The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, and for many of us, that includes our fur babies. While it’s wonderful to include your dog in the festivities, it’s essential to prioritize their safety and well-being. In this blog, we will discuss some essential tips for holiday safety for your dog, so you can enjoy the season while keeping your pup happy and healthy.
Decorate with Care
Holiday decorations are a must, but it is important to know which may pose a risk to your dog. Here’s how to decorate safely:
- Christmas Trees: Ensure your tree is securely anchored to prevent it from toppling over if your dog gets too curious. Avoid using tinsel, as it can be harmful if ingested, and be mindful of low-hanging ornaments.
- Salt Dough Ornaments: Salt ornaments are popular, especially for those with children, however the high salt content in these ornaments can be toxic to dogs, causing a range of health problems. If you do have these ornaments please keep them out of reach.
- Holiday Plants: Plants like mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias are toxic to dogs. Keep them out of reach or opt for artificial versions.
Prepare Your Home
Prepare your home to be dog-safe during the holiday season:
- Safe Space: If your home will be bustling with guests, consider creating a quiet and safe space for your dog to retreat to if they become overwhelmed. This can be their designated “safe zone” away from the commotion.
- Candles: Keep lit candles out of your dog’s reach to prevent burns or fires. Consider using flameless candles as a safer alternative.
- Wires and Cords: Hide or secure electrical cords and wires to prevent your dog from chewing or tripping on them. Chewing on electrical cords can cause electrical shock and/or can be a choking hazard.
- Wrapping Paper and Packaging: After the gift-giving, promptly clean up discarded wrapping paper, ribbons, and packaging materials to prevent your dog from chewing or ingesting them, which can lead to choking or intestinal blockages.
- Fireworks and Loud Noises: Many dogs are scared of fireworks and loud holiday celebrations. If your dog is anxious or sensitive to loud noises, consider providing a quiet space and comforting toys. Consult your vet for anxiety management options.
- Routine: Amidst the holiday hustle and bustle, try to maintain your dog’s regular feeding and exercise schedule. Routine helps dogs feel secure and minimizes stress during busy times.
Manage Food Risks
Holiday feasts are a significant part of the season, but not all foods are safe for dogs. Keep these tips in mind:
- Safe Foods: Offer your dog dog-friendly treats like plain cooked carrots and sweet potatoes.
- Foods to Avoid: Keep your dog away from foods like chocolate, grapes, onions, garlic, and bones, as they can be toxic or pose choking hazards. Also, avoid feeding your dog heavily seasoned foods. For a list of safe and dangerous holiday foods, check out our blog _________________.
- Alcohol: Keep alcoholic beverages out of reach, as even small amounts can be harmful.
- Eating Area: Make sure to keep your pup in a separate area while everyone is eating (especially when kids are at the table) in order to avoid your dog accidentally picking up food from the floor that could be toxic.
The holiday season is a time of togetherness, and your dog is an important part of your family. By following these tips for holiday safety, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys the season as much as you do. Keep an eye on decorations, food, and potential hazards while maintaining routines and providing a safe and comfortable environment for your pup. With proper care and attention, you can create wonderful holiday memories with your dog that you’ll cherish for years to come.
Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva, VMD, cVMA
Dr. Tiffany Ruiz Dasilva is the Professional Services Veterinarian here at Wild Earth. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Brown University, and attended veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Since graduation, she has worked in general practice, on telehealth platforms, and in animal rehabilitation. She has worked tirelessly to gain expertise in the field of canine nutrition through numerous certifications and coursework, and plans to pursue her Masters in Animal Nutrition.