Tis the season not only to be jolly, but to also make sure your dog is safe from holiday hazards.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) offers the following tips to ensure your pooch has a safe holiday season.
- Stick as closely as possible to your normal routine. Try not to vary your dog’s feeding, walking and playtime schedule.
- Don’t feed your dog scraps from the table. Cookies and pies, macaroni salads and stuffing, potato chips and fancy hors d’oeuvres are inappropriate foods for dogs and may make them sick.
- If you host a party, remember that some guests may be uncomfortable around dogs. Your dog may, in turn, be uncomfortable or frightened around a large group of unfamiliar people. You may want to confine him in a crate or a room that will not be used by guests. Otherwise, keep him by your side, or with another family member, to keep him from getting into trouble or underfoot.
- No matter how fun the party gets, never give your dog alcohol.
- Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog can’t reach.
- Do not put lights on the lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn your dog.
- Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
- Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog’s feet or mouth.
- Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
- Keep other ornaments off the lower branches; if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he can be made sick by the materials or paint.
- Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off (with a playpen or other “fence”) or in a room that isn’t accessible to your dog.
- Tinsel can be dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
- Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.
- Review canine holiday gifts for safety. Small plastic toys or bones may pose choking hazards.
- Your dog may want to investigate wrapped packages; keep them out of reach.