Holiday Safety for Dogs: 8 Tips for A Great December

December is here! This is an exciting and stressful time for dogs and their owners. With so much going on and a lot to do, you may not be thinking of your dog's safety. Almost everyone loves to decorate the house and get into the holiday spirit, here are 8 tips to make sure this December is safe: 

Christmas Tree

Christmas trees can be very exciting for dogs because they are big, shiny, and something new to look at. Your dog may get a little too excited when checking out the tree and accidentally knock it over. Whether your dog is big or small, this could be very dangerous. Be sure the tree is in its place securely and won’t go anywhere if bumped into. For more prevention, try placing the tree in a corner away from a busy part of the house. 

Holiday Plants

These plants include mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias. Most dogs don’t know not to eat these holiday plants that they only see once a year. If ingested, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. To save your dog from the possible consequences of eating these plants leave them out of decorating this year. If you have to have them, place them in an up high place that your dog is guaranteed not to reach. If you have a fresh tree for Christmas, make sure you clean up loose needles daily so your dog does not eat them. Also keep the water for tree covered since it can contain pesticides and toxins.


A very popular winter tradition is decorating the tree with everyone in the family. At the center of many holiday pictures, a beautifully decorated tree could put your dog at risk this holiday season. Dogs are known for knocking ornaments off the tree. Try avoiding fragile or glass ornaments that could severely harm your dog if swallowed. Hard plastic ornaments that are difficult to break are the least dangerous to your dog.


There’s nothing better than cozying up on the couch with a delicious scented candle. Candles can add a great aroma to any room and set the holiday mood. Candles should never be left alone with a dog in the room. If they can reach it, there's a good chance they'll knock it over and cause a fire. Try to always keep candles up high and blow them out if you leave the room. 


One thing that comes to mind when thinking of the holidays, is all the lights. People put lights on the tree, on stair railings, even along the walls. These lights may make everything look more festive and fun, but with pretty lights come dangerous cords. There are a couple of reasons cords can be dangerous: electrocution hazard and tangle hazard. If your dog is a chewer, he may be inclined to chew on cords and possibly electrocute himself. While trying to check out the pretty lights, your dog may get tangled up and hurt himself in the process. It's a good idea to keep cords tucked away and out of sight. 


It is a well known fact that chocolate can be deadly if ingested by dogs. During the holidays, chocolate may be hanging around the house more than normal. Many people stuff stockings full of chocolate or leave bowls of chocolate on the countertop. If left alone, most dogs will go for this toxic candy and may need immediate attention. Always keep chocolate up high so your dog doesn’t get into it. 


This decoration can really bring a tree together and complete the holiday look. However, it may catch your dog's attention and cause some issues. If your dog ingests tinsel it can block their intestines and obstruct their whole digestive system. To save your dog from a trip to the emergency vet, leave the tinsel off the tree this holiday season. 


It’s always exciting when the first present goes under the tree. Presents are often wrapped in pretty wrapping paper and topped off with big bows. Bows and ribbons can cause a big threat to your dog's digestive system if ingested. Just like with tinsel, wrapping paper and ribbons on presents can block their intestines and cause a lot of pain. Try keeping presents in a blocked off room to prevent any possible issues.

Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!