It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and dog owners want to see their furry friends join in on the fun. However, many of our most beloved and time-honored traditions can create unexpected safety concerns for our pets, which is why responsible pet owners need to be especially vigilant about keeping potentially dangerous items away from their dogs during the holidays. After all, Christmas is a time for celebration, and there’s nothing to stop you from having a happy holiday with your beloved pet if you just remember to plan with the safety and well-being of your canine in mind.
Deck the Halls with Dog-Friendly Decorations
Candles can transform your house into a cozy Christmas delight, but if they are placed too low or on an unsteady surface that can be easily knocked over, candles can create a terrible fire hazard in your house. For this reason, as well as the possibility that your dog may be attracted to the smell of certain candles, it may be a good idea to switch from the real thing to fake candles (just make sure that any wires are inaccessible to your dog).
If you still plan to use real candles, however, make sure to keep them high up, out of reach, and on a steady platform. Also, even if the candles are on a secure surface, maintain vigilant watch over candles and never leave them burning unattended in a room that your dog could gain access to. The same goes for fireplaces as well: if you plan to roast a few chestnuts on an open fire, don’t leave the area while your dog is around, even for a short while. After all, accidents can happen in an instant. Maintain safety by keeping fires closed off from potentially curious or boisterous dogs.
Also, keep your dog away from any exposed electrical wires. Christmas lights and decorations around the home can be very beautiful, but they can also be deadly for curious chewers. Tape the wires if necessary, but make sure they aren’t accessible to your dog.
Lastly, it may be a wise decision to simply keep all Christmas decorations high up and out of reach. Many decorations can become choking hazards if swallowed, and common decorations like holly and mistletoe are poisonous if consumed. And even if your dog doesn’t get into something that harms him, do you really want to spend your Christmas wondering how much easier it would’ve been to put that family heirloom nutcracker just a little bit higher on the shelf instead of letting it turn into Rover’s newest chew toy?
Make Sure Everyone Gets the Right Christmas Treats
Naturally, Christmas dinner is one of the best traditions of the holiday, but it’s important to understand that a lot of the foods and drinks we enjoy are harmful to dogs. For instance, ham has a high fat content that dogs aren’t able to properly digest. Also, Christmas desserts are an absolute no-no, since dogs don’t process can’t sugar as effectively as humans, and the same goes for alcoholic beverages. But, if you want to give your furry pal a special Christmas treat, have no fear, there are plenty of available options. From Bowser Beer to Claudia’s Santa Paws Gourmet Dog Cookies, there’s bound to be a special something to make your dog’s Christmas a merry (and safe) one.
Be sure to check back with us for part two of our Ultimate Christmas Safety Guide, where we’ll offer some tips for handling Christmas trees and holiday guests!