Avoid these holiday hazards for pups.
- Additives in the water for Christmas trees could be harmful if your dog thinks the tree stand is an extra water bowl. Don’t add anything that could be toxic.
- Broken ornaments, tinsel and homemade ornaments made of salt-dough can cause intestinal blockages or be toxic in other ways. Lights and cords are attractive “toys” that a dog might chew. Keep them out of reach.
- Some holiday plants can be poisonous. These include poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar and holly.
- Menorahs, candles and other lighted decorations can fall on a pet. Don’t leave burning candles and canines alone.
- Potpourri might seem like a tempting treat to pups, but potpourri can have ingredients that could damage a dog’s mouth or irritate eyes and skin.
- Many kinds of people food are not good for pups. The list includes chocolate, onions, bread dough, coffee, grapes, raisons and alcohol. Important: Watch out for guests who try to slip table food to fido. Make house rules clear.
We may not have a white Christmas, but it can get chilly for canines even without snow. Some breeds (think Alaskan Malamute, Bernese Mountain Dog and German Shepherd) like the cold. Smaller breeds and dogs with a short coat (like Chihuahua, many terriers and Greyhounds) can lose body heat quickly, which puts them at risk for hypothermia. Also, consider the size and age of your dog, says PetMD, when you’re wondering if you should buy a sweater, vest or coat for your canine. PetMD has some great recommendations, including measuring you dog’s neck and chest so the clothes are not too tight. Also, check the fit around the armpit area so a dog’s movement isn’t restricted and watch out for buttons or snaps that could be chewed off and swallowed. Read the entire article here.
- Prepare your pet for evening party guests or a weekend of company. If your dog is nervous or aggressive toward visitors, maybe some crate time with a favorite toy is part of the answer. Ask your vet for ideas, too. Have a quiet room or other space where a pup can retreat and feel secure, in case the commotion of company is too much.
- If guests want to come with pets, consider the possible effect on your pup. You may want to diplomatically limit guests to humans only.
Watch for escapes. With more people going in and out, there’s a greater chance of a dog exiting the house. Make sure your dog’s IDs are up-to-date with phone numbers and other contact information, just in case your dog goes out the door without you.
- If you’re traveling by car, think about safety restraints.
- If you’re flying, there is a lot to consider. Read this past post, Pets on planes – What’s the safety record?, about flying with dogs.
New Year’s Noise
- If ringing in the New Year includes fireworks, firecrackers or even just party noisemakers, beware of the effect on your dog. Take precautions like you would on the 4th of July. Read this past post with tips for dog safety on the 4th and this post about dogs with noise anxiety.