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November 27, 2016

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30 Christmas and Holiday Safety Tips for Dogs and Pets

30 ways to keep your pets safe and happy during the holidays30 Tips to keep your pets happy and safe during the holidays

The holiday season is a fun and festive time, but it also brings increased risks to your pets, from fire hazards to ingesting something they shouldn't.

Here are easy ways to keep your pets safe this holiday season.

ENTERTAINING AND HAVING GUESTS OVER

  • Give your guests ground rules. This can include what treats they can give, what, if any, table food your dog can have (we recommend none) and how to act around your dog.
  • Consider inviting pet-loving friends to arrive a bit early for a play session with fellow guests that love animals. This will also help tire your pets out so they rest more comfortably.
  • Make sure your dogs are wearing a collar with ID tag in case they slip out the door and get lost.
  • If you’re worried your pet could sneak out if someone leaves the door open, invest in a baby gate for an extra level of security.
  • Give your pets a safe, quiet space where they can retreat from the noise and excitement. This might be the bedroom they usually sleep in, or separate space in their crates. Instruct your guests that this is your pet’s safe space and not to let them out. Make sure you aren’t leaving your dog unattended with anything they could choke on.
  • Table scraps should be kept away from pets - especially if they contain cooked bones. Spices and fatty food won’t sit well with your pet.
  • Tell your guests what treats your dog is not allowed -- this may include rawhides or treats with BHA or other chemicals. Play it safe and order Treats Happen natural dog treats.

HAVE A PLAN

  • Be prepared! Have a plan if you're going away or entertaining.
  • Have emergency vet info on hand including clinics open on Christmas Day.
  • Stock up on extra food and treats.
  • Boarding your dog while you travel? Make sure they have everything they will need including food, toys, and medications and emergency contacts if you're unreachable.
  • Going on a road trip together? Pack for your pet and plan accordingly for a long trip including time to make enough rest stops as needed.

FIRE SAFETY TIPS

Every year 40,000 pets are lost in house fires. Here are a few ways to reduce your risk.
  • Keep all wires out of paws' reach if your dog is a chewer. Not only could your dog receive a potentially lethal electrical shock, frayed cables are a serious fire hazard.
  • Ditch real burning candles and use attractive LED candles instead.
  • Have a safety plan in case of an emergency and make sure your smoke alarms are working. You should have at least one on every floor! Make sure leashes are by the front door or emergency exit.
  • Let emergency workers know how many pets are in your home with a decal for the front of your home

CHRISTMAS TREE SAFETY

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, such a hazard you can be.

  • Ensure that your Christmas tree is securely anchored so it can’t tip and fall, injuring your pet. This will also prevent the tree water, which may contain fertilizers that aren’t good for your pet, from spilling.
  • Keep your dog away from the water in the base of the tree. Stagnant water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea.
  • If you put up a real tree, keep the area clear of needles. If ingested, the needles can puncture your pet's intestines.
  • Easy-to-break ornaments, particularly glass ones, can cut paws or cause serious issues if ingested.
  • Avoid stringing lights low on the tree. Your dog may attempt to chew them or pull them out, causing all kinds of damage - to both your home and your pet.
  • Edible decorations such as popcorn strings are just a disaster waiting to happen.

KEEP HARMFUL PRODUCTS OUT OF REACH

Turn your back for a second and who knows what your pet will get into?

  • Keep chocolate and sweets out of reach. The higher the cocoa concentration the more of a threat to your dog, as is anything sweetened with xylitol, often found in gum. We will hapily take any sweets of your hands.
  • Yeast can cause feelings of bloating and other unpleasant effects.
  • Mistletoe, holly, and Poinsettias can cause gastrointestinal upset, cardiovascular problems, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea in your pet. If you use these to decorate your home, keep them out of reach.
  • Cats love sparkly tinsel, a "toy" that's fun to bat with their paws and carry in their mouths. Even a nibble can be swallowed, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery to remove blockages. Consider skipping the tinsel altogether.
  • Alcohol and booze - make sure your pets can’t get into the Christmas spirits. Alcohol can cause pets to become weak, ill and even fall into a coma, or die as a result of respiratory failure.
  • Make sure your dogs can’t get into the trash. Not only could they make a big mess, they could get into some bones, papers, and other stuff they shouldn’t be eating.
  • Cut the bottom out of all crinkly bags that contained salty or sweet snacks. Bags that contained potato chips, cereal, popcorn and other snacks can suffocate your pet. Don’t leave the bags lying around … serve snacks in bowls and store leftovers in plastic containers.

    BONUS: Here is our Christmas tree. Can you spot the well guarded box from the Supersize Collection?

    Dog Proof Christmas tree

    Sources and further reading. Dogtime, ASPCA, BC SPCA, AVMA, Ottawa Humane Society


    Lucas Walker
    Lucas Walker

    Author



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