Monday, December 21, 2015

Keep Your Dog Safe This Christmas: Learn How to Protect Your Dog From Top Holiday Hazards

The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time for the whole family - and that, of course, includes your dog. Since you spend all year looking out for the health and safety of your dog, it’s important to recognize the extra hazards that pop up during the holiday season. From toxic plants to decorations that damage, a little precaution is needed to ensure things go smoothly. Recognizing the dangers, and having the tools required to deal with them, such as a DIY dog fence, is all that’s needed, so here’s what you need to know to have a happy holiday season.

Toxic Holiday Plants
Mistletoe, poinsettia, and holly are common holiday plants, but they are also toxic to dogs. When buying these for your home, go for the artificial versions. If someone gives you one of these plants, place it in a spare room that the dog doesn’t enter. Placing the plants high out-of-reach isn’t always enough, because your dog could eat fallen leaves faster than you can pick them up.

Pine needles can also be toxic to dogs in large enough amounts, so be aware of that risk when using a real Christmas tree in your home. When swallowed, pine needles can also irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach. Stagnant water in the tree stand can also be toxic, because pesticides used on the tree will collect there and bacteria will breed. Change tree stand water daily whenever possible. If your dog won’t leave the needles or water alone, consider using a wireless dog fence or a gate to ensure your dog stays at a safe distance.

Poisonous Table Foods
There are several types of foods that are poisonous to dogs, and they are more commonly found in households during the holidays. Chocolate - especially unsweetened baking chocolate and dark chocolate - can be fatal when ingested. Xylitol is a sugar substitute commonly found in gum and candy, and it is fatal to dogs even in small amounts. Alcohol is toxic to dogs as well. Other foods that can make dogs very sick include macadamia nuts, coffee, tea, raisins, grapes, and fatty foods, especially gravy and turkey skin.

You should never give your dog leftover bones, either, because they can splinter and pierce your dog’s mouth, throat, stomach, or intestinal tract. Your dog could also choke on them. When discarding the turkey carcass and dinner scraps, place them right into the garbage bin outside. Make sure the garbage bin is not inside your yard or electronic dog fence perimeter to prevent your dog gaining access when unattended outside.

Dangerous Decorations
While decorating your home for the holidays, be cautious of several common things that can be
dangerous to dogs. Lit candles, for example, should never be in a place that your dog could accidentally knock them over. Essential oils and potpourri are toxic to dogs, so make sure they are out of your dog’s reach. Candy bowls should also be placed high above your dog’s head.

The Christmas tree again becomes a concern when ornaments and garland are placed. Glass ornaments and ornament hooks can cause serious internal damage to your dog if ingested. Tinsel can also cause intestinal blockages in dogs. If your dog likes to chew on electrical wires, the light strands may be an issue. If you don’t want to compromise on the look of your tree but are afraid your dog will eat something they shouldn’t, an invisible dog fence is a good solution. You may also want to consider a barrier if your tree is not anchored to the wall, or it could injure your dog if it topples over onto them, especially if they bump into it or pull the branches.

Hazardous Holiday Materials
Many dogs are injured by ingesting ribbons, bows, plastic wrap, or other items involved in wrapping an area of the house that your dog doesn’t have access to. After wrapping and opening presents, carefully check every inch of the room to make sure no scraps of paper or gift wrapping accessories are left behind for your dog to find. Be aware that most adhesives and glues are toxic to dogs.
gifts. When wrapping presents, try to set up your workstation in

In the kitchen, be sure to properly dispose of all items related to food cooking or storage, including plastic wrap, aluminum foil, cupcake wrappers, and meat string or twine. Your dog will smell the food remnants on these items, and they may attempt to eat them with bad results.

If you notice your dog is sick or acting strangely, be sure to call your vet right away for potentially life-saving instructions. As long as you’re aware of the potential dangers and keep a close eye on your dog, everyone should enjoy themselves this holiday season.

When the time comes to install a wired dog fence why not consider a self-installation. By installing your own electric dog fence you can save thousands of dollars. If you want to learn more about self installation take a look at

Happy Trails,
Tim and Robin

P.S. How do you keep your furry friends safe during the holidays? Let us know in the comments and we'll pick one winner to receive a $25 Amazon gift card. We'll pick a winner this Wednesday (Dec. 23).