Decorating your home during the holidays can be so much fun with all the lights and sparkly things! Unfortunately, many of the most popular decorations are really dangerous for our dogs. That’s why we gathered together our top tips for keeping your dog safe this holiday season.
1. Use Plastic Lights And Ornaments Instead Of Glass
As a human, accidentally chugging expired eggnog is about the extent of our stomach worries during the holidays, but that’s nothing compared to the horrors of a dog accidentally eating glass. Glass lights are more likely to break—especially if chewed on—which could lead to electrocution. And glass ornaments are more likely to shatter on the floor if a wagging tail knocks them off. Play it safe with plastic lights and ornaments.
2. Stick To Silk Plants—Many Real Ones Are Poisonous
Some of the most common holiday plants—like holly, mistletoe, and poinsettias—are poisonous to dogs! You’re much better off looking for a realistic fake plant, instead. If you do happen to have these plants in your home, make sure they’re far out of reach and secured away from your pup.
3. Buy A Fake Tree Instead Of A Live Tree
Even if your live tree isn’t chemically treated, pine oils can irritate your dog’s mouth. Even worse, the pine needles can actually puncture your dog’s intestines if they’re ingested. A realistic fake tree is a much safer bet.
4. Use A Tree Skirt To Avoid Your Dog Drinking Tree Water
Some live trees are chemically treated so that they live longer. This makes the resulting water very bad for your dog. Make sure to cover the base of your tree with a tree skirt to stop your dog from drinking out of it.
5. Swap Out Real Candles For Electric Candles
Assuming you wouldn’t leave your dog unsupervised around lit candles anyway, electric candles are a surefire way to avoid accidents. The newer electric candles even have flickering flames tucked away in the “melted” candle, so they look like the real deal! If the scent is what you’re after, try a scented diffuser or wall plug to compliment your electric candle.
6. Ditch The Tinsel
Tinsel is dangerous for pets because it can get trapped in their intestines. An emergency surgery is probably the last thing you want on your wish list this year! Instead, swap out the tinsel for ribbon, decorative bows, or shiny string beads. They will fill in the gaps and give you some of the sparkle!
7. Hang Your Ornaments High Above Dog-Nose Level
Put your ornaments higher than the level of swinging tails or jumping pups (we apologize in advance for those of you with Jack Russell Terriers). Some dogs are attracted to tree ornaments like a moth to flames. Other dogs may not be interested in the decorations, but can’t control their slap-happy tails from knocking things off the tree. Depending on your dog, you might be able to get away with more dog-friendly decorations—like plastic or plush ornaments—near the bottom.
8. Hang Your Stockings With Care
Twas The Night Before Christmas mentioned it first, but make sure to hang your stockings with care. Most families fill their stockings with chocolates, candy, and other items that would be dangerous for your dog to get into. Hang them high out of reach, and maybe get your dog their own stocking to keep them busy.
9. Leave Out Carrots For The Reindeer Instead Of Cookies For Santa
A fun tradition for some kids is to leave out cookies for Santa the night before Christmas. But with your dog snooping around while you sleep, a free-for-all of cookies probably isn’t the best idea. Instead, leave out carrots for Santa’s reindeer in case another four-legged friend snags them first.