The holidays are a magical time whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday!
But it’s also a time to proactively protect your new puppy, dog or other pet from potential holiday dangers like holiday foods and drinks, ornaments, decorations and even holiday plants! Curious noses, paws AND mouths can put your pup in danger in the blink of an eye!
Our friends at Arkansas Bear Creek Goldens and Doodles have got you covered with great tips to keep your puppy – and other pets – safe and healthy!
Christmas is a time to have fun, indulge and celebrate!
Since our pets are such an important part of our family, it’s natural to
include them in the holiday celebration as well!
But this festive season also presents many hidden dangers to our canine and feline friends, from toxic food to hazardous seasonal plants and even decorations!
To ensure your beloved pet remains safe this holiday season, keep reading about the unusual risks to our pets this festive season.
11 Christmas Risks for Dogs
Did you know that more dogs ingest batteries during Christmas than at any other time of the year?
Just like with your kids, apply the same security measures for your dogs. It is vital to cover all batteries and wires so that your dog cannot access them. Batteries can cause burns in the mouth and esophagus leading to other severe internal injuries.
Enjoy a safe Christmas with your dogs by keeping all new and old batteries out of reach of your pets.
Live Christmas Trees
For some people, Christmas is incomplete without a Christmas tree. But pine needles (real and fake) are dangerous if your dog chews or swallows them! They can cause mouth injuries and swelling; if ingested, they can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Also, stagnant water from live trees can cause diarrhea or nausea in your dog.
Whether you use a real or artificial tree, create a perimeter to prevent your dog from swallowing any of the tree’s needles (and decorations!).
Also, ensure that the tree is securely stable so it won’t fall over and cause injuries to your dog, other pets or even children.
Salt Dough Ornaments
These commonly used holiday ornaments are made out of baked dough and contain flour, salt, and water. This mixture can be fatal for our dogs, especially small puppies.
But unfortunately, these ornaments can invite a pet’s curiosity thanks to their curious shape, colors and smells. But if ingested, the results can be unpleasant and worse for our pets.
Candles can be a great way to bring Christmas spirit into our homes. But as a pet parent, avoid leaving burning candles unattended – or within reach – of your pets.
Dogs (and cats) are naturally curious about new smells and tastes. A curious pet could easily get burned; or worse, cause a fire if a burning candle is knocked over.
Consider using no-flame candles instead. If you decide to light candles, be sure to place them on secure tabletops and remember to extinguish them before leaving the room.
Silica gel in small packets is often found in the packaging of new handbags, shoes or electrical equipment. Although it has low toxicity, it can cause blockages in your dog’s gut if they eat it.
Always be careful when opening Christmas presents with silica gel packets and securely dispose of them immediately.
When eaten, potpourri can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.
Proactively protect your dog by keeping all potpourri securely out of reach.
Chocolate can cause severe gastrointestinal problems in dogs. These issues might last for several days, even after passing through the gut.
To protect your dog, you should keep them out of reach.
Despite the popularity of blue cheese, it does contain roquefortine C, a substance which dogs are susceptible to. As with all of the Christmas foods around, be sure to keep blue cheese away from your dog.
While you may think that cooked bones are a safe treat to give to your dog to enjoy, nothing could be farther from the truth!
Cooked bones are very brittle and can easily break into tiny, sharp pieces when chewed. These tiny pieces can cause irreparable harm to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract including blockages and piercing of the intestines. Keep all cooked bones away from your dog and make sure they are securely disposed of where your dog cannot get to them.
Mince Pies & Christmas Puddings
Mince pies and Christmas puddings contain toxic grapes, currants, raisins and sultanas and should be kept away from dogs and other pets.
Alcohol can cause diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, coma and even death in dogs.
Keep any and all alcohol beverages (including beer) out of reach of all pets and children for a safe holiday celebration!
Wishing you, your family and four-legged best friends a safe and Merry Christmas!
It’s also a wonderful time to think about our local animal shelters.
For most of us, the holidays come with colder weather. As I write this, here in Wisconsin, it’s only 6 degrees! Sadly, this time of year also sees an increased number of dogs and cats in need of shelter. Since shelters usually operate from donations, whatever you can give goes a long way in helping homeless pets.
Ideas for Giving to Your Local Shelter
Your Time – All dogs and cats need attention, cuddle time and exercise. Especially during the holidays, shelters and rescues are always looking for extra volunteers to help keep the animals feeling loved and well-cared for.
Food – Both canines and felines eat at least twice a day. That is a lot of food for a shelter! Depending on age and diet needs, they typically will accept a variety of quality foods both dry and wet along with treats. Other foods a shelter can typically use include peanut butter (please make sure it’s xylitol-free), fresh veggies and fruits, canned baby food and tuna. Call your local shelter first to see what they are currently accepting.
Spare Blankets, Pillows and Towels – Shelters can always use these items for their crates and bedding. They also need rags, newspapers and kitty litter.
Toys – Shelters can always use toys to help the dogs (and cats) stay happy, mentally stimulated and active. Kong toys, balls or puzzles are great, so are gently used stuffed animals! Do you have toys that your dog or cat refuses to play with? Donate them!
Crates and Carriers – Both dogs and cats love a secure den. Are you no longer using your dog crate or cat carrier? Donate it! You can help a shelter animal feel safer, especially in a busy shelter where things may seem scary and overwhelming.
Other items you could give include:
Food and water bowls;
Grooming supplies; and
Obviously, you can always donate money to a shelter; but there are other ways to help if you don’t have the extra money (especially at this time of year)! Extra items or those going unused at home could be very useful at a shelter. Again, call a shelter first to see what items they need and will accept.
I am in high hopes that this blog helps our animal shelters receive extra donations during this Season of Giving. Also, keep your local shelters in mind, not just over the holidays, but throughout the coming year!
A big thank you to all our animal shelters and may all the pets find forever homes!
Not sure where to find YOUR local shelters?
Just pull out your smartphone and google “animal shelters near me!”
Meet our Guest Blogger
Holli Burch is a blogger at The Dog Connection focusing on Connecting Humans and Dogs; Mind, Body and Soul. She likes to focus everyday on giving back and uplifting dog lovers. You can follow Holli on Facebook.
The holidays are coming! Trees, decorations and beautiful, festive plants are appearing everywhere!
But, if you have dogs in your home, are you hesitant to bring the traditional poinsettia plant into your home?
It’s true that poinsettias have traditionally been considered poisonous to pets.
However, the truth is that they are “non” to “mildly” toxic. Poinsettias are actually more prone to giving your pet a mild rash if they brush against it; or, if they ingest it, just mild-to-no stomach discomfort.
If you have a brick-and-mortar dog business or offer canine services, this holiday season is the time to RAMP UP your marketing instead of coasting through to the end of the year. The potential to get the word out about YOUR business will NEVER be better!
Holidays mean increased foot traffic to your retail K9 business … bringing both current customers and potential new ones. If your business is in a high tourist area, potential out-of-town customers are learning about you for the first time. Don’t let them forget you after that one-time purchase; especially if you have an online store they can patronize after they return back home from vacation.
The Cold Noses monthly Newsletter is marketing-made-easy for the dog business owner!
If you offer canine services, the holidays are often the most critical time for customers needing a helping hand with daycare, grooming, dog walking or pet sitting. And if they are busy, so are their friends! So it’s a great time to get new referrals for the services you offer. Offer an extra takeaway and ask them to give it to a friend.
In addition, what are you doing to really help your customer this holiday season? In addition to the products you sell and the services you provide? People become loyal customers when you HELP them with time-sensitive, season-specific information they need to know to keep their pets safe and healthy.
Simply put, people remember people who help them. So this holiday season, offer great products and services, out-of-this-world customer service and some kind of physical takeaway that reminds them to come back for more!
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The Cold Noses Newsletter is the first – and only – completely done-for-you, ready-to-print-and-use monthly tool to gather emails at the cash register, cross-promote with other local dog businesses and serves as a reminder of your business … all without blatant, in-your-face sales pitches.