Dog wearing stocking cap in front of Christmas tree

How to Have a Happy Christmas with your Dogs

Christmas is a time for joyful celebration and lots of food and fun. However, with it comes some seasonal dangers for your doggies. Here are some tips for how to have a happy Christmas with your dogs. They might even save you an unwanted trip to your vet this holiday season.

  1. Keep Christmas food and drink out of their reach Christmas is the one time of the year when most of us go all out in the food and drink indulgence. Some of our tasty treats are not good for our furry friends. We’ve listed a few below. (You can spoil your pups with a Good Old Doggie Cookie recipe. This month’s featured recipe is for Sweet Potato Dog Treats. They are healthy, your dog will love the naturally sweet flavor, and they are very easy to make.)
    • Chocolates are everywhere at Christmas. Every household seems to have at least one box of their favorites lying about. Those sensitive noses of our pets will ferret these out in the blink of an eye. And don’t think for one minute that just because you’ve wrapped it beautifully and placed beneath the tree, that Fido won’t discover the error of your ways. Before you know what’s happening, he will have it unwrapped and into the box devouring every piece of chocolate there. So, to avert a disaster, keep your cherished chocolates way up high where your pup cannot reach. Chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs.
    • Mincemeat pie, fruit cake, and Christmas puddings contain raisins, currants, and sultanas, which are all types of dried grapes. We usually have fresh grapes adorning our cheese platters. Grapes in ANY form are quite toxic to dogs, but raisins seem to cause more issues and can cause kidney failure. Keep all your Christmas treats away from their paws. For your sake as well as your best friends’.
    • Our big Christmas dinner, the highlight of our Christmas day, can potentially be bad for dogs as well. Onions, often found in the stuffing or the gravy, are toxic to dogs. Bones can cause gut damage or intestinal blockages. Fatty foods can result in diarrhea and tummy issues.  So… none of these leftovers for your pooch.
    • Alcoholic beverages during Christmas flow freely in many homes during the holidays. For many, it’s an integral part of the celebration. Keep them out of reach of your pups. Animals are sensitive to the effects of alcohol and it is easy for them to suffer from alcohol poisoning. Keep your eye on abandoned glasses that still have alcohol in them.

2. Watch out for Christmas decorations and pet-proof your tree. This is the time of year where your pet may become much too intrigued with everything happening around him.

    • Ornaments can easily be snatched off the tree and eaten. Glass ornaments are Particularly dangerous as the glass can cut them and if swallowed, create a plethora of problems. If you have old family heirloom glass ornaments, please hang them on high branches.
    • Tinsel, although very tempting to play with, can be harmful if swallowed. Long objects like this can pose extreme problems if caught in the intestines and quite possibly will require surgery to remove.
    • Tivoli lights (aka fairy lights) pose more problems because if the wires are chewed, they can cause electrocution and the tiny bulbs can easily be swallowed.
    • Pine needles can get caught in their paws and can be problematic if swallowed. You need to vacuum them up regularly to avoid any problems. To ensure your pooch doesn’t get into any tree trouble, consider placing a barrier around the tree to keep your dog from getting his paws on your decorations, thus, averting a potential disaster.
    • Candles, as lovely and fragrant as they are, must be kept well out of reach of paws, heads, and tails. We don’t need a fire or injury.
    • Some Christmas plants that find their way into our homes can be lethal for your dogs. Mistletoe, poinsettias, and holly all cause stomach issues and even worse. So please keep them far away from your pups.

3. Don’t place gifts under the tree. Many of our gifts may contain hidden dangers and don’t think for one minute that the wrapping paper will deter an inquisitive pup. It’s best to keep them stashed away until the last minute and even then, keep a close eye on your pet to avoid any unnecessary incidents.

    • Some toys may present problems because of small parts that pets can swallow resulting in intestinal blockages.
    • Batteries not only contain harmful chemicals which if ingested, can quite possibly damage their mouth and stomach. Sometimes they can contain heavy metals which can cause poisoning. And those tiny button batteries can be a nightmare. Keep all batteries safely away from your pet.  And be particularly careful when disposing of them.
    • Ribbon, bows, and string used for wrapping those pretty gifts can be great fun to play with, but sadly, they have the same effect as tinsel on the intestines if ingested.

4. Be aware of excessive excitement during the holidays. Many times, although we love all the noise and excitement of the festivities, it may not hold true for our pets. Much the same as fireworks, loud parties, and loud music can make him unduly stressed. Make sure he has a quiet place to go to get away from all the noise to help keep him calm and relaxed. Give your pup their favorite toys and blanket and some treats. Remember it’s his Christmas, too. Be mindful of his well-being and safety.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and blessed holiday.

Much love,
Carroll, Lisa, Drummer, and Fancy

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