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Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season is here. Everyone is very excited and there’s a lot going on. It’s a time for shopping for presents, putting up decorations, baking, having special treats and putting up a Christmas tree. With all these preparations, we must keep in mind that some of these things can be harmful to our furry family members.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your dog safe during the Christmas season.
If you are thinking of bringing a real Christmas tree into your home with your pets there are precautions that you must take. Christmas trees are one of many holiday plants that could be mildly toxic to pets.
If your dog eats pine needles from the tree, they will upset his stomach and cause vomiting and excessive drooling. Sharp needles can puncture your dog’s intestinal lining. Clean up fallen tree needles as often as possible. Keeping the tree in water will keep the dry fallen needles to a minimum.
You must keep the tree in water, but the water can be a greater concern. The water may have preservatives, aspirin or pesticides in order to try to preserve the tree. If your dog drinks this water, it may poison him. Maybe you can cover the water base so your dog cannot get to it.
Artificial trees can also be dangerous. If your dog eats fake tree needles, they can cause digestion problems. If your artificial tree has imitation snow, it can cause serious problems if swallowed.
Whether a real or artificial tree, be sure to secure the tree so that it does not topple over. Do not use tabletops trees. Your dog can snatch the tree and its ornaments from the tree.
Other toxic holiday plants are Mistletoe, Holly Berries and Ivy, Lilies and Daffodils, Jerusalem Cherry and Poinsettias. They also pose a danger to your dog.
Red Roses, White Orchids and Christmas Cacti are safe for your pets.
One of the joys of Christmas is the beautiful decorations. They are also a big danger to your dog.
Twinkling lights are put on Christmas trees and all around the house. Keep the wires and extension cords out of sight. They can be very attractive to a teething puppy.
Beautiful and colorful ornaments will also be an attraction for your dog. Please check that there are no sharp ornaments on the tree. Be careful with the hooks. Try using ribbon to hang the ornaments on your tree. Unbreakable, paper and material ornaments are also a good idea.
Tinsel and large ribbons, if eaten, can cause major problems if digested.
Avoid lit candles. Your dog can swipe them with its tail and cause a fire. Flameless candles are a great alternative.
Making decorations for your tree made of popcorn, gumdrops or candy canes can be a great temptation for your dog.
Do not put presents under the tree until Christmas Day. Presents can keep your curious dog entertained for hours if left unsupervised.
As your children open their presents, they tend to leave the open toys under the tree. Be mindful of small toys and batteries that may be left under the tree.
Stuff your dog’s stocking with indestructible chew toys. Kongs are a great toy that can be stuffed with healthy foods and treats.
Keep your dog away from sweets. Dogs cannot eat chocolate or anything sweetened with xylitol.
Also, fatty, spicy and many holiday foods, including bones should not be given to your dog.
Be sure to keep alcoholic drinks where your dog cannot get therm. If your dog drinks alcohol, he can become very ill, and possibly death from respiratory failure.
New Year’s Eve
Be aware that strings and confetti thrown on New Year’s Eve can cause digestion problems if ingested. Loud noises can damages your pet’s sensitive ears.
Also, fireworks can be scary for some pets. Put your pet in a secure place where he feels safe and the noise isn’t too loud.
Since I was a child, I always had a real tree. I cannot bring myself to buy an artificial tree. That’s just me.
I have always taken precautions to ensure my dogs’ safety.
My dogs waging their tales and knocking my ornaments off the tree was the only problems I had. By the end of the season the bottom of my tree was bare and some ornaments were broken. So I had to put all unbreakable ornaments on the bottom of the tree.
If you are concerned about your dog eating ornaments or tree needles, you may want to put your tree in a room closed off by a baby gate. You can also put low-lattuce fencing around the tree.
Also, it’s a good idea to give your dog extra vitamins, in case he eats something he shouldn’t. Ask your veterinarian to find out what vitamins he may need.
Enjoy the Christmas season. While you are preparing for the festivities, please do not forget to take precautions to keep your dog safe.
He is an important member of your family.