Pet’s Tale: Pet-Proof Your Christmas


With the holidays upon us, there will be fun, food, family and festivities. But the holidays can be stressful. This doesn’t just affect humans; our pupsters will be feeling it too.

Try and keep the following in mind this holiday season:

  1. Are you putting gifts under the tree? If you are, be sure that your pupster won’t be playing with them. Any fancy bows, ribbons, tags, bags or paper could potentially be harmful.  Are there toxic materials in any of those things? Is the gift itself something that you don’t want the dog to get into? If so, maybe consider putting gifts on a table this year or save them and bring them out the day you plan to open them.
  2. Decorations are another concern. Glass, wires, ornaments and ornament hooks … the list goes on. Be sure that you are watching out or Fido around all of these potentially hazardous items.
  3. Poinsettias are a Christmas staple, but did you know they are toxic to your dog? Mistletoe and holly are, too. Please be sure to keep all of this out of reach of your pet.
  4. Food! Oh, the food this time of year. So many delicious meals and special desserts. As most of us know, chocolate is toxic to dogs. But what surprised me was how many other things are toxic to them too. Raisins, certain fruits, even certain ingredients that could be part of the cooking and baking during the holiday season. Although the list is too long to name everything here, try to follow the general rule that anything that isn’t your dogs’ food or treats, they should not have.
  5. Maybe you will be out of town, and your pet won’t be traveling with you. This also can be hard on the family and the pet, especially if your dog suffers from separation anxiety. If possible, try and have your dog stay with a family member it is familiar with. There also are many doggie day care options. Prior to the holidays, you could start with a couple of play days, gradually moving to an overnight stay. By the time you leave, your mind will be at ease because you know your pet will be just fine spending time there. Your veterinarian can discuss and provide options that will help you make the right decision for your pet this holiday season.

The holidays are hectic and wonderful! But you want to be sure that all members of the family can enjoy them, including our furry four-legged friends. Be sure to contact your veterinarian’s office immediately if your pup gets into anything it shouldn’t.


Jill Bailey

Jill Bailey is the Media Specialist at M3 Group by day, by night she is helping train dogs for Canine Coaches! Having a life-long love of dogs, Jill decided to get her training certification in 2012. Visit for more information.

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