Holidays can be a joyful but also can lead to some real and present dangers for your dog. From poisonous plants to the dangers of bringing in house guests, it is important to know how to keep your dog safe during this time of year. Before you decide to cancel all your plans, close your doors, and become a holiday hermit, here are some tips to prevent any danger to your canine companion.
*Words in blue link to more information on that particular holiday hazard*
Plants like Holly, Lilly, and Poinsettias will cause symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Before you decide to take a cute picture with your dog and mistletoe understand that in cases with a large ingestion it can cause death! Silk or plastic versions of these plants would be a safer alternative to decorate your house.
Be careful about sharing your favorite holiday foods with your dog, not only can it cause vomiting and diarrhea but also more serious conditions like pancreatitis. Onions and onion containing products, like soup mix, are especially harmful to dogs even in small amounts and can cause severe anemia. Cooked Bones are very unsafe for your dog and should be carefully disposed of so your dog can not reach them. Make sure that your dog does not have access to all those holiday sweets like candy or chocolate. Dark chocolate and bakers chocolate contain the highest amounts of toxins and can lead to tremors and irregular heartbeats.
Favorite holiday decorations may pose a danger around your dog. Take time to secure your Christmas tree so that your dog does not accidentally knock it over. Consider elevating your tree by placing it on a coffee table or other surface. Everybody likes to post on social media during the holidays and your dog may want to as well by urine marking your newly decorated tree. This is another reason to keep the tree off the ground.
Be aware that tinsel and ornaments can cause intestinal obstructions and may require surgery for removal. Check to make sure to hang your ornaments where your dog can not reach them and keep any wires taped down or covered up to prevent your dog from chewing on them. Do not leave presents with candy or food wrapped up under the tree where they would be easily accessible to your pup.
Additional Guest Accidents
Probably the most dangerous part of the holidays to your dog can be all the additional people coming over to your house. Dogs can easily slip out your front door when all the holiday celebrations are taking place in your home. Make a plan with your family by either having somebody who is to watch over your dog on leash as guests come in and out or find a room to secure them in so they do not accidentally escape. Second most common reason dogs end up at the vets during the holidays is accidental ingestion of medications. House guests may not be aware and leave them out for easy access. Be safe and have them put them up out of your dog's reach. Some dogs are not game for all the noise and commotion of people coming over to party. Have a backup safe place for your dog to be able to retreat to if needed. This time of year might bring some new additional furry family members. Adding an additional dog to the family should be discussed with the whole family and your current dogs need to be considered as well. Not all dogs are willing and accepting of new family members. In my next post I will be discussing how to set your dogs up for success when it comes to adding new canine companions to the pack.
Have a wonderful HOWLiday season,
"Life seems brighter with paws at your side"
Professional, Certified Dog Trainer Trevor Smith
Understands the importance of convenient, effective (and fun!) dog training solutions for busy professionals and families.