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Keeping Your Canine Safe and Sound This Christmas

The honest truth is our beloved hounds don’t have a clue about the holidays. They wonder about the glowing tree in the living room and notice the spicy aromas in the air and that’s about it. But as beloved members of the family, we want our dogs to be part of the Christmas season as much as possible.

With that said, it’s important for dog owners to be mindful of their pet’s safety during the holiday season. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the health and wellbeing of your beloved canine might be put at risk this Christmas and how to keep them safe and sound:


Many pet owners like to squeeze their dogs into holiday-themed sweaters and costumes. It makes for a cute photo op, but could easily cause your dog mild to severe discomfort. This is especially true for furrier breeds which might get overheated. If you wish to put your dog in a potentially uncomfortable outfit for the sake of taking a cute photo to turn into a card to send friends and family, consider an alternative option. For instance, Christmas cards online make it possible to superimpose your dog’s face onto a dancing elf or prancing reindeer. The end result is every bit as cute and funny but doesn’t require your dog to wear confining clothing.


Christmas is a time when most households are inundated with tasty treats. Many of these delicious foods contain chocolate, which is highly toxic to dogs. It’s important to make sure there isn’t any chocolate candy left out which your dog can access. When making cookies and other treats, keep them out of reach of your four-legged friend. Doing so ensures your dog doesn’t end up being poisoned by chocolate.


The holidays are a time when people travel to visit family. Many dog owners will choose to bring their pets along for the journey. If you choose to do so, make sure your dog is safe during transit. Use a dog seatbelt if traveling by car. Be careful when walking your dog at rest stops. Consider giving them anti-nausea and anti-anxiety medication before departure. That way your beloved canine is safe and sound while traveling.


The weather during the holiday season is typically cold and icy. Don’t leave your dog outside for too long if temperatures are below freezing. If putting them outside while you have guests over, make sure they have access to warm shelter. Remember to check on them frequently.


Friends and family might be nice enough to include your dog on their Christmas shopping list. It’s important to make sure the toys they give your beloved canine don’t pose any health risk. Potential choking hazards and toxic materials can easily jeopardize the life of your dog. If you’re unable to confirm whether or not the toy is safe, exercise caution and avoid letting your dog play with it.

The significance of the holiday season might be lost on dogs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of the joy and celebration. Just make sure your canine is safe and sound during the most wonderful time of the year.


Dr. Blanchette lives in the northeast working at emergency clinics for pets. Although Dr. Emily Blanchette has experience with many kinds of pets, she is particularly fond of cats. In her work, however, she deals with both dogs and cat patients with equal care and attention. Dr. Emily does basic fact-checking for our blog and writes articles of her own.

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