8 Festive Pet Health Risks To Watch Out For This Christmas

December 4, 2018

Celebrating Christmas with your pets can be fun-filled and memorable. However, during the endless stream of parties, chilly weather, and chaos of decorating, there are several things that can injure your four-legged friend or cause them to feel unwell. To ensure that you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year together, it’s crucial that you watch out for the potential health risks. With that in mind, here are eight common dangers that could harm your dog.

Christmas Decorations

Shiny, sparkly, and dangly Christmas decorations can prove to be irresistible to curious dogs. They look like toys, treats, and other things your pet wants to get their paws on. Unfortunately, when broken or, even worse, ingested, they can cause a whole lot of harm. To prevent this, you should supervise your dog closely when they’re a decorated room. You may also want to avoid hanging such decorations low enough that your furry friend could get ahold of them.

Poisonous Plants

Some of the festive season’s most popular plants are highly toxic to your pet. These include mistletoe, holly, lilies, and poinsettias. For this reason, you should ensure that you keep these plants far out of your dog’s reach. To be extra careful, you may want to consider decorating with artificial alternatives instead. Of course, you should still try to keep your pet from eating those, but they are much less harmful than the real thing.

Wrapped Gifts

Sellotape, wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, and other gift wrapping essentials can all be a danger to your pet. Not only are they a major choking hazard, but they could also cause intestinal obstruction if your dog managed to eat them. With that in mind, you should supervise your four-legged friend around any and all gifts. Unfortunately, this may mean you’re unable to leave them under the tree. You should also keep your eyes on any opened gifts that have small parts or batteries.

Cold Weather

Most assume all dogs cope well with cold weather, but that isn’t always the case. Because of this, you should ensure that the place your pet sleeps stays warm all day and night. To make this a bit easier, you may want to invest in wood windows. These are great insulators, so can keep the heat inside your home. Playing in the snow with your dog can be fun, but the snow stuck to their feet and coat can lead to frostbite, so you should consider a warm sweater and booties.

Alcoholic Drinks

Watching your dog sneak a taste of your dad’s beer while he isn’t looking can be quite funny, but it can also have some incredibly serious consequences. Pets aren’t supposed to drink alcohol, and, as such, can have some really bad reactions to it, including vomiting and seizures. For this reason, it’s crucial that you keep any half-empty bottles, glasses, or cans somewhere your pet can’t reach them. You should also ensure that your family understands the dangers too.

Festive Foods

As much as you enjoy Christmas treats, you should avoid giving your dog any human foods, no matter how much they beg and plead with their eyes. When your pet has a balanced diet for most of the year, giving them their own Christmas leftovers dinner can be a shock to the system, causing stomach upset and sickness. You should especially avoid any treats that are toxic to pets, like chocolate and nuts. These can cause even worse health issues than others.

Holiday Parties

The holiday season is a busy time, with back to back parties and guests aplenty. Unfortunately, if your dog gets nervous around strangers, then this can cause quite a lot of stress for them, especially with fireworks and loud music in the background. If party hosting is on your agenda this Christmas, then make sure that you set up somewhere quiet for your furry friend to escape to. You may also want to invest in calming products, like plug-ins and drops.

Limited Attention

As hectic as the Christmas period can be, you still need to pay your dog lots of attention. Make sure that they continue to be fed, walked, and played with at the same times as usual or they may become stressed and depressed. If you’re struggling to keep up with the demands of the festivities and your pet, then you should consider hiring a pet sitter or taking them to a doggy daycare center. This way, they get plenty of attention, and you can focus on your to-do list.

With Christmas comes a number of unique health risks for your dog. To ensure you both have a fun festive season, make sure that you watch out and prevent those listed above and as always keep it Southern Y'all.
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