Wednesday, December 14

Holiday Safety Tips For Dogs

With the holidays right around the corner, there is no doubt that you all have your decorations up and are starting to entertain or go to a lot of winter/holiday activities.  This is a fun and busy time of year for us, but this can be a dangerous time for your dog (and cat). 

Below I have a some safety tips for you to follow for your dog and a few for your cat too.

1.  Tree- Many people put up a Christmas tree some real, some artificial.  In any case, they have a smell associated with them that dogs and cats love.  When you bring in your tree, make sure you allow your dog and cat to sniff it and get use to it.  This is the time if they start to chew on it, climb on it or display any other type of unwanted behavior, you can correct them (squirt with a water bottle or a simple "no") to let them know that is not appropriate.  But be sure to praise them as they are just sniffing and enjoying the smells.

2.  Ornaments-  In most homes, ornaments are not just for the tree.  So no matter where you have them, make sure you have the ornaments high enough your dog will not knock them off or your cat will not play with them until they fall off.  Broken glass in paws is not a good situation.  You also can make sure that any ornaments at a lower level are not glass, just to be safe.

3.  Lights- I love putting up lights, so if you are like me your lights are not just on the tree, but also around the windows and other places in the home.  These pretty lights with their string cord can be quite enticing for curious dogs and most certainly for cats.  Do your best to keep your dog and cat away from any cords, but again, allow them to sniff and investigate what these things are as you hang them, getting the curiosity out and taking away that "new" feeling.  If you should see your dog or cat nibbling a cord, make a loud noise or squirt them with a water bottle.  If the problem continues you can try the Bitter Apple spray or paste.

4.  Candles-  Whether it is a Menorah that is being lit or a seasonal candle, be sure it is located above the nose of your dog.  Cats can jump on everything, so try to also locate flames somewhere they will not be able to jump.  Singed whiskers or noses are not a pleasant experience and can create a deep fear of flames.

5.  Baking- This time of year activates the sweet tooth in most of us!  It is not just buying cookies, fudge, candies and pies, it is also making them!  This can be the most dangerous for your dog.  Remember that baking chocolate is the most dangerous to dogs, macadamia nuts are not good for your dog, raw eggs can be a toxin and grapes and raisins are toxic for them as well.  So, no licking of mixing bowls or sampling of the product.  If your dog does get into your treats, call your vet immediately.

6.  Plants-  Poinsettias are toxic to dogs and cats, as are Christmas Cactus'.  Put these plants up high and in a place both your dog and cat cannot get to.  If they should ingest some of these plants contact your vet immediately.

This is a basic list to get you started.  I know keeping our furry kids safe is always at the top of our wish list.  I hope this list helps you have a fun and safe holiday.  Stay tuned for more safety tips to come.

For a list of toxic food and plants, bark on the link:  Bark!