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How to Have a Dog-Friendly Holiday

dog and christmas tree
Photo credit: Lilun / Bigstock

The holidays are a time to enjoy spending time with family and friends, including your beloved dogs. The last thing you want to have to do is be heartbroken because you have to rush your pet to the vet after a disaster that could have been prevented. Before the next holiday rolls around, keep these five tips in mind for having a dog-friendly holiday.

Be mindful of the tree

If humans get fascinated by the Christmas tree, your dog will as well, and there are several problems that could come from it. Make sure your tree is securely anchored so it won’t tip over, and avoid using tinsel as the dog could easily eat it and it could become wrapped up in his intestines. Also, keep non-breakable ornaments near the bottom just in case Fido pokes one or two off with his nose. Don’t forget to cover up the top of the stand so your dog doesn’t have access to the water. Lastly, make sure to regularly sweep up the pine needles as they could cause issues for your dog if he swallows them.

Don’t leave goodies within reach

You can’t blame the dog for wanting to munch on some delicious goodies, but the majority of them aren’t good for him. To prevent problems, never put candy or desserts out within reach. Also, while you’re cooking, plating, and entertaining, even if you’re standing right there, always push the food away from the edge of the counter. Never leave food out unattended even if it’s covered as he could easily chew his way through the packaging to get to it.

Don’t give dogs bones or leftovers

It’s tempting to give your pet chicken or turkey bones, but they can easily break, and the shards can get stuck in your dog’s mouth and intestines. There’s also the choking factor. Give your pet regular dog bones instead. Additionally, don’t give your dog any leftovers as there are many types of human foods that could make pets sick. Stick to dog food for dinner and a special dog treat for dessert.

Keep plants out of the way

Poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous to dogs, so if you leave them out and your pet gets curious, it’s likely going to result in a trip to the vet. If you really want to have the plants in and around your home, make sure they’re high enough up where they can’t be reached, and that they’re securely enough in place that they won’t fall down.

Make a “safe space” for your dog

Whether you’re cooking, eating, or entertaining, your dog needs a safe space where he can relax and stay out of everyone’s way. Set up a comfy bed, a few toys, food, and water so he can have his down time and stay occupied without getting into mischief.

During the holidays, always try to look at things from your dog’s level. See what he could easily have access to whether he’s standing or could climb on something else first.


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