Christmas is a time we all want to enjoy, especially with our four-legged friends by our side. However it's important not to forget those key Christmas safety tips during a time where there are more potential hazards in and around your home...
The sight of a beautiful Christmas tree, with its shiny baubles, strands of tinsel, and twinkly lights, can be a great temptation to an inquisitive puppy. For this reason, don’t allow your puppy into the same room as the Christmas tree, unless he is properly supervised, and distract him with safe puppy toys rather than giving him access to items from the tree, which he could easily choke on.
If you have a real tree make sure you vacuum regularly so that your puppy doesn’t get any pine needles stuck in his pads, or, worse, decide to eat them! To be on the safe side, you could put the tree behind a decorated puppy pen, or erect a baby gate in the doorway so your puppy can’t be tempted to investigate and potentially come to any harm.
Unfortunately, many lovely plants that are popular over the festive season, such as poinsettia and amaryllis, are poisonous to puppies if eaten. Keep your pup safe by placing any potted plants high up where he won’t be able to reach them, and position any holly and mistletoe wreaths safely out of his way, so that he can’t eat any berries that may fall from them.
If you are expecting guests over Christmas and New Year, it’s a good idea to exercise your puppy before they arrive, as this will help him to relax and he will be more likely to want to have a little sleep later in the day. Ensure that he has a quiet place to go, such as a cosy crate, and don’t allow excited children to try to get him out of his crate when he is resting, as this should always be a space where your puppy can feel safe and secure.
There will inevitably be a great deal of festive food and drink around the house at Christmas, but much of this can be quite dangerous to puppies if they accidentally consume it. Advise everyone not to give in to those pleading puppy eyes, and be careful not to allow your young dog near chocolate, Christmas pudding, turkey bones, fruit cake, mince pies, or any leftover glasses of alcohol, such as Baileys! If your puppy does somehow manage to consumer anything he shouldn’t, it’s always a good idea to seek veterinary advice.
Wrapping paper & ribbons
Tidy away any wrapping paper, Sellotape, and ribbons after wrapping presents and dispose of them quickly and safely when the presents have been unwrapped on Christmas morning. Many children’s gifts have plastic ties and other small parts that a puppy would love to chew, but, unfortunately, they could cause a blockage in his intestines, so make sure the floor is clear of anything that can potentially be harmful.
If you are determined to spoil your puppy with a little Christmas dinner of his own, make sure you restrict this to a small portion of white chicken or turkey meat, with plain veg, such as carrots. Don’t be tempted to give him a huge plate of leftovers, as this could really upset his digestive system. In addition, remember that onions can be poisonous to dogs, so avoid smothering his food in onion gravy!