Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe This Christmas

A Doggy Christmas

A Doggy Christmas

Christmas can be a dangerous time for your dog, especially if you are not aware of the potential risks that could harm your dog or even prove fatal.

Here are some top tips for making sure that the festive season is a safe one for your dog.

Christmas Tree Considerations

When you are deciding where to put your Christmas tree, look to find a location that will not be too easily accessible for your dog. A well-anchored tree is a must to minimise the possibility that your dog will up-end it.

It is also wise to think carefully about decorating the tree. Keep tinsel away from lower branches of the tree as this can cause an obstruction in the intestines if consumed by your dog. Lights on the lower branches can mean that your dog accidentally gets tangled up in them, along with the risk of being burnt or shocked if he or she bites through the wiring. Ornaments can lead to obstructions and choking, and if broken, they can also cause injuries. Edible decorations are a big no-no – particularly chocolate varieties – as dogs will often be unable to tolerate them.

Decorative Considerations

Some seasonal decorations can prove poisonous for dogs. This includes holly, mistletoe and poinsettia. This does not mean that you cannot have these decorations in your home at Christmas but you will need to make sure that they cannot be accessed by your dog.

Burning candles should also be placed out of reach of wagging tails, which could easily knock them over by accident.

Food Considerations

Many foods that are enjoyed by humans at Christmas can be dangerous for your dog and should be avoided at all costs. This includes:

  • Chocolate: All kinds of chocolate can upset your dog, especially dark chocolate and cooking chocolate; any small amounts of them can be very toxic
  • Grapes and raisins: Even small amounts of these foods can result in kidney damage, so be careful with the christmas care!
  • Turkey leftovers: Even your Christmas dinner leftovers are not as safe as you might assume. The bones can damage the intestinal tract or become stuck in your dog’s throat.
  • Sugar-free sweets: The sweeteners in sugar-free sweets can be harmful for dogs.

If you do want to treat your dog this Chistmas,  then specialist treats like the dog Advent calendar may be a better idea.

Environmental Considerations

Loud noises such as pulling crackers, party poppers and balloons can all cause distress for your dog.

If you will be having guests over, set up a quiet room for your dog to escape to. This can reduce anxiety and unease, especially if it means that you are veering away from your dog’s regular routine.

Other Considerations

Outside of the home, there are other winter-related dangers to be aware of around Christmas time.

Cold weather can be harmful for your dog during winter walks unless you take steps to protect your dog against the possibility of hypothermia and frostbite.

Antifreeze is another danger to be alert to during periods of cold weather. Antifreeze is highly attractive for dogs due to its sweet taste but it is also extremely toxic. Keep your dog away from any antifreeze spills during walks and if you use it yourself, take care to protect your dog from being able to consume it.

[Photo credits:sadiehart]