Lists to Help Keep Your Dogs Healthy During The Holidays

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Can you believe it? It’s already mid-December. The kids have been in school for several months and we know how the football season will end. We are all hustling and bustling around preparing for the season’s festivities. Shopping, cooking, baking, candy-making, wrapping, and at least 500 other equally important activities.

Slow down. Take a few minutes to remember your dogs and how dangerous the beautifully decorated homes can be for them.  All of the pretty lights become very tempting for the curious pooch. And don’t forget all of the baking and cooking we do. Some of your joy and merriment can be ripped away by simply not knowing the dangers the holidays can bring.

Years ago, I had a wonderful dog named Molly. She was a sweet, sweet chocolate lab and the most endearing of pets. Her brown eyes were like pools of melted chocolate, so sweet and always there for me. On Christmas Day 2002, I almost lost her. After baking all day, my cleanup was haphazard. I was tired and just wanted to sleep before the Christmas Day festivities began. Molly smelled the cocoa I had used for cookies. During the night, she helped herself to the cocoa tin. When I woke up I found cocoa powder all over the TV room and a very sick Molly. Molly survived without any permanent damage but It was a close call.

The lesson here is please be cautious as the Holidays progress and take care of your “best friends.”

I found this list of cautions on the American Kennel Club website. It is a very good list of dangers we need to be aware of during the Holidays.

Christmas/Holiday Cautions

  • Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.
  • Do not put lights on the lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn your dog.
  • Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
  • Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog’s feet or mouth.
  • Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
  • Keep other ornaments off the lower branches; if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he can be made sick by the materials or paint.
  • Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off (with a playpen or other “fence”) or in a room that is not accessible to your dog.
  • Tinsel can be dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
  • Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.
  • Review canine holiday gifts for safety. Small plastic toys or bones may pose choking hazards.
  • Your dog may want to investigate wrapped packages; keep them out of reach.

For further reading about holiday hazards check out this article.

And as a quick reminder this is a list of foods that are hazardous.

1. Chocolate, Coffee, Tea

2. Grapes , Raisins, macadamia nuts

3. Artificial sweeteners containing xylitol

4. Juice soaked strings from baking meets

5. Alcohol

Remember our canine friends are curious and will be investigating all of our Holiday preparations. Keep them safe this holiday season.

Happy Holidays, woof woof.

Jenet Mullins is a retired sales executive from the media industry. As a Poodle Parent she shares her experiences and true life situations as a rescue adopter. Find her at Mediagal on Twitter or Jenet Mullins on Facebook.

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