Howl-iday Dog Safety

We’re decking the halls, roasting chestnuts, cooking pies, walking in winter wonderlands – and paying unexpected vet bills? Follow these simple tips to keep your holidays merry and bright.

Delicious Decor

Decorations are beautiful, but oftentimes what you see as pretty holiday trimmings your dog sees as something to eat. Tinsel, glass ornaments, and poisonous plants such as mistletoe, holly berries, and poinsettias, can send your dog to the emergency room. Christmas tree water can be harmful to your dog as well since it contains fertilizers and other chemicals.

If your dog is a chewer, it would be a good idea to restrict him from any area where the temptation might be too great. Take special care with holiday light wires that your dog may chew. Make sure candles are out of reach and in a spot where the dog can’t accidentally knock it over, particularly with a wagging tail.

Dr. Hennessey from Sugar Land Veterinary said the accidental ingestion of a foreign object or poisonous food often results in 1-5 days in the hospital for treatment and anywhere from $100-2,000 in medical care.

Dangerous Dishes

Just like at Thanksgiving, make sure your pet does not get into foods that are toxic. Dr. Camille DeClementi, senior toxicologist at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, reminds us that alcohol, chocolate, and undercooked turkey are harmful to our pets. In addition, raisins, grapes, and macadamia nuts, and onions are known to be bad for dogs as well.  Remind your guests that overindulging in any food, even safe ones, can be harmful to your pets stomach and pancreas. Dr. Lorie Houston also warns against sugar-free items that contain Xylitol.


If you put presents under the tree early, make sure your pet is not eating the bows, ribbons, and wrapping paper. Nothing is more fun to a dog than unwrapping your beautiful packages, but digesting all those non-edible items will lead to an expensive vet visit. Deter your pet from the presents by having fun toys that attract your dog. Frozen peanut butter in a toy is a great way to keep your dog occupied.

One final thought, avoid a mishap by never leaving your dog unattended in an area with food, candles, wires, packages, or decorations that he may find irresistible. If your dog does ingest something, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.  

Happy Safe Howlidays!


Article Categories: