Holiday Safety Tips: Keeping Dogs Safe Throughout The Holidays
For humans, the holidays are a wonderful opportunity to get together with friends and family. It’s a time to celebrate and enjoy wonderful food. It is important that in the busy days and hours that ensue, dogs are not forgotten about. While our canine companions enjoy the festivities as much as we do, it is easy for them to become injured. Here are some holiday safety tips to help ensure dog safety throughout the holiday season.
It is nearly everyone’s favorite season. It’s filled with eggnog, the general holiday spirit, and the chance for a fresh start in the New Year. When decorating, however, make sure that nothing is left within the dog’s reach. This includes ornaments that can be broken, wires that can cause electrocution, and lit candles that can be knocked over. Watch out for seasonal plants, such as holly and mistletoe, that can cause sensitivities. Make sure the Christmas tree (if applicable) is secured so it cannot be knocked over by a curious pup.
Many people enjoy inviting guests over during this festive time of the year. Most pet owners know that chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol are no-nos. However, it is also important to ensure all food trays are out of reach, garbage cans are secured, and leftovers are put away promptly. Make sure all drinks are secured and out of reach as well, especially those that contain alcohol. It’s probably also a good idea to offer feline guests the opportunity to escape the excitement to prevent over stimulation. On New Years, avoid confetti, which can injure animals if ingested, and noisemakers, which can damage sensitive ears.
If gift giving in the household includes feline family members, make sure all toys are high quality and indestructible. It is important that no small parts can be torn off and act as a potential choking hazard. For human presents, make sure that all wrapping paper and ribbons are cleaned up promptly to prevent choking.
Similar to other holidays, it is critical around Valentine’s Day to watch out for potential ingestion of chocolate and treats sweetened with xylitol. Also be aware of any alcohol left unattended or spilled and not cleaned promptly. Since many people give and receive flowers around this holiday, be sure they are de-thorned and away from animals. Romantic, candle-lit dinners are also popular. While celebrating love, be sure that all candles are extinguished when unattended, even if just for a minute.
If anyone is considering giving a puppy as a romantic gift, it is always best to pick out the actual animal together to prevent homing difficulties. Adopting an animal is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
The Fourth of July
Fireworks are the signature celebratory festivities of Independence Day. They are also one of the biggest hazards for dogs. When using any sparklers or personal fireworks, make sure all pets are far away to avoid injuries. Keep any lighter fluids out of reach as some can be problematic if ingested. Resist the urge to decorate canines with light sticks and other decorations. Leave dogs at home if attending a fireworks show. The loud noises can be terrifying and traumatizing for furry friends.
Like the rest of the summer, it is also important to keep insect repellents and sunscreens out of the dog’s reach. Do not apply any to the animal unless it is specifically marked as safe for dogs and cats.
Similar to Valentine’s Day, chocolate and sweets are hazardous to dogs. Trick or treat baskets should be kept out of reach. Dogs should also be kept away from trick or treaters coming to the door, as they can be overwhelmed by the constant stream of strangers. It is very easy for them to dart out the door while their owners are busy handing out candy.
Many owners enjoy dressing up animals in the spirit of the holiday. However, it is important to only do this if the dog actually enjoys the festive outfits to avoid causing undue stress. When selecting costumes, make sure it does not constrict movement in any way. Avoid accessories that can be bitten off and become potential choking hazards.
When setting up Halloween decorations, again watch lit candles and oils to avoid accidents. Similarly, keep any wires or electronics out of reach.
Food is the primary danger for dogs when Turkey Day comes around. Make sure that canines have no access to bones, which can splinter or become choking hazards. Avoid offering dogs any food that has been seasoned, as a variety of spices can cause stomach issues. This includes food that falls to the ground during the meal. For this reason, it may be best to have dogs rest in another room during the big Thanksgiving dinner. Of course, make sure that any food offered to the dogs has been fully cooked.
Holidays are always fun to spend with friends and family, both those with two legs and those with four. By following these holiday safety tips and keeping an eye on canine holiday celebrators, you can help avoid incidents that can otherwise cast a shadow over the festive spirit.
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