The holidays are a happy and exciting time for many people, however if you have pets you also need to consider Christmas and pet care.  However, there are several hazards to be aware of during the holiday season that can injure or make your dog sick.  By being aware of the dangers, you can prevent problems from happening.  Follow the tips below to make sure your pooch has a safe holiday season.

Food/Beverage Hazards
Chocolate and alcohol are two of the most popular substances that cause problems when ingested by animals during the holiday season.  There are several other foods that are popular during the holidays that constitute being dangerous foods for dogs, including macadamia nuts, uncooked yeast dough, artificial sweeteners, and bones from fish, meat, or poultry.  To be safe, put away food immediately and pet-proof your garbage.  Feed your dog before having a party so he will not be tempted to beg for food. 

Poisonous Plants
Poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly can all be toxic and should never be consumed by dogs.  When decorating your home, place these plants out of your dog’s reach, or use fake plants.

Decorations and Wrappings
All the special items we add to gifts to make them look pretty can be hazardous to dogs, including glitter, ribbons, and adhesives.  Find other ways to jazz up your presents or just keep them away from the dog.  If you use candles to decorate, keep them out of your pet’s reach to avoid burns and fires. 

Christmas Trees
Make sure the stand that your tree is on is stable and that the tree is attached to it securely to prevent it from falling.  If you have a curious or hyper dog, make sure he is always supervised when around the tree.  Also, do not let your pet chew on tree needles because they can be toxic and cause mouth and stomach irritation.  Tinsel, electrical cords, and glass ornaments also pose danger to dogs, so make sure they are kept out of reach and cannot be chewed on or consumed by your dog. 

Some pets behave very well around visitors, but others become fearful or aggressive.  We’re more likely to have visitors during the holidays, so make sure you’re aware of how your pet behaves when they are around.  For some dogs, it may be necessary to keep them in a separate room when family and friends come over.  Make sure visitors know not to feed your dog table scraps and be aware of visitors who have pet allergies. 

If you are traveling during the holidays and need to leave your pet at home, make accommodations early.  Boarding facilities fill up fast, and it may be hard to find a pet sitter at the last minute. If you plan to take your pet along, read more here about traveling with pets.

There are a lot of things to be cautious of to keep your dog safe during the holidays, but it should be one of your top priorities to prevent emergency trips to the vet.  You and your pet will have a more enjoyable holiday if he/she is safe and healthy!