Holiday dog safety

For a moment, imagine the holidays through your dog’s eyes. Suddenly, without any particular warning, there is a real, live tree in the middle of the home. There are new people coming and going at all hours, some staying for a (very) long time. There is a smorgasbord of delicious scraps potentially falling (or being offered) from the table. There are sparkly lights, crinkly bows, and every kind of shiny thing to explore. While all of these strange, new developments can be exciting, they can also be bewildering and downright dangerous for your precious pooch. Here’s a checklist to keep your favorite furry friend safe during the holiday hustle and bustle.

Secure the tree and trim

Carefully anchor your tree so that it doesn’t fall over on your unsuspecting pup. Unless you are going to put a baby-gate around the tree or keep your dog away from it – be mindful of your tree trimmings. Tinsel is just asking to be grabbed and nibbled. Unfortunately, those shiny little ribbons are not only a choking hazard, but can wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive tract. Move breakable ornaments out of reach. Your curious dog will not realize that fun-looking shiny red ball is not for playing fetch until it breaks into a thousand, hazardous little pieces.

Avoid Dangerous Plants

Poinsettias are beautiful. And totally toxic for your dog. Either don’t bring them into the house, or keep them in a room your dog does not enter. Mistletoe and holly are also dangerous for dogs if ingested.

Watch the Food

Many of our favorite holiday treats are particularly dangerous for our pooches. Make sure you instruct guests not to feed your dog table scraps during the holiday meal. Not only will they be encouraging annoying “begging” behaviors, they could be feeding your dog foods that will cause digestive distress at best, and dangerous reactions at worst. Chocolate is particularly toxic to some breeds. If you or someone else drops that chocolate chip cookie on the floor – pick it up asap!

Prepare for Guests and Decompress

With all of the hubbub, extra excitement and noise of holiday parties, it is easy for your pup to become agitated and overwhelmed. Especially, if you will be hosting guests or a party – be sure and give your doggy plenty of exercise prior to your event – and then a quiet space away from the crowd to rest and relax during the event.