Keeping your dog safe at Christmas
Yup, it’s an unusual year! Maybe you won’t be hosting the big family gatherings you might normally have at this time, but you’re probably still marking the holidays somehow. That might simply mean some festive decorations or lights around the house, but regardless of how you celebrate this year, please take a moment to consider these holiday safety tips which will help keep your dog safe, your stress level low, and your Christmas merry!
Before you place a present under the tree, always ask the gift-giver if the package contains a food item. A dog will know immediately if there’s food inside, and those gourmet chocolates might entice them to open the present before you do!
Got a real tree this year? Prevent your dog from drinking the water at the base of the tree, since this water often contains chemicals that help it last longer. Also, if you haven’t done so already, secure the tree to something to prevent it from toppling.
You may already have noticed that your dog can’t tell the difference between a decoration and a toy! Keep the extent of your pup’s reach in mind while decorating with ribbons, tinsel, ornament wire hangers, angel hair, artificial snow, and other holiday trimmings that can all cause obstruction in the intestinal tract. Better still, avoid these particular types of decoration all together.
This is also a good reason to use non-breakable ornaments near the bottom of the tree, where your dog can reach. It will also prevent potential disaster due to an overactive tail-wagger! Keep candles up high, where they can’t be swept over, either.
Many snow globes contain antifreeze, which is extremely toxic to dogs, yet they are attracted to its sweet taste! If a snow globe is ever broken in your home, send your dog out of the room while you dilute the spot with water and floor cleaner, to make sure they cannot lick up the harmful chemicals later.
Tape down electrical cords, or cover them up with a mat, as a pup that chews on live cables could be electrocuted. Not only that, remember that batteries will be corrosive to their mouths if ingested.
Keep holiday plants well away from your dog. You’ve probably been warned about poinsettias, which are of mild toxicity, but holly berries, mistletoe, and amaryllis are all quite harmful if ingested.
Cooked turkey and chicken bones are a major choking hazard for dogs. Any cooked bones become very brittle and will break into sharp shards that can easily get stuck in a dog’s mouth or throat leading to major medical issues. Discard all cooked bones securely so your dog can’t sniff them out when you are not looking.
The kitchen garbage contains food and food packaging that can be enticing, yet harmful to your dog. Do your dog a favour and remove the temptation to a secure bin or put it behind a closed door or in the garage. It is worth it if yor dog stays healthier and you have one less potential mess to clean up.