5 Ways To Dog-Proof Your Christmas Decorations
During the holidays, it’s easy to forget that decorations can cause harm to your four-legged friends. When decorating for the season, watch out for some common hazards.
The Christmas Tree
Firmly attach the tree to the wall, so it can’t tip over and fall on the dog. While this may not necessarily injure the dog, particularly if you have a larger breed, it would definitely scare them which could result in instant problems such as released bladders (when you already have the tree to clean up!) and long-term issues such as phobias of the Christmas tree moving forward.
If you have a real tree, securing it to the wall also prevents water from spilling out of the pot. This is especially important when the tree water contains fertilizer, which can cause an upset stomach if ingested by your pup. Even if the tree stand only contains plain water, it’s a breeding ground for bacteria. Ingestion of this stagnant liquid might cause diarrhea or nausea, neither of which you would want to deal with over the Christmas period!
Even if your dog never showed an interest in chewing on non-food items before, he could easily start this behavior because of holiday stress. This applies especially when visitors keep coming into the house. Dogs can also start chewing on decorations when they feel neglected which can happen easily when you’re busy with holiday preparations or entertaining your guests. Common Christmas tree decorations that cause the most problems when ingested include:
- Angel air,
- Holly berries.
Additionally, avoid placing decorations with sentimental value on the tree because they could be destroyed. The best tip here is to take care when choosing what you adorn your Christmas tree with, and to place the decorations higher up, out of the reach of your dog’s hungry mouth!
Even edible decorations made with seemingly harmless ingredients can be dangerous. For example, many families make salt ornaments because they’re easy to create and children enjoy this activity. However, these decorations can induce salt toxicosis, a potentially fatal condition in pets.
Salt ornaments contain flour, salt and water, all of which are normally safe. However, the large amount of salt needed to create these makes them dangerous for pets. If you want to make salt ornaments, just give them away as gifts.
While it’s safer to not use candles at all because they can cause a fire when knocked over, they are an important part of some holiday traditions. In that case, use sturdy candle holders and place them on a steady surface. Make sure to place candles where dogs can’t reach them so they can’t burn themselves or cause damage to the surrounds. Regardless, never leave pets alone in a room with lighted candles.
Secure Your Pet
During the holiday season, it’s best to keep a dog safely crated when leaving the house, whether it’s for a few minutes or a few hours. If he is not used to a kennel, create a retreat in a room that has no holiday hazards. Make sure that he has a place to snuggle and a supply of fresh water that’s easily accessible. Everybody wants a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and by taking a few extra precautions with your decorations, you can ensure your Christmas is spent stress-free.
From all of us at West Coast Pet Care Centre, we hope that you and your pet have a fantastic Christmas and a happy new year!