Dog Christmas Safety Guide

Tips to keep your pet safe over Christmas

The festive season can be an exciting time for the whole family. But it’s important to make sure your puppy is protected from any Christmas dangers. 

We’ve covered everything from festive decoration pet safety to the danger a Christmas tree can pose to your dog.

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Are Christmas decorations dangerous to dogs?

A number of ornaments that you normally associate with Christmas are potentially hazardous to your pooch. 

Breakable Christmas Decoration Dangers

Keep breakable ornaments (such as crystal decorations for the tree or snow globes) high up and out of your dog's reach. Not only are there dangers of your dog stepping on glass, but snowglobes often contain antifreeze.

Antifreeze is extremely dangerous for dogs. So if the worst happens and a breakage occurs, move your dog immediately out of the room. Make sure you thoroughly sweep, hoover and mop the area to remove dangers to your pet.

Note: Be mindful of tinsel, angel hair and fake snow too. If ingested it can pose serious risks.

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Christmas Lights Dangers

Dog Christmas Safety - Christmas Lights DangersMany of us will celebrate the festive period with twinkling fairy lights. It’s a pretty standard addition to most people’s houses come Christmas.

The wires should always be kept out of your dogs' reach to ensure they won’t chew the cables. If your dog chews cables, then they risk a potential electric shock or burn.

In addition, older lights will also get very hot if left on for long periods. So keeping them out of reach of your pets means they’re less likely to burn themselves on the hot bulbs. This also counts for candles - we know it's curiosity that killed the cat, but dogs can be just as curious, not to mention boisterous! So keep those candles out of reach and blow them out if you're leaving for a while. 

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Festive Plant Dangers

Both Holly and Mistletoe can be quite unpleasant for your puppy. Dogs can hurt their paws from the sharp leaves, and if they eat them, they'll likely get ill. Other festive plants that are dangerous to your dogs are Potpourri, Ivy and Poinsettia. 

Always opt for artificial Christmas plants wherever possible. This will limit the dangers they pose to your dog.

Festive Walks

If you're heading out for a walk whilst it's chilly, be mindful of grit and other contaminants (like antifreeze) on pavements and roads. If they lick their paws there's a chance this could make them very sick! So make sure you wash your dog's paws when you get in from a walk in icy weather. 

If you can, try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Things can get hectic over Christmas and your dog will need some time to unwind so they don't become too unsettled. 

If you suspect that your pet has eaten any Christmas plants, contact a vet immediately!

Making sure the Christmas tree is safe for dogs

Ask any long-term dog owner and they’ll be able to tell you a Christmas tree story involving their pets. Dogs are notoriously curious and are very likely to want to explore a new addition.

Is there such a thing as a dog-safe Christmas tree?

Christmas tree safety for dogsThe answer to the question is sort of. A Christmas tree whether real or fake can pose dangers to your dog, but there are ways to make them safer.

Always make sure that your Christmas tree is securely anchored and unlikely to fall on your pet. There are also specially adapted artificial Christmas trees that only start halfway up.

These trees will discourage your puppy from wanting to climb and potentially getting stuck. 

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Are natural Christmas trees dangerous to dogs?

You might be surprised to find that they actually pose more danger than artificial ones. What makes them a potential risk is the pine needles falling out.

These dropped pine needles could be eaten or even get stuck in your pet’s paws. Either way, it will cause considerable discomfort for your dog. 

The most effective way to limit the risk of real Christmas trees is to regularly sweep or hoover up the fallout.

It's also important to prevent your pup from drinking Christmas tree water. Real Christmas trees are sometimes treated with certain additives or preservatives to help them last and this can contaminate the water. So be sure to block access where possible.

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Pet Christmas Present Safety 

Even if a gift isn’t for your dog, it can pose risks for your pet. 

Chocolate gifts

Chocolate is extremely toxic to pets. So, if you plan on giving chocolate as a gift to anybody within the home (or not), always keep these presents well out of reach of your dog.

Consult a vet immediately if you think your pet has eaten chocolate. 

Presents with a pleasent smell

Any presents with a pleasant scent should be kept away from your dog. Think of gifts like bath bombs, candles, edible gifts and soaps. Your dog will smell something pleasant and may try to eat the gift.

Wrapping paper safety

Pet present safety at ChristmasWrapping paper itself can actually pose a risk to your pooch. So, never leave wrapped gifts around your pet unattended. 

If you are opening gifts with your pet in the room, make sure to collect any ripped paper before your dog can get to it. They’ll want to chew or shred it. To be safe, consider opting for plain wrapping paper rather than one that’s metallic or sparkly. This will make it more likely to be safe to be around your puppy. 

Be mindful of Christmas crackers too! Some dogs may not like the sound, and if one of the little items comes flying out, they can be very tempting to your dog, especially if they enjoy the thrill of the chase!

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Christmas Food Pet Safety

The festive season often means that there is far more food around than at any other time of the year. 

However, not all food that is around is safe for your pets. Never leave food out unattended around your pet, and always keep it out of reach. 

Christmas foods that are dangerous to dogsChristmas food items that are hazardous to dogs

  • Mince pies
  • Onion gravy
  • Sweets
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas puddings
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Raisins
  • Grapes
  • Alcohol 

Be mindful of pet treats with ingredients such as rawhide too, they can be very difficult for dogs to digest (especially if your dog is prone to eating fast without chewing much) leading to potential gastrointestinal issues. 

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Give Them Some Space

As mentioned, things can get very hectic over Christmas, it can be very easy to get lost in it all! It's a very busy time of year. If you can, make sure your dog has a place they can retreat to if things get a bit too much for them. You'll know them better than anyone. Sometimes they want to be at the heart of the action for fear of missing out, but they may also like to have a crate to retreat to or a favourite spot to get cosy if they need to take some time out. 

We hope that you’ve found our dog Christmas safety guide helpful. Still looking for Christmas gift ideas for your dog?
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