Holiday parties and Christmas festivities usually involve lights, maybe tinsel, and real or artificial trees. These holiday safety tips will help you protect your dog and family this season. 

Holiday Safety Begins With Your Christmas Tree

Happy dog – holiday safety begins with the tree

What comes to mind when you think of the holiday season? Shopping, presents, lights, and mistletoe tops a lot of lists, would you agree? What about Christmas trees? If you put one up, you fall in line with thousands of homes across the nation this time of year. Therefore, I’m sharing some hidden dangers you need to be aware of to keep your dog and family safe. 

Face it, the last thing you want to do is make a trip to the animal ER just as you are about to sit down to a scrumptious meal (Read part one of this holiday health and safety series here).

Consider these Christmas tree tips before you set yours up:

  • Corner your tree for safety. I have mine tucked securely out of the way of scampering feet between a couch end table and a corner of the room. If you have cats, think about placing noisemakers at the base of the tree as an early warning system.
  • When stringing lights, start close to the trunk a little higher off the ground. This can help to deter inquisitive paws from batting at them, which could result in bringing the whole tree down.  
  • Do you use tinsel? I love tinsel; it was my mother’s favorite part when decorating the tree. Be careful not to place it on branches close to the ground. Dogs can breathe it in if they sniff hard enough. And the material if swallowed can block the intestinal tract. 
  • If you use a real tree beware of the pine needles. Dr. Debra Primovic – DVM says, “Pine needles are not considered toxic but are irritating. In fact, they can be irritating to both the mouth and stomachs of dogs as well as the feet and pads if they walk on the needles. Many dogs will vomit after eating the needles. I’d recommend vacuuming up all needles to prevent… ingestion.”

Candles Are A Holiday Hazard Around Pets

rescue dog holiday safety

Candles are beautiful as seasonal decorations or sitting on handy little side tables. However, live flames pose a safety hazard to dogs.

Raise any live-flamed candles above the tail reach of your pup. Wagging tails are expected with happy dogs but if you want them to remain happy, move your candles to the fireplace mantel. Be sure to use a screen on your fireplace if you burn real or synthetic logs. Even your gas ignited fireplaces must be screened in.

Be aware of live plants such as poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe during the holiday season. Because these plants are poisonous to dogs. As a precaution, keep the plants out of reach and safely balanced to prevent tipping and falling into jaws of unsuspecting puppies.

What other safety tips would you like to share? Post them in the comment section below.

Traveling during the holidays? Check out these tips.

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