Keeping the Dog SAFE during the Holidays

image by Sadie Hart

image by Sadie Hart

The holidays are a wonderful time for families and friends to get together, celebrate, eat and be merry; but all this merry making can be a stressful time for your pets! Being aware of their surroundings, allergies and stresses is important to remember in order to make the holidays an enjoyable experience for you and for your pet. Follow these helpful tips in order for you and you dog to have a happy & safe holiday this year:

–          Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.

–          Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.

–          Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.

–          Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach (EAT) them.

–          Let’s not forget the felines’- watch that low hanging tree ornaments are not breakable as kitty may not be able to resist swatting at them!

While Christmas and Hanukah are right around the corner, there are holidays all year long to be celebrated. You can find more safety tips during other holidays as well at American Kennel Club.

 While the holidays are usually a time for fun and cheer, our pets can sometimes become overwhelmed with all the hustle and bustle. Whether it’s more people at the house than usual or changes in their schedule, this time of year can make them more stressed than joyful.

“Try to maintain a consistent routine including feeding and exercise schedules. Pets, especially dogs, can get “cooped up” during the winter, so it is important to make sure they get plenty of exercise and enrichment,” says Dr. Meghan Herron, Clinical Assistant Professor at Ohio State University.

Dr Herron goes on to say “Some animals are not comfortable with strangers, so if you plan to have visitors, provide a “safe haven” for your pets. This can be a room where pets can retreat to and enjoy toys and food enrichment. When pets are in this area, try to avoid disturbing them. If your pets get very anxious or aggressive around visitors, it may be best to board them. This will help avoid unneeded stress for you and your pets.”

TELL US… Do you pets enjoy the holidays too? Share your pet holiday traditions below.

Recipes: Thanksgiving Leftovers—for the dog?!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family, friends and PETS! Now that the holiday is over, it has left many of us wondering….WHAT do we do with all these leftovers?!  Well, while some of you may enjoy the next-day leftover turkey sandwich, why not spread some thanksgiving love and share some of the leftovers with the family dog? There are some great recipes below that your dog is sure to enjoy and are totally safe for your furry friend!

Pumpkin leftover from all those pies, pumpkin puree is great for your dog! It’s a good source of Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Potassium and is also a very good source of dietary fiber. Because it is so high in fiber, you can feed your dog less and they will feel full after eating the pumpkin puree!  A Perfect fix for those canines that just never seem full no matter what they eat! The below “Pumpkin Ice Cream” recipe is from www.lovemypuppydog.com  and can be served to your dog in a bowl, stuffed in a JW Megalast Dog Toy and then put in the freezer so your dog can enjoy this frozen treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup milk, low or fat free
  • 1 (1.5 oz) Sugar Free Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the vanilla pudding mix, pumpkin pie spice, and milk all together until completely dissolved. Approx. 2 minutes.
  2. Fold, in the pumpkin puree to the above mixture.
  3. Scoop pumpkin pudding into small paper cups or plastic Popsicle molds, or a Megalast dog toy!
  4. Place your pumpkin mixture into the freezer and let freeze completely for about 3 hours.
  5. Once frozen remove the Pumpkin Ice Cream from the freezer and let stand on counter for about 5 minutes for easy removal. Then release from the cups or mold and serve. Or serve to your dog directly from the freezer in their JW Pet Megalast Bone!

You can store your frozen pumpkin Ice Cream for up to 3 months in the freezer or for 1 week in the refrigerator.

Now for that leftover turkey; this is usually the most common leftover thanksgiving food.  Turkey is a good source of protein for your dog and when combined with brown rice and veggies, it can be healthy and filling. This recipe can also be found at www.lovemypuppydog.com.

Ingredients

• 1 lb. of leftover Turkey Meat

• 1/4 cup of grated shredded carrot

• 1 cup of cooked brown rice

• 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

• 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Directions

Preheat your oven for 350 degrees. Lightly grease sides and bottom of a loaf pan.

Take the turkey meat and finely chop it up and then mix all the ingredients together well in a bowl. I find that using my hands works better.

Scoop the mixture into the loaf pan, completely filling it. Press the mixture into the loaf pan.

Bake the Turkey loaf for approx. 45 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and let cool completely. Then you can cut it into bite-sized pieces for your dog.

Leftovers should be stored in the fridge for no more than 4 days.

Finally, who better than Rachael Ray to teach us all how to make leftover Thanksgiving Hash for our pups?! This hash features leftover stuffing* but be sure NOT to use any stuffing that includes onion or garlic—these can be harmful to your pet!

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup leftover skinless roast turkey meat, shredded
  • 1/2 cup leftover stuffing* or 1 piece toast, coarsely chopped (if your stuffing includes garlic or onion)
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons prepared cranberry sauce

Directions

  1. In a small pot of boiling, salted water, cook the sweet potato until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sweet potato, turkey, stuffing and sage. Top with the cranberry sauce and serve.

Your dog is sure to love all of these recipes and it gives you a great way to use up all those leftovers from the holiday without having to eat them all yourself!

TELL US….do you have any dog friendly recipes that include Thanksgiving leftovers? We would love to hear about them!