The holiday season continues to creep closer and hopefully you’ve finished decorating your home. A lovely Christmas tree in the living room, lights brightening up you home, and winter decorations across the hall. But are you really done? Maybe you’ve finished decorating but have you finished dog proofing? The Christmas season is a time for family and pets to enjoy each others companionship. If you want Christmas to be fun for your dog too, it’s important that the home is dog friendly. So let’s see if your doing everything you can to keep your house safe for your canine companion. Canine Caviar is here to remind you of 5 dog friendly Christmas safety tips to ensure a successful holiday season. These simple but effective Christmas safety tips are a must do before the Christmas party begins rolling.
Christmas Trees Must be Secured
This is probably the most obvious concern, and you’ve most likely taken care of this problem but it’s a good reminder for everybody. Christmas trees (natural or artificial) can spell bad news for your dog. For one, tree needles are a toxic substance and can go as far as to damage you dog’s stomach. The tree itself can topple over and injure your best friend; a sight no one wants to see. If your tree is natural and needs water, that stagnant water can contain bacteria and residuals harmful to your dog’s health. Christmas trees are an important part of the holidays, but so is your dog’s well-being so what do we do? Here are some Christmas safety tips to implement if you haven’t already:
- Secure your Christmas tree by fastening it to the floor, wall or ceiling. This will prevent it from falling and causing injury. You can anchor your tree using weights to hold it down or fishing line and connecting it to the wall.
- Keep your dog away from the water. This can be don through many ways. You can try to cover the water whenever you can to prevent your dog from drinking it. You can also train your dog to stay away from the tree entirely. This may include using a spray bottle or treats to teach your bud to be a good dog.
- No food on the tree. Christmas trees are already attractive enough for dogs. Putting lines of popcorn and other food will only entice your dog more.
Stay Away from Holiday Plants
There are many holiday plants associated with this time of year. Mistletoe, Holly, Poinsettias, and Hibiscus to name a few. While they add a nice natural touch to your home, they aren’t very dog friendly. Holly for example, can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when ingested. Mistletoe will cause an upset stomach and most holiday plants will result in oral blisters. Either way, it’s not a good idea to have these plants around the house where dogs can reach them. That’s why one of our Christmas safety tips is to avoid using these plants in your decorating. That way your house can be as dog friendly as possible. If you really need plants in your decorating, plastic plants are a great safe alternative.
Be Smart with Ornaments & Decorations
We already know that your dog and delicate furniture pieces don’t mix. Dogs and ornaments are an even worse combination. Ornaments are often mistaken as dog toys due to their colorfulness and festive nature. This causes your dog to swat down your precious ornaments to the floor breaking it into pieces. Your dog will destroy its gastrointestinal tract if it consumes these shards. The shards are also a hazard causing outside injury such as deep cuts on the paws and harm to the gum-line. Your other Christmas decorations are also capable of doing the same harm. Another one of our Christmas safety tips includes monitoring your dog to ensure it hasn’t ingested anything foreign. If you can secure your decorations such as nutcrackers, snow globes, and other festive items. It will make your home more dog friendly and your dog will certainly appreciate it.
Another item to look out for is your dining cloth. We like to fancy up our dining table during the holidays and that usually means a nice dining cloth. If your dog hasn’t had much experience with dining cloths, it may be tempted to tug at it. If unmonitored, your dog can destroy your dining ware and possibly harm itself in the process. It’s a good idea to get your dog comfortable with dangling cloth if it isn’t already. Teach your dog to leave it be and play with its toys instead.
Protect Your Dog from Electrical Hazards
Now let’s talk a little about electrical hazards. Christmas would not be the same without Christmas lights running within and throughout the house. Adding cute battery operated decorations in the family room is fun but these decorations can become major hazards. Batteries while durable are not indestructible. Batteries can be punctured and cause severe damage. Punctured batteries will cause severe chemical burns to the mouth esophagus and stomach. Electrical cords are also not chew proof and pose a hazard to your best friend. Chewed out cords can cause mouth burns, shocks, electrocution and even death. It’s important to protect these items so dogs don’t harm themselves; here are some dog friendly Christmas safety types:
- Don’t leave batteries out around the house. Keep any old or new batteries in a safe location away from your dog’s reach. A small box in a shelf or drawer is a good place to consider.
- Christmas lights should be unplugged when you’re out of the house. Don’t leave the tree lights on when your away, it’s the opportune time for your dog to satisfy its chewing urges. It also helps to leave an extra amount of toys for your dog to entertain itself with.
- Cover your electrical cords with tape or protectors. its a good idea to invest in some protectors, especially if you love to light up your home. They’re safe for the home and make it very difficult for your dog to tamper with.
Keep Holiday Candy & Snacks Out of Reach
The last of our Christmas safety tips is to keep dangerous snacks where your dogs can’t reach them. Christmas brings a lot of chocolate, nuts, and raisins which are all a threat to your dog’s health. You also have candies and snacks sweetened with xylitol which is also toxic for dogs. We love placing bowls of treats on coffee tables and dining sets. Some snacks are eventually going to fall to the ground. It’s best to avoid snacks all together but if you can’t then we have to secure these treats. That means keeping your dog away from tables an unattended areas where treats may be. Make sure you properly dispose of any wrappers and bits of garbage that come with sweets. Lastly, secure garbage cans and lids so trash doesn’t fall out and land on the floor. This will help keep a clean dog friendly environment and ensure your dog has a safe and fun holiday season.
A Dog Friendly Christmas is a Perfect Christmas
We hope these dog friendly Christmas safety tips have been helpful. Preparation is key when creating a Christmas season all family members can enjoy. We hope you enjoy the holidays and have a wonderful time with your pets. Check out the Canine Caviar Blog for more useful and educational information. From benefits of food sources to tips and tricks, we’re here to help you when you need it.