It’s important to remember that dogs are exposed to a lot more small dangers over the festive period. Take some extra precautions to ensure that your pets are safe over Christmas and New Year, and the holidays will be remembered for all the right reasons and not for that trip to the emergency vet!


Christmas Decorations


How secure is that Christmas tree? Anchor it firmly so that there is no chance of it toppling onto your pet, even if they happen to knock into it while playing with their new toys on Christmas morning. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on how your dog interacts with decorations like glass baubles – make sure he or she knows they are not a toy! While salt dough decorations are fun to make they are also tempting for dogs to eat, and highly toxic, so keep them where you know your dog can’t reach them.


Christmas Food


Not all Christmas food is a good choice for a dog’s diet. Chocolate is a no-go, as are foods sweetened with xylitol, but rich foods can also cause digestive upsets. Don’t leave food unattended with your dog, and watch that he doesn’t get access to any alcoholic drinks.


Guests Coming and Going


Is your dog a runner and likes to bolt when the front door opens? At this time of year there tend to be more visitors than usual, so make sure that your dog has a safe and secure area he can hang out in while you greet guests. Baby gates are a great tool for setting up areas for your dogs to relax in while you answer the door.




Christmas is a popular time for lighting candles, but make sure that they are out of the way of curious pets and can’t be knocked over. Remember – never leave a lit candle unattended.


Seasonal Plants


Mistletoe and holly both cause illness in dogs if ingested, and the popular Christmas time plant poinsettia is toxic to dogs. You might want to stick with artificial versions to keep your dogs safe.


New Year Fireworks


Many dogs are frightened by fireworks, making New Year’s Eve a stressful time for some hounds. Don’t leave your dog in the yard on New Year’s Eve as there may get frightened by the noise and try to run away.