The winter season brings lots of fun holiday festivities, but pet-owners should keep in mind the following special precautions:
- The holidays are not ideal for introducing a pet into your family. New puppies and dogs require extra attention and a stable environment, which the holiday season doesn’t permit. Also, a puppy is not a toy or gift that can be returned. Instead, the AKC suggests giving a gift representative of the dog to come, such as a toy, a leash, or a bed.
- Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are pet poisons! Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.
- Review holiday gifts for dogs to make sure they are safe. Items such as plastic toys and small rawhide sticks may be dangerous.
- Remove holiday lights from lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn dogs.
- Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and may get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place wires out of reach.
- Avoid using glass ornaments. They break easily and may cut a dog’s feet and mouth.
- Refrain from using edible ornaments. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to eat them. Also, commercial ornaments may contain paint or toxins in the preservatives.
- Whether your tree is live or artificial, both kinds of needles are sharp and indigestible. Don’t leave your dog unattended in the room with the tree.
- Tinsel is dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
- Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Keep unhealthy, sweet treats and seasonal goodies out of reach.
- The holiday season is a stressful time for dogs. Try to keep a normal schedule during all the excitement