How To Keep Your Dog Safe For Christmas Holidays?

Written by: Kristina Lalovic
The best way to avoid most of unpleasant situations is prevention. Better be safe than sorry! This is especially true for holidays as we do not want anything ruining our special moments shared with our loved ones. These most common mistakes people make while decorating their homes can be very dangerous for our pets. Read on and discover 10 essential tips you should implement this year to make your household safe during winter holidays!

Sometimes we can get too excited about the holidays that we can overlook the importance that some things might have when it comes to our pets. If you have an adult dog, that has been accustomed to your Christmas traditions and hasn’t ever had any problems related to it, that still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be informed about things that could harm him.

Learning a few tricks to make your holiday rituals pet-friendly might really help you and your family spend some lovely time together without unexpected surprises. You wouldn’t really enjoy having to drive your dog to the vet for the new year’s eve, right?

That’s why you should be informed about the ways the stuff we make and buy for Christmas and New Year’s Eve affect our dogs. It is always better to prevent potential damages and cut the risks of not spending the long-awaited holidays surrounded only with love and laughter.

These tips can come in really handy if you have a young pup that is about to have his first Christmas.

So let’s check what you can do to have a dog-friendly Christmas and spend an enjoyable holiday season that is safe for everyone in your family.

Let’s start with decorations first.

1. Ornaments

Dogs usually see ornaments as toys for their common round shape. It is very likely that your dog already tried to play with one of them while you were decorating your Christmas tree.

But you have to be aware that these can be very dangerous for your pup. He could ingest them and choke on them.

If you have plastic ornaments, it might be slightly safer, as glass ones might cause cuts on paws or even to the mouth and digestive tract. In these cases, surgical removal might be needed.

If it’s possible opt for plastic ornaments or tie your delicate pieces tightly on the higher branches of the tree and it will be much safer not only for your dog but also for your whole household.

2. Tinsel

Because of their glittery appearance tinsel is often very intriguing to pets. Unfortunately, tinsel is one of the most dangerous Christmas decorations.

Even a few strands of tinsels when ingested can cause serious intestinal problems. Avoid putting tinsel on your Christmas tree if you don’t want to have a temptation that will always catch the attention of your dog.

Not only can it lead to dangerous intestinal obstruction, but your dog might even jump on your tree to get them and cause some real mess.

If not treated properly, tinsel ingestion could be a life-threatening condition. So better put that tinsel away from your pup’s reach! If you notice that your dog might have swallowed a couple of tinsel strands, better seek your vet’s support.

3. Potpourri

We all know that dogs are big fans of anything that has an authentic scent/smell. The same stands for your festive scent, only that potpourri might cause gastrointestinal issues and result in vomiting and diarrhea.

Want to have a clean and neat Holiday season? Make sure your potpourri is well covered in containers and out of your dog’s reach.

4. Electrical Wires

Those little lights on your Christmas tree really do make your home look more Christmassy. But be aware where you leave the electrical cords.

Dogs can often think that cords are perfect toys for chewing. This might lead to experiencing an electrical shock or even create fire, none of which you want for Christmas.

Do not put lights on the lower branches of your Christmas tree and put them slightly higher in order to avoid potential risks. Also, look up some creative DIY ways to cover the electrical wires for being 100% sure that your dog won’t be able to chew them.

5. A Live Christmas tree

Believe it or not, but Christmas trees are considered as mildly toxic to our furry friends. If your dog chews on the tree the oils found in the needles might be irritating to your dog’s mouth and stomach. If ingested these can also cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, GI obstruction or puncture.

If you have a live Christmas tree, try restricting your dog from accessing the tree easily. This is especially important for when you are not home.

Another thing you should be aware of is that the tree water might be very harmful to dogs. This water is often full of preservatives, pesticides, fertilizers that when drunk can even be fatal to dogs or even children. So, make sure to cover your tree water dish.

6. Mistletoe

Mistletoe makes an important part of Christmas decoration but this plant is highly toxic to your dog, and pets in general. There are different varieties of Mistletoe and all of them contain a cytotoxin called viscumin which can cause poisoning.

In case of mild poisoning, your dog might experience signs of gastrointestinal irritation. But when ingested in large amounts, mistletoe poisoning might also lead to low blood pressure, abnormal heart rate, collapse and sometimes even death.

If you caught your pup chewing on some mistletoe, you should probably seek vet assistance as soon as possible.

7. Lilies

Christmas lilies are among plants that people like to have around this time of year. But are these safe for dogs? Nope, they are highly toxic to dogs and pets in general.

Ingestion of even a couple of lily tubers is known to be fatal in canines. They contain extremely toxic colchicine alkaloids that when ingested can cause serious damage to your dog. The signs your dog is having a lily poisoning are different and can go from only diarrhea and vomiting to kidney and liver failure and also death.

Be aware that lilies are among the most poisonous plants for dogs. So, if you suspect your dog might have eaten some, seek immediately a veterinary professional that will help him.

The best thing to do when having pets in your house is avoiding lilies indoors as well as or outdoors.

8. Holly Berries

Similarly to Mistletoe, Holly berries are also considered as toxic to pets. They contain potentially toxic substances such as saponins, methylxanthines and cyanogens. When ingested, holly can cause gastrointestinal upset, but not only, it’s spiny leaves might also lead to injuries in your dog’s mouth or stomach.

If you think your dog might have eaten holly, call your veterinarian as soon as possible to get the right treatment tips.

9. Chocolate Pudding

It is never a smart idea to feed your dog with anything that has chocolate in it. The same stands for chocolate pudding. Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs.

Being high in sugar too, Chocolate pudding is also a definite no-no for your pup. But if he somehow managed to have few licks while you weren’t watching, there’s no need to panic. Your dog might not have dangerous reactions.

If your dog seems fine after 12 hours after the ingestion of pudding, he is probably going to be just fine. On the other hand, if your dog looks like he’s not feeling the best, better visit your vet. This is held especially true for smaller dogs, as small amounts might do them greater damage.

If you want to make some great, homemade recipes for your dog, check out this list of 35 dog treats your pup will adore!

10. Gingerbread

Although ginger can actually be healthy for your dog in small quantities, this adored Christmas cookie should not be fed to canines. Gingerbread usually contains nutmeg which is considered mildly toxic to pets. Nutmeg contains myristicin that can hurt our dogs’ tummies.

Gingerbread, as most cookies, is full of sugar and fats which are never a good thing to feed your dog with.

If your dog has eaten gingerbread in small amounts, make sure to feed him bland food after to soothe his stomach.

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