Beautiful decorations are everywhere this time of the year, and your kennel shouldn’t miss out on a chance to look festive. The dogs may not be concerned about how things look, but they’ll certainly pick up on the holiday spirit that cheerful decorations generate in their humans!
Whippet breeder Gail Boyd owns Town & Country Animal Care Center in Apex, N.C., and she goes all out every holiday season with making the boarding kennel look festive, including wreaths on the kennels. Photos of her kennel trimmings accompany this article, and we hope they will give you some ideas.
Of course, safety is important. Keep all decorations out of the reach of any dogs, and string lights or cords away from where they can be tripped over or chewed. Some holiday items are particularly dangerous: tinsel and glass, for example. They can be life-threatening if a dog or cat ingests them. Food decorations are too tempting, and glues and paints used in other decorations can be toxic.
If you decide to set up a Christmas tree in your kennel, put it where dogs cannot reach it. Christmas trees are beautiful, but keep these items off any trees that dogs may access:
- Hooks: Bad news if a pet consumes one. Instead, tie ornaments on with ribbon.
- Tree water: Chemical preservatives used on the tree can leach into it. Don’t let dogs drink it.
- Fake snow: Chemicals in this can be very dangerous to pets.
- Tinsel: Just say no to tinsel.
- Salt dough ornaments: While none of the ingredients in these are poisonous, the large amount of sodium makes salt toxicosis a threat.
You already know the motto of most dogs is “when in doubt, eat it,” and that it’s always best to be on the safe side. But your customers and puppy buyers may not understand that their pets will decide to consume seemingly unappetizing items.
Put out special holiday “cookies” for your canine customers, and take this opportunity to tell them how to keep their pets safe from hazards during the holidays.