As much fun as the holidays can be, it’s easy for any family to get carried away. Decorations, lights, colors, and delicious, festive food make up the entire month of December and sometimes it’s just a little too easy to forget when something might not be such a good idea for dog safety. As you celebrate your favorite winter season holidays, consider some of these tips to keep your days fun and danger free.
Be Wary of Decorations
Whether you’re using tinsel, tons of lights, or holiday plants, remember that dogs and cats tend to think that these decorations are their new playthings. To keep cords away from your pets, consider taping them down or covering them with cable protectors. If you are hanging holly, mistletoe, or other decorative plants, consider making them unreachable or always keeping an eye on them. Electrocution, upset stomachs, or cuts in the mouth and insides if any of the sharp decorations are swallowed.
Watch Out for Falling Trees and Chewed Gifts
If you have a large dog, consider whether they will be able to pull over the holiday tree in your house. Consider whether your cat will knock decorations off of the tree and whether your dog will chase after those decorations. For dog safety, know how your cats or dogs will react to the trees you have in your home, including whether they will try to eat the branches. If you do not believe your pets can behave, consider alternatives such as not putting up a large tree or creating a barrier around the tree. This should also be considered if you worry about your dog running up to any gifts or stockings that are within reach and tearing them open.
Say No to Surprise Pets
Adopting a cat or dog isn’t a one-time thing, but a lifelong commitment. With that said, the pets who are purchased or adopted without fully discussing it with the family are often those who end up at the pound. Dog safety includes thinking about the life of the dog and where they will be after New Year’s rings in. If you believe a pet is something that the receiver really wants, go to adoption centers together and allow them to knowingly pick out their new pet family member. Make sure that the time, dedication, and needs of the pet were talked about prior to adoption so the new pet parent, especially if they are younger, know what will be expected of them.
No Holiday Snacks for the Pooch
If you want to treat your dog to a special holiday surprise, skip the eggnog and consider making something that is dog safe. Some of the worst things that can be given to dogs around the holidays include animal bones, spices, and some vegetables like onions. There are so many great recipes for holiday-inspired dog food and treats that you can make with leftovers from your holiday feasts or prepare to serve along with them.