Holiday Dog Safety For The Season

The holiday season is fun for people as well as for many of our four-legged friends. When dogs are naturally social and have the temperament to greet everyone with a wagging tail, this is a great time of year. It’s also important to keep your dog safe during this time. Which is why I have some tips as it pertains to dog safety for the holiday season.g safety

For timid or shy dogs, or those that are anxious or stressed with a lot of change in routine or household activities, the holidays can be difficult. These pooches will definitely need to have a private area where they can go when they feel overwhelmed. For big holiday parties, a night out at a familiar boarding kennel or even a sleepover a trusted friend’s house can be a more pleasant experience for the dog.g safety

Regardless of the type, age or breed of dog and whether they are outgoing or shy, taking some simple steps to keep pets safe is a responsible thing to do. For most families, this will mean a few changes in their decorating or seasonal traditions, but most can be very easily accommodated.

The last thing anyone wants to do is have to spend the holidays with a sick pet or in the emergency vet clinic. Avoiding these issues starts with understanding the potential issues of concern.

Deck the Halls Safely

Decorations can be very enticing to dogs. They are something new in the house, and sometimes they smell absolutely delicious, even if they are not actually meant to be food.

Some of the most problematic issues include:

  • Falling trees – while cats are often the biggest culprits in climbing the Christmas tree, dogs can do the same. Use a rope to tie the tree to something solid or use a heavy weight fishing line to secure the tree.
  • Toxic water – avoid using the packaged tree life extender, sugar or aspirin in the water at the base of the Christmas tree. This can be very toxic to dogs, even in small quantities.
  • Tinsel – shiny, twirling, blowing tinsel is irresistible to some dogs. Tinsel, if swallowed, can ball up in the digestive system, causing serious and life-threatening blockages that may require surgery.
  • Glass ornaments – dogs can grab Christmas tree ornaments and bite down, shattering the glass and cutting lips, gums and the tongue. Glass shards can also go down the throat leading to serious injuries and bleeding.
  • Lights – strings of lights are often used on banisters, window frames and on the tree. Dogs may chew on electrical cords, resulting in burns or electrical shock. Unplug the lights when you are not there to supervise.
  • Candles – most dogs will not bother candles, but they can be attracted to other items on tables and jump up or even hit the table when running or playing. Put candles out before leaving a room.
  • Holiday plants – while poinsettias often get a bad reputation as a poisonous holiday plant, mistletoe, amaryllis, holly and even most Christmas trees can be toxic if consumed.

Christmas foods are also an issue. Most dog owners know to keep chocolates and hard candies out of the dog’s range, but also avoid sugar-free candies, baked goods, raw doughs, table scraps and turkey and turkey skin.

Finally, remember to take out the trash before you go to bed or leave the house. All those great smells can be too tempting even for a well-behaved dog. Dogs will often consume toxic foods, plastics and other items in the trash, all which can have serious consequences.