As the holidays approach we think about nice family dinners, festive music, and holiday cheer. It is a time of year like nothing else and there seems to be a unique peace in the air. What many dog owners do not realize is it is also a risky time of the year for our fur-legged friends. Not because Santa will scare them when he comes down the chimney, but because of very common items in our home that come out this month.
Let’s start off by talking about food. During the holidays we often have get-togethers and share meals much larger than an average dinner. Many foods that we will enjoy should not be eaten by our fur-legged friends. Below is a list of foods that are the most dangerous for dogs to eat.
- Rich, fatty foods.
- Meats that have bones in them
- Onions and garlic
- Alcoholic beverages
- Milk Products
Potpourri and Candles
Although potpourri and candles look and smell great, they can make your fur-legged friend sick should he use them as a treat. Candles are also a fire hazard should your dog knock one over that is lit. Always keep items such as these well out of your dog’s reach. If these items are on a counter or table take into consideration that your dog still may be able to reach them. Playing safe than sorry as to wear you leave these items is also recommended.
Holiday Plants and Flowers
A very popular item found during the holiday season is decorative plants such as holly and mistletoe. Many plants and flowers can cause your dog to become very sick if digested. Dogs are always curious to try a new “food” and certain items such as these can cause your dog harm. Be sure to place these items in an area that your dog is unable to reach. We often place flowers near a window for sunlight which is also an area your dog has access to.
Tinsel On Your Christmas Tree
While tinsel isn’t “poisonous” per se, it’s extremely dangerous to your dog should he consume it. Swallowing tinsel can lead to internal issues as well as basic choking issues for your dog. Tinsel is generally shiny which catches your dog’s attention and may be too much for him to resist. Many dog owners do not even bring this item into their homes as a precaution. If you must decorate with tinsel, keep it in an area completely out of reach of your dog or you may be spending Christmas morning at the veterinarian, not unwrapping gifts from Santa!
Secure Your Christmas Tree
You can’t really blame this one on your pup. Afterall, they wake up one morning and magically there is a seven-foot pine tree in their living room! As beautiful as this tree looks, it does cause a safety hazard. Dogs are naturally attracted to trees and tend to want to hide under and behind them. It does not take much for a Christmas tree to topple over which could injure your pup or anyone near it when it falls. This can also result in damaging the decorations on the tree which can be very costly. By taking a few minutes to properly secure your tree can end up saving you a lot of problems in the end.
Safe Haven for Your Dog
If you intend to have a holiday party which involves a lot of people, consider putting your dog in a room dedicated just for him away from the commotion. The room should have water and food and you should periodically check on your pup. A soft blanket or dog bed would also be a nice fixture in the room while he hangs out there. Although some dogs want to party as much as grandma does, some tend to get quickly get scared of the noise and want to be left alone. You know your dog better than anyone and should determine this before the party begins. This is also a wise decision if your dog is a runner because the front door may be opened and closed dozens of times which would allow for him to escape.