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Diverse gathering of friends around the holiday table sharing a meal with their two dogs.

8 Precautions To Keep Your Dog Safe During the Holidays

 Here’s how to ensure a paw-sitively safe holiday season!


The holiday season is a time for joy, festivities, and quality time with loved ones — including our furry family members! While the holidays are filled with cheer, they also bring about various hazards for dogs. Here’s how to keep your home safe for your dog all holiday season long! 


Precaution 1: Deck the Halls with Caution

There’s nothing like the warm glow of Christmas lights, but they can pose a threat – loose wires, tinsel, and fragile ornaments can be tempting targets. To prevent accidents, secure wires with sturdy tape and place delicate ornaments higher on the tree. As enchanting as tinsel may be, it poses a risk to dogs if ingested. The shiny material can attract their attention, so decorate with alternatives such as ribbon or fabric that won't be as tempting or pose a threat if swallowed.


Precaution 2: Food for Thought

While indulging in festive feasts, make sure your guests are mindful of the foods that are toxic to dogs. Onions, garlic, bones, and certain spices can be harmful, so don’t share scraps (no matter how cute the begging is). When it’s time for dessert, indulging in chocolatey treats is a holiday highlight, but it can endanger dogs. Chocolate contains substances like theobromine, which can be toxic to dogs. Keep chocolate desserts out of reach, and consider offering dog-friendly treats as a safe alternative.


Precaution 3: Festive Plants to Avoid

Decking the halls with traditional holiday plants like poinsettias and mistletoe may seem charming, but these can be toxic to pets if ingested. Identify and keep these plants out of your pet's reach, or consider opting for pet-friendly decorations.


Precaution 4: Candles and Open Flames

Candles and open flames are common during holiday celebrations, but they can pose a fire hazard to pets. Opt for flameless candles or secure traditional candles in places where your dog can't accidentally knock them over.


Precaution 5: Safe Spaces for New Year's Celebrations

New Year's celebrations often involve fireworks, which distress dogs. Create a safe and secure space within your home where your pet can retreat to if the noise becomes overwhelming. Consider using white noise machines or calming music to help drown out the loud sounds.


Precaution 6: Gift Wrap and Packaging

The excitement of unwrapping presents is contagious, but be cautious about your pet's curiosity. Wrapping paper and ribbons can entice dogs, but they pose a choking hazard or can cause intestinal blockages if ingested. Dispose of packaging materials promptly and securely.


Precaution 7: Avoiding Holiday Socialization Stress

The holiday season can be stressful for pets due to changes in routine, guests, and various stimuli. Watch for signs of stress in your dog, such as excessive panting, pacing, or withdrawal. Create a quiet and comfortable space where your pet can retreat if needed.


Precaution 8: Emergency Preparedness

Finally, in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it's essential to be prepared for emergencies. Know the location of the nearest emergency vet clinic, and keep a pet first aid kit on hand. Being prepared can make a significant difference in an unexpected mishap.


Happy Holidays from ICTI!

As you celebrate the holidays with your loved ones, including your furry friends, keeping these precautions in mind will ensure a safe and joyful season. By taking a little extra care and consideration, you can create lasting memories without compromising your pet's well-being. Wishing you and your canine companions a happy and safe holiday season!