The lights. The tree. A table groaning under the weight of food. The toys. The candy. All of these can be a potential threat to Fido. But, it doesn’t have to be. With some simple steps, the holidays can be safely celebrated without harming a person’s best 4-legged friend. The key is just a little forethought.
Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia can be dangerous for dogs. Make sure that festive plants are kept well outside of a dog’s reach, to ensure that they don’t grab a bite.
When decorating the tree, make sure that there aren’t any lights on the lower branches. They can get hot and burn a dog. Also, be careful of the extra electrical cords. A dog may try to chew them, and can get badly shocked or electrocuted. It’s not a bad idea to tape cords down with duct tape against a wall.
If at all possible, avoid putting glass ornaments on the tree. They are fragile and can cut a dog’s feet or mouth. However if it’s important that glass ornaments are on the tree, place them high out of a dog’s reach to avoid temptation. It’s also not a bad idea to keep all ornaments from the very bottom of a tree. Even non-breakable ornaments can contain paint that may make a dog ill.
Don’t use homemade cranberry or popcorn string as garland. A dog may knock over the tree to get to a “treat.” Also, they could ingest the string, which can get stuck in their intestines. The same thing applies to tinsel: it’s dangerous for dogs because they could eat it.
Don’t leave lit candles unattended near dogs. And make sure they are well out of reach, because a dog can be curious and accidentally burn their whiskers. Also a dog’s wagging tail and a lit candle are a potentially hazardous combination.
Holiday dinners are a huge temptation to dogs. But rich food and canines don’t mix, so make sure that guests don’t feed dogs. Feed pets their kibble or wet food at their regular time to avoid any undue temptation. And remember to keep dishes with onions away from dogs. Onions contain thiosulphate that can cause a dog to become anemic.
Finally, just keep a general eye on your pets when hosting holiday parties. Remember that pets can become over-stimulated and upset. And then, relax! With a little planning the holidays can be the “happiest time of the year” for both humans and pets.