Not-So-Jolly Holiday Dangers for Dogs
The holidays are a wonderful time of year. It is a time filled with visits from friends and family, not to mention delicious dinners and holiday traditions. As fun and joyous as the holidays are, they do come with some dangers for your dog. Keep reading to learn about holiday dangers for dogs and how to protect your dog this holiday season.
Safety Tips for Holiday Decorations
When you’re decorating your home for the holidays, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday cheer. Before you go crazy with tinsel and holly, however, you should consider your dog’s safety and reevaluate your decoration plans. Here are some safety tips for holiday decorations:
- Make sure your Christmas tree is securely anchored so it doesn’t fall over.
- Take steps to make sure your dog can’t access the water under the tree – it could contain fertilizers that might upset his stomach or poison him.
- Avoid using mistletoe and holly in your holiday decorations because these can cause unpleasant side effects if your dog eats them.
- Watch how you use tinsel in decorating the tree and other parts of your house – if your dog ingests it, it could lead to an intestinal obstruction which is very dangerous.
- Never leave candles unattended if you have a dog – he could accidentally burn himself or knock it over and start a fire.
- Make sure you keep all electrical cords tied up and out of the way so your dog isn’t tempted to chew on them.
In addition to being safe about how you decorate your home for the holidays, you should also set some holiday ground rules with family and visitors. Make sure your guests know not to feed the dog anything and to keep an eye on their plates. If you’re worried, it may be best to put your dog somewhere else while the party or get-together is going on.
Keeping Your Dog Safe from Harmful Foods
Whether you’re prepping for a holiday party or serving up a delicious family dinner, you need to be careful about the food you feed your dog during the holidays. You probably already know the dangers of certain foods like onions and chocolate for your dog, but what other foods are on the list?
Here are some simple holiday food safety tips for dogs:
- Avoid feeding your dog anything sweetened because it could contain xylitol which is toxic for dogs.
- Don’t give your dog table scraps, especially fatty or spicy foods because they could upset his stomach.
- Never give your dog bones – particularly poultry bones – because they could splinter or get stuck in his throat.
- Be careful with holiday cocktails – don’t leave drinks unattended on a table where your dog might be able to reach them.
- Read the label when picking out stocking stuffers for your dog – watch the calorie content of treats and avoid anything your dog is allergic or sensitive to.
As careful as you are, accidents happen, and you should be prepared in case they do. Keep the number for the Pet Poison Helpline on your refrigerator so you can call if your dog ingests something harmful. Even if you’re not sure if what your dog ate is harmful, it doesn’t hurt to call and find out.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
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