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HOLIDAY SAFETY TIPS FOR PUPS

The holiday season is a joyous time of year for humans but it can be a dangerous time for our canine companions with all the social, decorative, and food-related situations going on during this time. Potentially dangerous situations include:

VISITORS AND DELIVERIES

  • Slipping out the front door when guests come to visit and/or packages are delivered.

DECORATIONS/PLANTS

  • Christmas trees can be top-heavy and possibly fall onto your pup causing injury, and/or the tree water which is stagnant (a potential breeding ground for bacteria) and can have fertilizer in it causing stomach upset if ingested. The pine needles are also to be avoided.

  • Mistletoe and Holly are toxic and can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea while Pointsettias although not toxic can also cause gastro disturbances

  • Ornaments that are breakable can cause damage to your pups mouth and digestive tract

  • Tinsel ingestion can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration, and possible surgery

  • Candles left unattended can cause curious pups to get burned and/or cause a fire if unintentionally knocked over

  • Wires from electric lights can cause electric shock if chewed on and Batteries, if bitten, can cause burns to your pups mouth and esophagus

FOOD

  • Sweets especially chocolate and anything made with Xylitol are toxic to dogs

  • Leftovers like bones and fatty meats can cause pancreatitis and/or intestinal blockages especially from ingested mesh netting that these products are often wrapped in

  • Alcohol when consumed by your dog can cause him/her to go weak, become ill, and possibly go into a coma possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure

What Can You Do to Puppy Proof Your Holidays?

  1. Keep a leash and collar/harness and ID tags with your cell number securely attached to your pup when hosting visitors, or alternatively set up an exercise pen by the door to keep your dog from escaping when you open the door (not just for visitors but for deliveries, also).

  2. Securely anchor your Christmas tree to the ceiling by tethering the tree to a plant hook on the ceiling using a thin wire. Put some bells on the lower branches to alert you to when the dog is messing with the tree and so you can intervene as needed.

  3. Opt for plastic plants as opposed to living plants

  4. Brighten your Christmas tree branches with shiny decorations other than tinsel and avoid yarn, strings, and other items with long strands that attract canine attention.

  5. Place candles high up and never leave them unattended.

  6. Keep electrical cords covered and/or out of paws' reach; unplug immediately if your dog starts chewing on one. Better yet keep them off the bottom branches of the tree where dogs can easily reach them.

  7. When unsupervised, avoid putting food containing gifts (wrapped or unwrapped) under the tree where your pup would be tempted to munch on them.

  8. Do NOT give your pup fatty, spicy, sugary human food. Choose to stuff and feed dogs healthy foods in Kong toys or safe dog chew treats.

  9. Keep all alcoholic beverages out of the doggie reach zone.

  10. Ensure your pup has a quiet, safe place of his/her own with water and a place to snuggle when they need to retreat for a break from all the festivities.