Christmas Decorations and your Dog
Keeping your Dog safe around Christmas Decorations
For many people, this time of year brings so much enjoyment to our lives, and so many of us have great joy in decorating our houses with sparkles and glitter. However, for dog owners it can be a very different story, and can often fill you with a sense of dread. Maybe you live with a dog that ruined Christmas for you last year, or maybe you are about to experience your first Christmas with a puppy this year. Whatever the reason may be, we have compiled some tips to help you keep your dog safe (and you happy) this festive season:
If you have a large Christmas tree then ensure that you secure it so that your dog is unable to pull on the branches and topple it over, as this may injure your dog. You can secure your tree via the use of a solid tree stand or by wrapping some string around the top of your tree and attaching it to your wall, so that it is sturdy.
Whether you have an artificial tree or a real tree, be careful of the needles that may fall from it. The needles from real trees may cause a stomach upset, and the needles from artificial trees can cause intestinal obstruction if ingested.
If you have a real tree then ensure that your dog is unable to drink the water in the base of the tree. The Christmas tree may contain pesticides and fertilisers which may cause an upset stomach for your dog.
If you are happy to, why not invest in a smaller tree that can be placed on a table so it is out of your dog’s reach. You can also place fencing around the tree so that you can be confident that your dog cannot reach it.
Try to avoid fragile ornaments that if disturbed could easily fall off the tree and shatter.
Hang all of your baubles and hanging decorations towards the top of the tree so that they will be out of reach of your dog.
Do not hang edible ornaments (such as chocolate) on your tree because these will only encourage your dog to find them, and will cause them unnecessary harm.
Although tinsel may look amazing, it can also cause an intestinal blockage if it is ingested by your dog, so it is advisable to either place this at the top of your tree where you are confident that your dog is unable to reach it, or do not use it for decoration at all.
If you are using lights as part of your decorations, then ensure that they are out of reach to avoid your dog being able to chew on them and being at risk of receiving an electric shock. Keeping them out of reach will also prevent your dog from being burnt by a hot lightbulb.
If you have food gifts then do not leave these under the tree. Your dog will be able to smell them and we can assure you that they will eat them.
Do not keep small wrapped gifts under the tree as they may be a choking hazard.
Once you have spent all of the time and effort to wrap your presents and made them look amazing, it is probably advisable not to leave them under the tree, because they may not stay wrapped for very long.
You can of course still involve yourself in the festive season by decorating, but just make sure that you dog proof everything that you decide to decorate. Our dogs do not understand the difference between items that are safe for them and items that will harm them, so it is our job as owners to ensure that we are keeping them safe during this time of year.
Have fun decorating!