Tips to keep your dog safe at Christmas
Christmas can be a super fun time for the family. It is joyous and chaotic all at the same time. Keeping your four-legged friends safe and happy can be a challenge though. Neither cats or dogs like chaos. So while everyone is celebrating, make sure you give them some extra quality time. And be sure they have new toys too. Here are some safety tips to keep everyone happy:
Dogs and Christmas Trees
If you have a live Christmas tree, keep the water stand covered. Pine sap mixed with water makes a poisonous drink for your pet. The smell of a live or artificial tree may cause your pet to urine-mark it. It may help to bring the tree into an isolated indoor room for a day or two, so that it smells more like “home.” Using a dog gate or dog crate to keep your pet away from trouble areas (when he or she can't be monitored) is also a safe idea.
Secure Christmas trees to a wall or ceiling hook with sturdy fishing line. This will help prevent the tree from toppling over should your dog jump on it or accidentally knock it over. If you have Christmas presents for your dog, keep them separate from your family's to keep sniffing pets away from the tree.
Dogs and Christmas Ornaments
Pick up any ornament hooks, tinsel, or ribbon that fall on the floor. Your pet could experience serious internal injuries if any of these items are ingested. If you have a dog or cat that is tempted to play with the ornaments on your tree, decorate the bottom third of the tree with non-breakable, plastic, or wooden ornaments, or decorate only the top two-thirds of your tree. Make sure that your dog has plenty of dog toys available, so they do not become bored. You can wrap old toys too, because they will be excited to se a toy being unwrapped. Hey, times are tough!
Dogs and Holiday Treats: Be Extra Careful
Keep holiday treats and candies out of your dog’s reach. Additionally, remember to move out of reach any wrapped gifts under your tree that may contain food items. People food, especially in excess, can make your dog sick. Chocolate, onions, raisins, and alcohol can be fatal to dogs! Keep healthy treats at the ready to provide swift alternatives should your pet start to investigate unsafe food items.
Dogs and Holiday Lights
If you have indoor holiday lights, be sure they don’t hang so low that your dog could become entangled in them. Remember to unplug the lights when you’re not home to supervise your dog.
Pets and Candles: Safety First
If you have a bird, make sure it is safely in its cage if you’re lighting any candles. Additionally, lit candles should be kept out of any dog’s reach. If they have jumped up a counter before, DON’T put a candle there!
Dogs and Holiday Flowers and Plants
Poinsettias, mistletoe berries, and other popular holiday flowers can cause serious stomach upset for pets. Check with your veterinarian or local poison control center to find out what holiday plants and flowers you need to keep out of your dog’s reach.