'Tis the season to indulge in gluttonous behavior but it's a good idea not to include our dogs in the feasting. Most people are aware that onions, garlic, grapes and raisins are on the doggy "do not eat" list, but even seemingly safe foods can cause trouble if ingested in quantity.
My vet is always very busy in the days following any holiday. He can count on having several cases of pancreatitis coming in along with the usual overindulgence GI symptoms. Pancreatitis is expensive to treat because it's usually done in-patient and the condition is fatal more often than not. Much as dogs love human food, it's better to be safe than sorry and keep them on their usual diet.
Educate your guests that human food is off the menu for your dogs no matter how much they beg. After losing one dog to pancreatitis I now let newcomers know that they will be responsible for the vet bill if they pass on one morsel of forbidden fruit to my mutts. Works like a charm! :-)
Keep an eye on gift wrappings and anything else your dog might decide is worthy of a taste test. He won't like having surgery to remove an undigestible foreign object and neither will your pocketbook.
If you'll have a housefull of guests for a few days, keep in mind that all that company can sometimes cause a lot of stress for pets. If your dog is crate trained, a little extra crate time during the day to decompress and relax can be a blessing for everyone. Think of it like nap time for a baby.
Not all dogs like to socialize as we humans do. You can avoid nips and bites or worse if you recognize your dog just isn't a socialite and restrict him to another room for the festivities. That's usually a good idea anyway if children are on your guest list. Kids aren't always mature enough to understand that pulling a dog's ears and tail can result in swift bloodshed. Parents will always blame you and your dog first no matter what their little angel may have done. It pays to be cautious where young children and dogs are concerned.
From our curs to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!