Keep Pets Safe This Holiday Season
The holidays are a time when a lot of new and unusual things suddenly appear in the home and in the yard. These seasonal items may be beautiful, interesting, funny, or traditional for people in the family, but they can be potentially dangerous or even life-threatening to your dogs; so it’s important to keep pets safe.
Give It the Dog-Safe Test
To help you to eliminate these issues from your holidays, a few simple tips and strategies are all that it takes. Perhaps the best strategy is to consider anything new in the home or the yard and if it has the potential to be attractive to your dog.
Keep in mind, dogs are attracted to things by smell, sight, and novelty. For example, a dog may not be interested in a pine or fir tree in the yard, but they are fascinated when one suddenly shows up the den or living room. It is made even more attractive with dangling ornaments, twirling tinsel, and even small plush toys hung on the branches or placed along the bottom of the tree.
The following are potential hazards that most people have out for decorations or as part of their holiday traditions:
- Christmas tree ornaments – any glass, plastic, or otherwise breakable or destructible ornaments should only be used on the top branches of the tree. Avoid putting any candies or baked goods, including gingerbread ornaments, dried fruit, or popcorn strings, on the tree.
- Holiday plants – several holiday plants are dangerous, including mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, juniper, and any evergreen needles. Despite its bad reputation, poinsettia leaves and flowers are an irritant but not considered highly toxic for dogs or cats.
- Garland and tinsel – while plastic garland or tinsel is not toxic, both can be life-threatening if your dog chews and swallows the strings. It can choke your dog or lodge in the stomach or intestines, causing a bowel obstruction.
- Lights – holiday light strands used on trees, staircases, or throughout the interior and the exterior can be seen as toys for dogs. Unfortunately, dogs can be electrocuted when chewing on wires, and broken glass from bulbs can cause severe injury.
- Small kids toys, parts, batteries, and tools – many toys and presents require some assembly, and small tools, parts, and even batteries can be easy for a dog to swallow. Ideally, put the dog out of the room to assemble gifts, or do it on a table where the dog cannot have access to the parts.
Additional Safety Tips
Keeping your dog safe over the holidays is not difficult, but it does mean paying attention to details. Remember that burning candles should never be left unattended if you have a pet and that anything that moves, such as battery-operated decorations, should always be turned off and moved to an out-of-reach location when you are not in the room.
Another way to help your dog stay safe is to give him a new toy once a week throughout the holidays while all of these new shiny hazards are out.
A Kong toy can provide a great distraction for your pup during the holiday season. There are so many ways to make this toy feel new each week by getting creative with how you stuff it. Choose a pumpkin, holiday-themed treats, or peanut butter to mix it up. Kong provides great recipes for their toys here. If you have aggressive chewers, try freezing the Kong the night before to extend the life of play. Our new DogiMarket will feature a dedicated 8 ft. section of Kong products.
Before the new DogiMarket opens in December, be sure to check out the Hugglehounds toy display we will have in the lobby at DogiZone starting Dec 1st. We will feature quite a selection of holiday-themed plush toys for your pup, perfect to create a distraction and help them get in the holiday spirit as well.