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 New Year celebrations are right around the corner.
As you’re making plans for your end-of-the-year parties and resolutions, be sure to include your dog and his comfort in your plans!
What do you need to consider to ensure Fido enjoys the festivities? Keep reading to find out.
With your dog’s incredible hearing ability, fireworks can be a dog’s WORST nightmare! Consider this: humans hear at a range of 20 and 20,000 Hz. In stark contrast, our beloved K9s hear a frequency range of 40 to 60,000 Hz! With that kind of hearing, loud fireworks can rattle even the calmest dog.
Sadly, emergency vet visits increase this time of year and they can quickly destroy the holiday spirit and your budget! Remember, many of the foods, treats and drinks (alcoholic and those that are not) you enjoy can be potentially dangerous to your canine. Traditional favorites include (but are not limited to):
Turkey, skin & bones, ham ,etc.
Table scraps (especially those that are spicy and fatty)
Alcoholic beverages including egg nog, beer, wine and cocktails
Sweets (especially those with xylitol) and chocolate
New Year’s Parties & Celebrations
Not all dogs are well-equipped to deal with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, especially when it comes into their safe place/home. Keep in mind, these celebrations are never a good time to “socialize” your dog especially if they usually tend to not be social.
If you’re bringing the New Year’s Eve party home, make sure your dog (and even other pets) has a safe and quiet place so they are both secure and protected from running away or unleashing an unwanted bite (because of fear, anxiety or stress).
In addition, below are some other traditional New Year’s Eve items you should consider banning to keep the pets in your home safe during the celebrations:
Glow sticks & bracelets
With some thoughtful planning, you and your pets can enjoy the New Year’s celebrations safely!
The holidays are a wonderful time for most of us. Families come together and create new, happy memories, eat lots of wonderful food and eagerly open presents.
But for many people, the winter season can be a difficult time trying to stay warm and still have enough food to eat for not only themselves and their children, but also for their furry family members.
Please support your local pantries to help those in need. The simpliest things can mean the most to those who need help. And let us know about the pet pantries in your area so we can add them to our website to help even more people this holiday season.
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.
The holidays are fast approaching which means dog owners will be looking for dog-sitters to watch over their furry family members.
But, before you hand over the keys to your kingdom (and K9s), make sure you know exactly what you (and your dog) are getting into! Don’t leave this important decision to the very last minute, you could come to regret it.
Below are some 8 due diligence tips you MUST do first:
Did the potential sitter come recommended by a friend or family member? Great! STILL get testimonials from other previous clients.
Always set up a face-to-face meeting with you AND your dog to make sure you both feel at ease with the potential dog-sitter. Make sure you’re meeting the actual dog-sitter, not just the owner of the dog-sitting business.
Are they acting in a professional manner? Do they offer you a contract that spells out exactly what they will do … and what they need from you as well? Are they are asking specific questions about the kind of care you’re seeking and making notes?
Do a trial run; have the potential sitter watch your dog for several hours or a day (at least once or twice) before you leave for an extended period of time. Notice how your dog acts/reacts around them; these are all clues about what you – and your dog – can expect.
Do they have the appropriate insurance or bonding to protect you and your property?
Do they have current First Aid certification? Ask to see it. Remember, you’re relying on them to protect your dog especially if something unforeseen happens.
Ask about any specializations they offer … do they specialize in small breeds? Big or giant breeds? It makes a huge difference with their comfort level and how well they can deal with your specific dog.
Does your dog have special needs? Make sure the person you’re looking to hire can comfortably handle those special requests (giving medication or shots, dealing with an arthritic/fearful/blind or deaf dog, etc.).
By taking the time to find and get comfortable with a potential dog-sitter, you will increase the chances of a pleasant and successful experience of bringing a caretaker into your home and your dog’s life.
Own a dog business? Let us write K9-exclusive content for you. We make it EASY to give your dog-guardian clients the content they want (building brand awareness and loyalty for your business).
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!
The Cold Noses Newsletter, the only monthly ready-to-print-and-use marketing tool for the dog business owner!
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.