According to vets, Christmas is the most dangerous time of year for pets.
Whether you are celebrating at home or at a family member’s house, there are some things to remember to have a jolly jubilation:
- Holiday plants can be poisonous: holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia.
- If you have a real tree, don’t let your dog drink the water. You may think it’s okay or funny, but it’s not. The trees usually contain chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals go into the water and can poison your pet!
- Don’t let your dad, your favorite uncle, or even your child feed the dog too much fatty food. This food can cause to stomach upset. It could be a little bit of a problem where it’s bothersome, but could also turn out much worse.
- Decorations: If you have a christmas tree hang ornaments and lights higher, so your dog won’t chew them or think they’re a toy. Also watch out for broken ornaments, especially if they are glass. Tinsel and ribbon can cause LOTS of problems. I have a friend whose dog ate tinsel and had to get surgery to remove it from their intestines. **GROSS ALERT: If your dog happens to eat ribbon or tinsel and tries to poop it out, but it gets stuck-DO NOT PULL IT. This can cut slit the intestines open. The only reason I know this is because this is what happened to my friend’s pup.
- Hide your presents…from your dog. Don’t leave the house with presents around. Dogs can smell chocolates or other food or candy wrapped up. Countless dogs get rushed to the emergency vet due to “finding” chocolates and candy, eating them all, and some of the wrappers.
- Keep the routine-Don’t stress out your pet. If you are busy continue to feed, walk and play with your pet around the same times if possible. Stress can lead to many health problems or behavior issues. A bored dog might find those presents, or rip up and eat those decorations.
- Have an escape plan…for your dog. If you are planning on having a holiday party at your house or brining your dog to another house, have a plan. Your dog may become overwhelmed. You might think, “Oh he’ll/she’ll be okay,” but it’s always important to have a place your dog can relax or escape to if they become nervous or tired. Many kids/adults/other dogs may not want to leave your dog alone-be prepared to stand up for them. But really-if you think your dog may have a problem..DON’T even take them. Flooding them with too much at a time can create lifelong lasting problems…trust me.
There are many other things to think about such as keeping your tree anchored, keeping tree needles out of your dogs paws, not using flashing lights if your dog is scared, and keeping your dog away from loud noises.
As always avoid giving your dog foods they are allergic too and make sure no one else does. Avoid common foods that are toxic to them such as alcohol, chocolate, onions, grapes, coffee, caffeine, avocado, raisins, xylitol (sweetener used in gum, candy, baked goods, and toothpaste) and large amounts of salt.
Most of these things are commonsense to many people, but it’s always important to refresh your memory during such a busy time. Enjoy your holidays, keep your pup calm and happy and enjoy the time with your furry friends!
Oreo and I wish you a happy holiday!