Toxic treats, twinkling lights, and delivery drivers… oh my! As much fun as all the Christmastime festivities can be, we tend to forget about the stress and risks these activities can pose to our beloved pets. Remember these rules for holiday safety for dogs and enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season.

It’s important to remember your dog does not enjoy the holiday festivities in the same way humans do. The abundance of activity, noise, lights, and unusual decorations can be overwhelming for many dogs.

But, there are a few practical ways to eliminate the risk and still have a beautiful, glowing holiday season that you both can enjoy.

Holiday Safety Tips for Dogs

Deliveries and Packages

Chances are you will receive more packages than normal during the holiday season. Let’s face it, the sound of that doorbell makes most dogs a little crazy!

Since we all know how much they want to protect us from the mailman, make sure you have a plan in place to keep your pet (and the delivery driver) safe during the busy holiday delivery season.

Whether your dog lunges toward the door to escape, lick the visitor, or protect you from the doorbell, you can do a few things to keep your pet safe inside.

  • Keep your dog’s leash by the front door, so you can quickly restrain them to prevent them from escaping or ensuing a cold game of chase.
  • Install a barrier to prevent your pet from escaping or harming himself or others. Baby gates, dog-specific barriers, or any small obstacle might deter your dog from breaking out and lunging towards the driver… or freedom.

Christmas Tree Watering Hole

Every Christmas tree is a sight to behold! Cats love the ornaments and lights, and dogs love… drinking the water.

While it might seem harmless, the water stored at the base of the tree becomes “infused” with harmful chemicals. If ingested, fertilizers and pesticides could cause nausea, vomiting, or worse in dogs and cats. Plus, stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

There are a few different ways to deter your dog from reaching the Christmas tree water:

  1. Cut a slit in a plastic lid and use it to wrap around the base of the tree, covering the water.
  2. Cover the water bowl in foil, preventing all access to the water bowl.
  3. Create a barrier of gift boxes, so your dog can’t reach the bowl.

Poisonous Holiday Plants

Mistletoe and Holly are classic Christmas arrangements that are beautiful to look at, but dangerous for pets.

Because of the leaves’ shape and toxins in the berries, Holly and Mistletoe can cause a lot of issues if ingested. Both plants contain dangerous toxins, which cause vomiting, drooling, smacking lips, and abdominal pain. Additionally, the spiny leaves will irritate their mouths and throat when swallowed.

As you are decking the halls, consider the artificial route, and opt for artificial plants made from silk or plastic.

Toxic Treats

We all know that human food isn’t always the best thing for our pups, but we tend to let the rules slide a little around special occasions.

If you do choose to feed your dog human food, be cognizant of holiday safety for your dog or dogs; avoid sweets, chocolate, bones, and alcohol as they can cause serious health issues in your pet.

If you are stuffing your dog’s stocking, make sure the treats and toys are pet-friendly and free of small parts and choking hazards.

House Rules

If you are hosting a house full of Christmas visitors, be sure to lay a few ground rules for your guests.

  • Let your guests know that your dog should not consume human food. This will avoid them ingesting a toxic treat or overeating and becoming sick.
  • If your dog has a special “spot” on the couch, make sure visitors know to avoid hairy moments or a jealous fur baby.
  • If your guests are overnight visitors, make sure they keep shoes, socks, and other items out of your dog’s reach if they are chewers.
  • Confetti, loud poppers, and other celebratory items can be dangerous for pets. Keep them out of your dog’s reach and off the floor.

Don’t forget to create a “safe place” for your dog to retreat to if the activity becomes too much. Be sure to include the food and water, bed, toys, and other favored items for your dog.

If you have questions or concerns about holiday safety for dogs, give our office a call!

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