Holiday Hazards: How to Keep Your Dog Safe

keep your dog safe - jack russel terrier looking up at christmas treeHoliday decorating is a yuletide tradition, and with good reason! Unboxing the figurines, breaking out the garland, and hanging the ornaments is a fun family activity. Decorating and planning all the merriment brings families closer as they start feeling the Christmas cheer.

When you have furry family members, however, it can be a tricky time. You never know what they might chew, tackle, or eat. To help everyone enjoy the holidays, here are some basic tips on how to keep your dog safe during the holidays:

Hang Plants High – Especially These

Playful pooches can get into anything, especially if it’s low enough to the ground. When picking up decorative plants for the holidays, remember that some can be dangerous for your dog. For example, Phoradendron flavescens – better known as Mistletoe! It’s customary to hang mistletoe up high, of course, but in the moments right before hanging it and just after taking it down, pups are vulnerable.

Some other examples of classic, but toxic, holiday plants for dogs include: Poinsettias, Holly, and Fir trees. That’s right – the main event itself, the Christmas tree, is toxic to dogs. To keep pups safe over the holidays, consider opting for alternate species or even artificial decorative plants.

Avoid Breakable Eatables

Shiny tinsel, novelty chain lights, and delicate ornaments are staples for holiday decorations in many homes. To help keep your pup safe, it’s best to avoid these if possible. Or, at the very least, put them out of reach.

These three decorations are some of the most likely to catch a dog’s eye, and worse yet, a dog’s mouth. Dogs go for tinsel because it’s light and shiny. It seems like the perfect plaything, but can easily cause intestinal duress when ingested. When dogs nibble on chain lights and glass ornaments, they may shatter. Bits and pieces of plastic and glass can wreak havoc on a dog’s system.

To keep pups safe, you can train them to ignore these decorations or place them out of reach. Then, be on the lookout for any digestion issues! Alternately, you can avoid the decorations altogether.

Lit Candles And Open Flames

Candles in window sills and a crackling fireplace are elements of classic Christmas ambiance. If you typically only use candles or a fireplace seasonally, they can be a new and exciting experience for dogs. They’ll want to investigate, and that can mean trouble.

To negate the danger, candles should be kept up high. Having them out of your dog’s range will prevent accidental nose burns, tail swipes, and fire hazards. You can also avoid the potential danger by using fake candles instead. If you have an open fireplace, consider installing a fire-proof gate directly in front. Doing so means you can still roast chestnuts without putting your pup in danger.

The holidays can hold many hazards for curious pups. With these tips, you can keep your dog safe during the holidays.