Dog sleeping on gift in front of Christmas tree

It’s the holiday season and that means it’s time to decorate the house and invite friends and family over to celebrate! While you’re making your home feel festive and preparing for family gatherings, keep in mind the safety and comfortability of your dog. Below are a few ways to keep your pup’s safety in mind as you celebrate the holidays. 

Holiday Lights & Candles 

Dogs like to sniff, investigate, and sometimes chew on new objects. When it comes to items plugged into electrical outlets, it is important to remember dogs may be a little too curious and attempt to take a bite. This could give them a small shock or even start a fire. If you choose to hang lights for the holidays, please keep all wiring well above a dog’s reach. 

Candles are a common decoration around the holidays. If you choose to light candles around your home, keep them out of reach out your dog’s wagging tail so your home, your dog, and your guests stay safe this holiday season. 

Holiday Snacks for Your Dog 

Your dog may love the scents and smells of the holiday feast, but the food won’t always agree with their stomach. It is important to keep in mind that the many holiday foods we enjoy can be toxic to dogs. Turkey and ham – specifically the ham skin – can be packed with too much sodium for a dog’s stomach to properly digest. Other holiday favorites, such as stuffing and mashed potatoes, may contain too many seasonings and herbs, like onion and garlic, which are both dangerous to dogs. 

As a reminder, chocolate of any kind can be poisonous to your dog. Keep all holiday sweets away and out of reach of your pup to keep them around for many holiday seasons to come. 

Holiday Trees & Plants 

For those who celebrate Christmas, a Christmas tree is the center of attention in the home during the holiday season. Your dog may be confused about this new addition to the home and attempt to investigate through both smell and taste. Tree branches can be dangerous to dogs as they contain a toxic oil that can be released when chewed on or ingested. Fallen tree needles can also irritate your dog’s paws. When hanging ornaments, be mindful of the placement of your decorations. Dogs in your home may see them as a toy and attempt to knock them off or play with them. Glass ornaments may break, and the pieces can get stuck in your dog’s paws or become a choking hazard. If you have a puppy or playful dog at home, keep in mind the placement of your ornaments to keep your pup safe around your tree. 

Mistletoe and holly are popular holiday décor items but can cause serious harm to your dog. The berries of both plants can cause vomiting, dehydration, and possibly diarrhea. It may be best to use fake plants if your pup is prone to snacking on decorations or other new objects. 

Pups & Presents 

It’s the season of giving and your pup may be curious about the decorative boxes under the tree. From wrapping paper to bows, it is important to keep all bite-sized items away from your pup. Bows, ribbon, and wrapping paper are all possible choking hazards and can cause problems internally if swallowed. An idea to keep holiday gift décor off the ground and out of your dog’s mouth is to keep a couple trash bags nearby while opening gifts. Once a gift is opened, all disposable items can go right into the bag. Your pup will thank you later! 

After the Holidays Comes a New Year 

It’s always exciting celebrating a new year. Friends and family oftentimes come together to wave goodbye to the outgoing year and celebrate the new year to come. These celebrations are not always the most exciting for your pup. Loud noises such as fireworks, horns, or firecrackers may startle your dog and cause them to run and hide. If your guests bring loud objects to celebrate the new year, please ask them to be mindful of your dog and play with their noisier toys outside.  

New Year’s Eve is one of the top nights dogs escape their homes to avoid loud noises. If your dog seems timid around a large crowd or loud, celebratory noises, it may be in your best interest to relocate your dog to a quieter part of the house to prevent them from panicking or running away. 

The holidays should be a fun, stress-free time spent with your closest friends and family. Sometimes, holidays can cause a bit of stress for your pup. If you are looking for a space to allow your dog to socialize and burn off some energy before an evening of people arriving at your home, Dogtopia is there for you. With playrooms dedicated to open play daycare and the potential to leave your pup for an overnight stay, it is safe to say your pup will have a safe and relaxing holiday at Dogtopia. Find a location near you by clicking here.