It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Family, friends, parties, presents, and don’t forget, your puppy. While you may be celebrating big, your little pup is adjusting to his new home and doesn’t understand this surge of activity.
The faces, the decor, and the foods that have become tradition for you are not only foreign but potentially hazardous for your little one.
That’s why we’re taking a moment to review the most common problems and ensure your home is puppy proof for the holidays.
- Christmas Tree – firmly anchor your tree to the wall or ceiling to prevent it from falling on your curious puppy. Pine needles can get stuck in his paws and irritate the intestines if eaten. Vacuum regularly and keep your tree well-watered to reduce the number of fallen needles. Also watch for stagnant tree water as it breeds bacteria and causes nausea or diarrhea if consumed by puppies. Avoid additives in the water as well.
- Holly & Mistletoe – holly can cause your puppy discomforting nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea while mistletoe is even more serious. A small amount of mistletoe can result in excessive drooling and upset stomach. A large dosage can cause heart rate/rhythm problems and neurological issues. To be safe, opt for silk versions of these festive favorites.
- Ornaments – the sparkling baubles you’ve collected over the years are tempting toys for puppies. Keep them out of reach to avoid a choking or intestinal blocking hazard. Be mindful of broken ornament shards that may cut their paws or mouths and always avoid toxic homemade ornaments.
- Lights & Wires – avoid putting lights on the lower branches of your tree. Too often, puppies can get easily tangled in the wire or even shocked or burned by biting and chewing on available wires. Be sure the cords are well secured. Consider using cord containers for extra protection when you’re not around.
- Tinsel – a touch of nostalgia is an intestinal blocker for puppies and it’s only remedied through surgery. If your holiday is incomplete without it, keep it high on the tree, and watch for fallen strands.
- Candles & Potpourris – keep them out of reach from curious noses and wagging tails. Knocking over a candle is a fire hazard. Oils and detergents in liquid potpourris can damage your puppy’s eyes, mouth, and skin; while solid potpourris cause problems if ingested.
- Presents – you’ve gone through all the trouble to disguise the perfect gift for your loved ones. You might have fooled them. But you cannot fool your puppy. If it’s edible, he can tell. So don’t leave it under the tree, otherwise, you may not be so merry on Christmas day.
- Batteries – to power the presents under the tree, there’s often a surplus of batteries. Be vigilant. Common alkaline batteries can burn if chewed and cause an obstruction if swallowed. However, the smaller disc batteries are more severe and sometimes even fatal if swallowed whole.
- Sweets – whether it’s chocolate, fruit cake or snowball cookies, holiday desserts are not meant for puppies. Either keep your little one away from unattended tables, plates, and trash cans or ensure sweet treats are completely out of reach.
- Leftovers – food this time of year is especially rich, even for us. Imagine how the extra fats and spices are for puppies who are just getting acclimated to dog food. So, absolutely no human food for your growing little pupper, and advise your guests as well.
- Cocktails – place unattended, alcoholic drinks somewhere inaccessible. If consumed, your puppy can become weak, ill, or comatose.
Finally, as excited as you are to show off your little puppy, he might feel differently. In fact, dogs have been known to be fearful, anxious, or over-stimulated around company. Be prepared. Make sure he has a place to retreat to – whether it’s his crate, his bed, or another room.
If you are still looking for your perfect puppy this holiday season, be sure to check out our Christmas puppies for sale.
Avoid making an impulsive decision, however, by being informed and committed when you bring home your puppy.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!