Yuletide Tips for Keeping Your Little Angel Safe
Since the Holidays are exciting and fun for humans, they’re likely to be exciting and fun for our furry family members, too. Your dog shares your experiences and feelings, after all. So remember that the Holiday Season also has its stresses and dangers … many of which apply to your pooch, as well as to you. Here are some simple tips for keeping your dog safe over the Holidays.
Avoid dog-endangering décor.
Curious pooches just can’t seem to resist playing with or chewing stuff — especially when it looks or smells new and maybe has a flashing light or two! Here are some tips for decorations you should try to avoid or use safely:
On the tree.
- Make sure electrical cords are well-secured and chew-proof. Maybe you can even run them through PVC piping or tape them down.
- Tinsel, popcorn strands, and other garland-like decorations can cause serious internal injuries if ingested. Avoid them or at least put them out of your dog’s reach.
- Ribbons, string, and other wrapping accessories can be a choking or strangulation hazard for a curious dog. Get them into the trash as soon as gifts are unwrapped.
- Christmas trees can be toppled easily. Make sure yours is firmly anchored to the wall or ceiling. Or try encircling your Christmas tree and gift display with an exercise pen.
Around the house.
- Avoid those liquid-filled snow globes. Some are still made of glass, which can be dangerous if broken. But others are made of plastic, which creates dangerous shards when chewed. Plus, the liquid inside can contain anti-freeze chemicals which can be poisonous for your pooch.
- Scented candles can attract dogs because of their smell, taste and texture. Keep them out of reach on high shelves. And don’t let them burn unsupervised. A wag of the tail can send them toppling to the floor, creating a fire hazard.
- Avoid mistletoe & holly: Holly can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause cardiovascular problems. Use the faux versions of these instead of the real plants.
- Remember that poinsettias can make dogs sick if they ingest the sap. These popular holiday plants have gotten a bit of a bad rap as being poisonous. The truth is they are mildly toxic and, while they can make your little angel nauseous, medical attention is not always needed.
Control the chaos.
- Stay-over guests and even simple parties disrupt your dog’s routine … which can be upsetting in itself. To preserve canine calm, try to maintain regular meal schedules and walks, exercise or play sessions.
- Set aside a quiet, safe area where your dog can chill out. And keep him there while your party guests are arriving and leaving so he doesn’t sneak out the door.
- Even more important, make sure that your guests keep potentially harmful stuff out of your pet’s reach — including food plates, beverages and — for stay-overs — medications.
Keep human foods out of reach
In general, many things that we humans eat, drink or snack on over the Holidays are not necessarily good for your furry friend. But some common seasonal fare can be anything from nauseating to downright dangerous, including:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Candy or gum containing Xylitol as a sweetener
- Coffee and caffeine
- Grapes and raisins
- Macadamia nuts
- Nuts and seeds
- Onions, garlic and chives
- Bones and raw or undercooked meat and eggs
- Salty snacks
- Yeast dough
Even if your dog is a master beggar, your safest bet it to ask your human guests not to give him ANY food or beverage treats. Instead opt for a bowl of dog treats you can have available, like Bil-Jac Treats that you and your guests can give your dog for good behavior.
Ringing in the New Year.
Many dogs are terrified by loud fireworks. Be aware that someone in the neighborhood might set off some boomers at midnight — and be ready to comfort your furry pal with a firm hug if it happens. You may also try a thunder jacket if your dog gets in serious distress over loud noises.
Here’s the simple truth. Your dog doesn’t give a woof that it’s the holiday season — he just loves being with you. And he will enjoy the festivities safely with you if you just take a few simple precautions. In the end, keep him calm, keep him safe, and you’ll have a happy holiday season.
Do you have additional questions about holiday safety? Or do you have photos or comments about how you enjoy the holidays with your pet? Sound off any time!