Christmas is nearly here! All the hustle, bustle and fun are on their way, but did you know that the decorations, plants, and food could potentially be dangerous to your dog.
Poinsettias are beautiful and have become traditional at Christmas. They’re available everywhere and hard to resist. Your dog may also find them hard to resist, and try to eat the flower or leaves. Poinsettias are poisonous to dogs. If you have a Poinsettia this Christmas, put it somewhere, out of your dog’s reach.
Mistletoe, can also be dangerous to dogs. Follow tradition and hang mistletoe in a doorway, far out of your dog’s reach.
Holly used for Christmas decoration may look lovely but it, too, can be poisonous to your dog. If you use it as a garland in doorways or on the stairs, secure it carefully and have the ends of the plant high enough off the floor your dog can’t reach it. A loose end dangling in front of a bored dog can be a great temptation. If he’s able to grab that end and run with it, the results can be disastrous.
Keep an eye on the floor or table around your plants as well. Even if you’ve taken every precaution in placing your plants safely out of your dog’s reach, leaves can drop and an inquisitive dog will be there in a second.
Tree lights, house lights, and decorations often lead to electrical cables everywhere. Try to place cables up high, or under furniture so your dog can’t get to them. Even well-behaved dogs can be curious about things that are new.
Trees can cause lots of trouble. If you put a tree up indoors, especially if it’s a real tree, make sure your dog understands that it is not an indoor bathroom for him. Keep pine needles hoovered up; they can be very sharp and can poke in between a dog’s toes or into the pad itself. Some evergreens are harmful to dogs as well, so don’t let your dog eat the tree. If your dog is inclined to jump against things, make sure he can’t get to the base of the tree where he could knock it over. Tinsel and lights should be hung out of reach, as should ornaments; ornaments can break, and the holders can be dangerous to paws (or stomachs and intestinal tracts, if ingested).
Presents on the floor around the tree look lovely, but they can also bring unwanted attention from your dog. You may want to consider moving the presents out of the dog’s reach when you’re not home.
Candles, if placed within a dog reach, can cause disaster. Place them so they cannot be bumped and knocked over. Don’t place them on anything that could be pulled and cause them to fall over. No one wants to remember this Christmas, as the year the house caught fire.
Turkey and stuffing, roast potatoes and gravy, christmas pudding and brandy cream: all of these things are foods associated with Christmas. And, of course, they all smell wonderful to your dog.
As a treat (separate to his raw dinner) you can give your dog a little bit of white turkey meat if you wish. Avoid giving him the skin or any gravy, though: there is too much fat in those. Keep the turkey bones away from your dog; they are brittle and can shatter in his mouth, esophagus, or intestinal tract.
Christmas is a great time to be with friends and family. Your dog is a big part of your family and can happily be in the middle of everything. Just teach him to leave the tree and presents alone, take a few precautions as you decorate, and everyone will have a wonderful Christmas.