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Keep Your Dog From These Common Xmas Dangers

Keep Your Dog From These Common Xmas Dangers

Critter Culture Staff



Christmas is a special time for all, including Fido, but there are plenty of seasonal hazards during the holidays. If you're not careful, your dog could become the unsuspecting victim of good intentions.

During this cheery time of year, it's important to recognize potential threats to your pup. Keep them safe and out of harm's way so your season can be merry and bright.


Gifts and packaging

dog lying down in Christmas wrapping paper kandypix / Getty Images

It's Christmas Eve, and Santa has delivered the goods. Stockings are overflowing, and gifts are spread under the tree. While the scene may be majestic, it could create problems for your pup.

Ingesting candy, batteries, or plastics can cause severe illness or even death if not treated immediately. String, ribbons, and bows are choking hazards. If eaten, metallic wrapping paper may result in gastrointestinal issues. With all of these dangers, it's crucial that your dog keeps their distance from the Christmas haul, and once the gift-giving and unwrapping conclude, make sure to clean the area of any remaining tempting trash.


Festive doggie treats

Santa giving dog rawhide

Santa won't forget the treats if Rover has been a good dog all year. Sadly, many products marketed for pets are hazardous.

Rawhide is filled with chemicals, preservatives, and dyes; not only is it harmful, but it causes behavioral changes. On top of that, rawhide doesn't digest well.

Electronic toys, such as light-up balls, are another no-no. Dogs tend to chew through the plastic, eventually reaching the battery. It's best to play it safe and not give your pup anything out of the ordinary. Tried-and-true treats and toys work best.


Christmas trees

Dog sitting by the christmas tree Kerkez / Getty Images

Christmas trees can cause different reactions in dogs, depending on their personalities. Skittish pooches may fear them, while playful pups see them as giant toys. Trees could be attacked or toppled over, physically harming your pet.

Even worse, chewing on the needles, plastic or real, will cause digestive issues. Try to keep your dog away from the tree by blocking access to the room or using a puppy pen.


Holiday decorations

dog licking Christmas ornament K_Thalhofer / Getty Images

Decorations are eye-catching, and it's difficult for your dog to resist their allure. It's best to place holiday decor in secure areas that animals can't access.

Glass and plastic ornaments shatter, cutting a dog's mouth and posing choking risks. Chewing on lights may cause shock or electrocution, tinsel is a strangulation hazard, and antique decorations likely have lead paint, which will poison your furry friend.


Strange people and situations

dog wearing christmas accessories in a party Gpointstudio / Getty Images

Christmas definitely has a one-of-a-kind vibe. There's a certain spirit in the air, which may feel great to you, but it's not so magical for your pup. The hustle and bustle of running around, visiting new places, or having unfamiliar faces in your home takes its toll on an animal. The holidays can be quite stressful for some pets.

If your dog gets anxious during this time of year, don't take them to strange houses. Leave them at home, and try some calming supplements. When visitors come over, make sure your buddy has a safe and private refuge they can visit.


Candles and air fresheners

dog with table with four red candles

It's nice to spice up a room with the festive scents of the season- products such as air fresheners, diffusers, or potpourri pots distribute essential oils and organic compounds throughout the home. Classic Christmas scents like cinnamon and citrus are toxic to dogs, resulting in mucous membrane irritation, loss of coordination, respiratory problems, and central nervous system issues.

Candles are another danger. An enthusiastic dog takes under a second to jump up and knock down a lit candle. Excited tails can do the same, risking burns and damage and posing a potential fire hazard.



dog in front of Christmas fireplace Filip-Serban / Getty Images

A fireplace enhances the warmth of the holiday season; however, dogs should always be kept at a safe distance from the hearth. Getting too close can result in burns from stray ashes or sparks. Overheating is another concern, in addition to carbon monoxide poisoning. Using a fireguard will help, and always make sure the fireplace, flue, and chimney are clean and well-ventilated.


Fireworks and other loud noises

Dog at Christmas Time JZHunt / Getty Images

Fireworks during Christmastime are becoming more popular, which isn't favorable for pet owners. Dogs, in particular, tend to fear their unpredictability and ground-shaking sounds. Other loud noises elicit a similar reaction, including hiding, excessive barking, loss of bladder control, biting, or running away.

When it comes to sensory overload, treat your dog the same way you would when strangers pay you a visit. Give your pooch a safe area and canine-friendly calming supplements. Be there to comfort them whenever they need it, and of course, treats will make things better.


Christmas dinner

Small white terrier on a decorative christmas table teksomolika / Getty Images

If Spot is begging for scraps from the dinner table, your guests are likely to sneak a snack into that drooling mouth. While plenty of human foods are okay for dogs to eat in moderation, a lot of holiday goodies can prove disastrous.

It's best to set specific rules with your guests early on and tell them to refrain from feeding your buddy. Foods like chocolate, bones, skin, fat, raisins and certain nuts can cause severe illness.



dog wearing Christmas costume and holding glass of wine Ирина Мещерякова / Getty Images

If a dog ingests alcohol, they'll need to be monitored by a vet till the symptoms run their course. Merely a lick or two of holiday spirits isn't advisable; beer is even worse because the hops are toxic to your dog, instigating an inability to regulate body temperature.

Don't give your dog booze. It's not cute, it's not funny, and it could cause severe harm.


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