The holidays are a time of fun, feasting and family, but it’s important to keep in mind a few helpful hints to keep your furry family safe. Remember that poinsettias, holly and mistletoe are toxic to dogs, and all types of lily should be avoided as well. Make sure your dogs don’t ingest them or any plants for that matter. Any holiday plants coming into your house should be set up somewhere high enough your pups won’t feel the need to investigate.

As far as holiday food goes, it is recommended that dogs stick to their own food and treats. If you must pamper your pup, give him only a small piece of white meat—turkey or chicken. Anything else could cause sickness. Chocolate, caffeine, and other methylxanthines, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, avocados, alcohol, nuts, and xylitol contained in chewing gum and candies are all toxic to dogs. If you suspect your dog has ingested something harmful, please call your vet or a poison hotline.

A lot of dogs enjoy having family and friends over for the holidays. If your dog tends to get overly excited when there are lots of people in the house, make sure you give him a walk before the festivities occur and find him a quiet place to stay if the home gets too raucous. Leave an interactive toy with him to occupy his time.Any new dog coming into the home should be introduced to the resident dog. Usually taking both dogs for a walk together will help them enjoy each other’s company.

Most of all, have a very happy, safe holiday season!