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Keeping Your Dog Safe at Christmas

Keeping Your Dog Safe at Christmas
By Grant Carroll

Jingle bells, carols and Nativity scenes are wonderful heralds telling the world that Christmas has arrived. This wonderful time of year is even more enjoyable when a dog joins the family. Rover can get his own stocking and presents and can even go caroling with you. In the midst of the family fun, however, there is a need to take extra measures in keeping your furry family member safe.

One very important effort your family needs to make is to keep your dog safe around Christmas decorations. Christmas trees are a favorite decoration, but they present safety challenges. Some Christmas tree dangers include electrical wires, tree water, and candy canes or chocolate on the tree. Many dogs love to chew, and if they decide to chew on the wires for the tree lights, they could seriously hurt themselves. Make the wiring as inaccessible to the dog as possible by hiding in under other decorations or by blocking it with other decorations. It helps if the tree is directly in front of the outlet so that there’s less wire length for a dog to chew. For those that get live trees each year, it should be noted that the tree water can make a dog very sick if he drinks it. Using a tree skirt to cover the water basin should keep any curious wet noses out. It will also help to ensure that your dog has plenty of drinking water at all times. Candy canes, chocolate and other sweets make tasty Christmas tree ornaments, but a curious canine may decide to partake of the bounty and earn a trip to the vet’s office. The best way to prevent this is to make sure that all edible ornaments are far enough up the tree to be out of your dog’s reach. This same theme of preventing your dog from hurting himself applies to Christmas decorations throughout the whole house.

It is just as important to make sure that your dog is safe outdoors as well as indoors. Aside from regular walks, many dogs also love to join the family in Christmas caroling or in viewing house light decorations. This means you need to protect them from winter weather and car traffic. Warm dog clothes such as coats and sweaters will keep them from getting too cold, and if you make sure the clothing is bright or reflective, traffic will easily see them, too. Also, boots will protect paws from ice and rock salt on the sidewalk and street. Taking these steps will ensure a safe and happy holiday for your dog and the whole family.

Grant Carroll proud father of four dogs and co-owner of with Designer Dog Clothes.

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