12 Ways to Keep You Dog Safe Over the Holidays
Christmas will soon be upon us and keeping your dog and other pets safe over the holidays can be a difficult task.
There are plants, gifts, ornaments and of course the Christmas tree that will attract your dog’s attention.
Here are some suggestions that will help your dog enjoy the holiday season and avoid any trips to an emergency vet.
Natural trees are lovely but we must remember that most dogs will instinctively be drawn to the inviting smell of the tree and their natural curiosity could place them at risk. Needles from a tree are not digestible and could cause illness depending on your dog’s size and how much is ingested. Fir tree oils will irritate the mouth and stomach and cause vomiting. Tree needles can also obstruct or puncture the intestines. Another concern is the water in which the tree sits. We often use preservatives or aspirin in the water to help keep our tree fresh and such treated water could be very harmful to a thirsty dog so don’t let your dog drink the water.
If you are considering an artificial tree avoid the ones that glitter. These trees may look nice but they may create extra curiosity in your pets. Smaller trees, about 5 feet tall, are safer than trees that are 7 feet or taller. The taller the tree the higher the risk that it could be knocked over by your pet.
Choose the right spot for your Christmas tree. Pick an area where your family can enjoy your tree but won’t allow it to be easily knocked over. Perhaps an area in a corner or near a wall that is near an electrical outlet so you don’t need to use extension cords.
Prepare the area by buying a tree bag and centre the tree on the bag. When Christmas is over and it’s time to dispose of your tree, simply pull the bag over the tree and store it in your garage until pick up day. The bag will also catch any needles as they fall from the tree so your dog can’t chew or swallow them.
Secure your tree from two sides with small hooks in the walls. This will prevent your furry friend from being injured if the tree or ornaments should fall and break.
Choose safe ornaments and, if you must use glass-type bulbs, don’t place them on the lower branches of your tree. There is no bulb that is pet safe and if they are broken and swallowed they can be ingested and cause intestinal problems or can cut your dog’s feet if stepped on. You should also avoid edible tree decorations. They are just too enticing for your pet who may try to tug on them and knock down your tree.
Use ribbon instead of tinsel and garland that can be swallowed and caught in your dog’s intestine.
Don’t use hooks to secure your ornaments. Instead use loops of string tied with a knot. If ornaments fall from the tree, your dog may try to catch them or swallow the hooks.
Hide any electrical cords which can be especially inviting to puppies that like to chew on just about anything. The cords can be secured in a position that is higher than your pet can reach or hide them with special covers.
Be sure to sweep or vacuum any needles that have fallen from your tree. Keep your tree watered and only turn on the lights when you are at home.
Supervise your dog when he is near the tree and be careful of holiday plants such as mistletoe, poinsettias plants and Christmas cactus which can be toxic to your pet.
Store your gifts in a safe place before the big day. Dogs are curious and don’t understand that gifts are not opened until Christmas Day. Decorative ribbons can be swallowed and gifts can be destroyed.
So be careful when choosing a tree and plants and let’s enjoy this Holiday Season and keep our furry friends safe and healthy.