Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole croon through my car radio, my inbox is chock full of pre-Black Friday offers, and I can almost smell the pumpkin pie. Sure, my lawn is still covered in leaves and the leftover Halloween candy is calling my name, but time stands still for no woman.

Holiday season is upon us, whether we’re ready or not. Do you make your list and check it twice, or do you fly by the seat of your pants through New Year’s? Either way, it’s worth taking a few minutes to consider your pets as we sleigh into the most wonderful time of the year. It’s not always wonderful for them, and preparing your home can keep them merrier.

Making the holidays safe and joyful for your dog

It’s a myth that poinsettias will kill Fido; they are actually only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. Those pretty leaves may make your pet a bit ill, but they aren’t lethal.  Check HERE for other holiday plants that you should keep out of reach of pets (spoiler: steer clear of amaryllis!).

People Food
Santa may like chocolate chip cookies and egg nog, but don’t leave that plate out where your dog can get it! Chocolate and dairy products are two toxic people foods – check HERE for a more complete list.

Christmas tree and decorations
An artificial tree is safer than a real tree, a tabletop tree could be a chew toy, and sparkly garland may be too tempting to resist. This article has some good tips to make your decorations safer for your dog, especially if this is your first holiday season together.

If you give your pooch gifts, hide them well! They may not be as sneaky as your kids, but they can certainly sniff out the goods.

Keep your routine
The holidays are a busy, hectic time for people, and your dog will pick up on that stress. Try to keep his routine as regular as possible, with plenty of walks and an area he can retreat to in the house for quiet.

Wishing you and yours a happy Thanksgiving – may your mashed potatoes be fluffy and your pants be elastic-waisted. Come back in December for gift giving guides for dog lovers and dogs alike!