bags pose a risk of injury and suffocation.
⁸ For information on what parts of your turkey dinner are ok for your dog click here.
⁹ Poinsettias are toxic to dogs - when ingested, they can cause mild symptoms of vomiting, excessive salivation, and diarrhea.
¹⁰ Learn why you should not use toxic chemical cleaners in your household here.

About the author

Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM is an Integrative veterinarian, nutritionist and creator of natural supplements for dogs and people. Helping you and your dog prevent disease, treat nutritional deficiencies, and enjoy happier, healthier, and longer lives together.

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