Holiday Safety Tips For Your Dog

pug looking at a christmas ball

This Christmas, keeping your pets away from all of the decorations and gifts might be a hassle for you. Tis’ the season to have your tree watered, by your dawww-aww—ag! Don the Bulldog, Lex the Yorkie Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la! Oh yes, Christmas is certainly an exciting time of year not only for us, but for our dogs; Christmas tree ornaments to chew on, Christmas trees being blessed, and a whole lot of electrical cords to chew on on. Here are some tips to keep your home and your pooch Christmas-proofed throughout the holidays:

christmas stocking filled with candy

  • Toxic Treats– As you may already know, chocolate is one of the most toxic foods for dogs. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, that can kill your pet! During Christmas we have stockings filled with yummy snacks that include chocolate; Let’s not forgot about the chocolate chip cookies we leave for Santa. In addition to chocolate, a high amount of sugar is bad for a dog’s belly and has the potential of causing diarrhea and vomiting. Be sure to keep all of your sugary treats in an area that you know your pup can not get to. There are some dogs (mine included) that know how to get food from a low table, like a coffee table. Just remember, there is a family member that needs to stay away from the goodies this Christmas-your pup. Be mindful of where you place desserts when guests arrive or when you leave your home to visit family and friends. Be all means fill your dog’s stocking with goodies; Petco has bulk cookies for the holiday that are specially made for dogs.
beagle wrapped in christmas lights
  • Christmas Decorations-Plastic is appealing to dogs, and so are new objects such as Christmas balls. Drinking the treated water from the base of a real tree can be toxic for your dogs. Plastic electrical cords are also a dog’s favorite and the results of that can lead to shock and death. If possible, place your tree in a room guarded by a baby gate. If you typically place your tree in a common area, tie cords together with an electric guard. Place the cords in an area that the dog cannot reach. To avoid your pup eating ornaments that cause cuts or harmful swallowing, place the at-risk ornaments towards the top of the tree. To avoid your tree lights from being toyed (no pun intended) with, distract your pup with some new dog toys. Always be mindful of your dog going near the tree and try to teach the pup that the Christmas tree is a no-no. There are certain trees that can be placed on small tables or blocks. Elevating the tree will make it more difficult and less attractive once the dog realizes the tree is out of reach.
Dogs cannot be blamed for being inquisitive with the decorations that come out once a year. Just think of how amazed a baby is when they see lights and shiny ornaments. If your dog needs to be disciplined when it comes to your decorations going through a canine exploration, be gentle. Dogs really have no idea that a Christmas ball isn’t a regular ball they usually play with. Just assure your dog with a firm “no”. When you notice that your dog listens to your requests, reward them. Dogs are born inquisitive, they aren’t going after toxic food or Christmas lights to be naughty—so be nice. Fa la la la we-love-our-dogs!
puppies wearing santa hats

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