The holiday season is here. For many that means family, friends, and celebrating to one degree or another. While this is a needed respite for many, the holiday season can be a dangerous time for your dogs. Here are a few things to consider while keeping your dog safe this year.
“It’s a wonderful time of year. It can be for your pets too with just a few precautions.”
The holiday season involves decoration. Heavy decoration for some. The most common decoration this time of year are Christmas trees. While they may seem innocuous, Christmas trees present a real danger to dogs.
Make sure that you’ve properly anchored your tree, preventing it from tipping and falling on your dog, or spilling tree water. Tree water is stagnant, which is ripe for bacteria, and sometimes contains fertilizer. Both can cause diarrhea and nausea if ingested. Event if you tree is anchored, your dog can still get into the tree water.
Consider covering the water using a net or some other form of concealment.
Next, you want to consider the ornaments and lighting in your tree and around your house. Avoid putting ornaments and lighting low on your tree. Your dog might also try and play with low hanging ornaments and they could get knocked off and break, leaving hazardous shards on the floor. This is especially dangerous if you’re not home and an accident happens. Make sure you do the same with lighting in your tree, on your walls inside the house, and any lighting you have outside. Exposed wires might be chewed and also are tripping and strangulation hazards. When rubbed on, low hanging lights could burn your dog.
Your dog will be going crazy with all the wonderful smells coming out of your kitchen this holiday season. It’s going to be tempting to indulge him or her, but avoid it as much as possible and keep food at a safe distance in the kitchen, living room, and dining table. Secure your garbage cans and make sure cupboards are secure. While these measures are a given for most dog owners, the holidays are busy and it’s easy to get distracted.
Heavily spiced, fatty foods, and anything with bones is absolute no-no. Anything with artificial sweeteners must be kept at a safe distance from your dog as well, because these sugarless treats contain xylitol, which can be fatal when ingested.
The same goes for alcoholic beverages. The wine might be flowing, and cocktails will be passed around, but your dog should not be involved in that. Keep glasses and cups off the floor and low standing surfaces, and make sure to clean up any spills before you dog gets there. Unlike humans, dog’s kidneys are not meant to process alcohol, nor have the built the tolerance to like us.
“Dogs are like children, so it’s no wonder that they feel at home on the holiday’s”
In addition to making your dog’s physical environment safe, you always want to make sure your guests keep your dog safe, as well. Not everybody is a dog owner, and while your guests’ intentions may be good, they may unintentionally harm your dog.
Let everybody no the basic ground rules regarding your dog. That means no one should feed your dog anything unless you’ve approved it, ask everyone to watch out for stray plates, cups, and spills, and show them where the garbage is. You may also want to help your guests, especially children, play with your dog in a safe way. If your dog is social, he or she will have no problem playing with strangers, but make sure your guests aren’t playing too rough. You don’t want your dog to get hurt, nor do you want your dog to lash out at your guests.
It’s wise to setup apart a room just for your dog on days that you plan on having guests over, if you don’t have on already. Large groups of people can be over stimulating and stressful for your dogs. They’ll likely become exhausted at one point of the night and need a place to escape. A separate room is going to be especially helpful on New Years eve for example, when there are fireworks going off.
Make sure there is a water bowl there, and move your dog’s bed and some of his or her favorite toys so it’s clear this their area. Let your guests know about this room so your dog isn’t disturbed.
With just a few minor tweaks, some house rules, and paying attention to small details, you and your canine friend(s) can enjoy the holidays together.