Since last season’s comical (in hindsight) family drama, you could do with a holiday free of all that stress. Now that the tree is trimmed, the house is decorated and the presents are wrapped, there is just one more thing… keep your dog safe. Avoid these common Christmas doggie dangers so there are no unwanted surprises... only good ones.
Problem: Christmas trees don’t pose a problem to your dog (unless your pup is jumping on it) but the tree water does. Since it’s low to the ground, dogs go crazy for it. However, if your tree was grown with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, the water will be tainted with it. Holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias are also toxic to dogs.
Solution: As far as Christmas trees go, a skirt should do the trick. If your adverse to the skirt, in order to stop your pup from drinking the tree water, first tell him “no.” And if your dog needs extra encouragement beyond that - which is highly likely - try adding something bitter or spicy to the water. Pepper flakes will float on top and give your pup a hot warning. For other plants, keep them up high or just avoid them all together.
Problem: Decorations should be kept out of your pets reach. They will love chewing on ribbons and tinsel which can get lodged in their intestines and require surgery to remove. Glass ornaments can also be cause for concern. Larger dogs may think it’s a ball and break it in their mouths. Since tinier dogs like to tug at the branches they can reach, they are at risk of ornaments falling and shattering on them or near them. Finally, we all know how much puppies like to chew on cords. Christmas lights are warm and low… perfect for chewing… but can cause electric shock if your pup chews the whole way through.
Solution: Teach your pet “no” and if all else fails, put a little play pen or gate around the tree.
Foul Play Food
Problem: Rich, yummy holiday foods may have you packing on a few pounds, but it’s much more serious for your pet. Fatty food can cause pancreatitis and uncommon grub can upset your pup’s GI tract leaving you a present worse than coal in your stocking.
Solution: Make your pup his own special treats like these DIY Squash ones.
image: Howard Lake