Christmas decorations and your dog

The Christmas season is now upon us and many of you will be adding a Christmas tree and other decorations to your home.

Here are some tips for decorating your home with the safety of your dog in mind:

a. Place your Christmas tree in a location that minimises the need for electrical cords.  Near an outlet is always best.

b.  If you must use electrical cords, remember that these can pose a major hazard to your dog.   Puppies, in particular, like to chew on things.  This means the risk of electrocution and serious injury (including death).  Hide cords under special covers that you can buy at the hardware store and never leave your dog or puppy in the house unattended with the Christmas lights turned on.

c.  Don’t use ornaments with hooks.  These are sharp objects that can harm your dog if they take an interest in chewing on them.  Use soft string or yarn with a secure knot to hang ornaments.

d.  Substitute ribbon for tinsels and garlands.  Shiny ribbon can catch the light on your tree just as well, but it less attractive to dogs who decide to investigate and chew.    When dogs chew and ingest decorations, they run the risk of an intestinal blockage or, at a minimum, a very upset tummy!

e.  Leave the presents until Christmas Eve.  Your dog will want to investigate things that are left under the tree so remove the temptation.  This reduces the likelihood that they’ll chew on wrapping (again with the risk of ingestion) and damage your gifts.   (Practically speaking, it also keeps your gifts of sight from burglars who like to work in the pre-Christmas period for the sole purpose of stealing new items from underneath Christmas trees.)

By making your home a safe place for your dog to enjoy, you’ll all enjoy the holidays together without any nasty consequences.

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