Holiday Dog Safety Tips

Holiday Dog Safety Tips

By Courtney Alexander
Holiday Dog Safety Tips
Banner five dogs celebrating Christmas holidays wearing a red Santa Claus hat, reindeer antlers and red present ribbon. Isolated on gray background

The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for all the fun this festive season brings, we wanted to share some holiday dog safety tips in mind. We have ASPCA's Holiday Safety Tips blog below with some additions from our team. Read up on all the ways to keep your pup safe this holiday season.

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

We love seasonal decorations as much as any elf out there, but when it comes to having a pup around, you need to take some seasonal safety measures into account.

  • Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your dog. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria. Your dog could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he or she ingest it.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a dog-safe bouquet.
  • Poinsettias are another poison no-no, keep plants where pets can't reach!
  • Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But, a nibble can lead to a swallow. And a swallow can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. Because of this, we suggest brightening your boughs with something other than tinsel.
  • That Holiday Glow: Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
  • Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock. A punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus. Even the smallest shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth and digestive tract.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

Don't get your knickers in a twist, we aren't bam-hum-bugging your sweet treats. We just want you to be mindful of what you share with your furry companions during this holiday season.

  • Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pups away from the table and unattended plates of food. And be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
  • Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Dogs can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
  • Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where your pooch cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
  • Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Stick with indestructible chew toys, Kongs stuffed with healthy treats, and chews that are designed to be safely digestible. And keep in mind, not all stocking stuffers have to be edible either. We've got a great collection of holiday collars, harnesses, and leashes for dogs of all sizes.

For more information on what human foods are and aren't safe to feed your dog, check out ASPCA's People Food to Avoid Feeding Your Pets blog post.

Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

Holiday dog safety can sound daunting, but it can be easily achieved with a little extra planning on your end. It will be worth it to avoid crisis or tragedy ruining your holiday season.

  • House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
  • Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
  • A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
  • New Year's Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

Share our holiday pet safety tips and tricks with your fellow dog parents to ensure a pawfect holiday for all!

Make sure your pup's wardrobe is Holiday photo ready with our list of our 6 favorite new holiday dog collars, leashes, and harnesses!

dog smiling in holiday dog collar

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