Monday, December 5, 2011


It's December and with your to-do-list a mile long, your lucky if you even have time to put your feet up and enjoy some egg nog. The last thing you need on your list is a trip to the vet office and a huge bill to pay. Avoid the following holiday hazards this season in order to keep your dog safe and healthy. This way you will have one less thing to worry about!

Photo Courtesy of Paul Miller
Poisonous Plants
While your house certainly looks festive and cheerful decked with boughs of holly, sprigs of mistletoe and potted poinsettias, these plants can be dangerous if ingested by your dog. According to the ASPCA, holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea and mistletoe can cause digestive and cardiovascular problems. The toxicity of poinsettias however, has been greatly exaggerated through the years and is actually less hazardous to your dog than holly or mistletoe. No one likes a fake, but when it comes to plants and your dog’s safety, imitation is always better.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry
While you should certainly enjoy the cheese platters and keep the mulled wine pouring (if you're not driving), Fido should steer clear of these holiday treats. Alcohol will upset your dog’s stomach as will too many scraps of the rich food we eat around the holidays. Avoid feeding your dog the fatty parts of poultry skin and/or the bones which can splinter and break and cause a choking hazard. Keep your dog happy and occupied in another room away from the partying with a Kong stuffed with kibble or an antler chew toy which is fun to chew on, safe and can last for up to a month.

O’ Tannenbaum
Small children and dogs are less coordinated. Walking or running through the house is sometimes all it takes for them to leave a small path of destruction. Putting a tree in your house for a couple weeks of the year can be a difficult task if you expect it to remain upright for the whole duration. Make sure your tree is properly placed in the tree stand so it doesn’t tip over and for safety’s sake you may not want to buy the largest tree you find. During this time of year you want to yell “Happy Holidays!” not “Timber!” Furthermore, make sure Fido does not sip the water from the Christmas tree stand as it may contain fertilizers that could upset your dog’s stomach. If you have a cat, do not use tinsel on your tree. Cats are attracted to this shiny, twirling decoration but if they accidentally eat it, tinsel can cause damage to their intestinal tract.

Photo Courtesy of alex_lee2001
The Lights are Turned Way Down Low...
The ambiance of the holiday season wouldn’t be the same without the soft glow of lit candles, holiday lights or the warmth of a roaring fire. While you can still enjoy these holiday mood setters, monitor your pets while near them. If you leave the room, blow out the candle or close the door so your dog does not accidentally burn themselves or start a fire. Make sure your pet cannot reach the electrical wire of your holiday lights or they may bite the cord and electrocute themself.

Follow these helpful holiday tips and you and your dog can spend the season being merry and bright!

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