The Wanderer.

‘Tis the Season for Dogs to Celebrate Safely

December 19, 2017


At this time of year, your home may start looking a little different from your dog's perspective. In a formerly empty corner of the living room, there's now a tree covered in pretty lights. Under it, there are gifts wrapped in tuggable ribbons. The house is full of guests eating goodies. It's fun to include your dog in your holiday celebrations, but this season isn't without risks. Follow these four guidelines to ensure your Christmas celebration is about dog treats and not safety issues.

Kiss the mistletoe good-bye. Several of the plants we associate with the holidays can make dogs sick if ingested. Poinsettia, mistletoe and amaryllis can be toxic to your pet. Go with silk varities if you want to include them in your decorating. 

Get a dog's-eye view. Ribbons, bows and wrapping paper might look like new toys to your dog. Lights and ornaments on lower tree branches can give the same impression. If ingested, they can cause bowel blockages. After decorating, take a look from your dog's perspective. Put fragile decorations on higher branches and leave packages off the ground until the last minute. 

Watch the water. The water in your tree stand is very tempting to dogs. It's located on the floor, and it looks a lot like a water bowel. Bacteria can collect in this water, and it may contain traces of tree fertilizer. Block your dog's access to it and be sure to keep her real water bowl filled with fresh water to avoid temptation. 

Protect the plates. Most dog owners are conscious of the danger posed by dogs ingesting chocolate, but there's also a danger of your dog sneaking scraps from unattended people-food plates. Be aware of your dog's presence while you're entertaining. Make your own Christmas dog treats for your pup to enjoy safely. 


There's no reason your dog can't celebrate the season along with you. Take a few minutes in each room to see what you need to dog-proof before and after decorating. And don't forget Christmas dog treats for your four-legged friend to enjoy when you're sampling the cookie plate!