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How to pet-proof your home this holiday season

American Kennel Club on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

The holidays are a joyous time to spend with family, friends and pets. However, popular holiday staples such as decorations and food can be harmful to your dog's well-being.

To keep your dog safe and healthy during the holidays, the American Kennel Club offers the following safety tips.

- Avoid using food as decorations. When decorating Christmas trees, stay away from foods such as popcorn or cranberries. They can cause blockages if your dog eats them and can require surgery to remove.

- Place eye-catching ornaments higher up on your tree. Dogs are drawn to shiny objects. Unfortunately, during the holidays that can include tinsel, glass bulbs and other ornaments that make it tempting for him to reach. Ingesting ornaments can cause serious health problems for your dog or puppy.

- Holiday plants should be kept out of your pet's reach. Poinsettias, holly and mistletoe should be kept out of your dog's reach, as they can be poisonous to pets. If your dog accidentally ingests any of these plants, contact your vet immediately.


- Consider getting an artificial Christmas tree. Natural trees tend to lose pine needles, which can be harmful to your pet. If you choose a natural tree, make sure your dog doesn't swallow the pine needles or drink the tree water, as it may contain poisonous plant food. This could cause stomach irritation if ingested. Place a gate or a barrier around the tree to keep the dog away.

- Tape down indoor and outdoor wires. Exposed wires from holiday lights pose a threat to your pet because if he chews on them, he could be electrocuted. Tape indoor wires to the wall and outdoor wires to the side of the house where your dog can't reach them.

- Be mindful of foods placed around your dog. Common holiday foods such as chocolate, butter, turkey skin, fat and candy can make your dog very ill. Make sure to keep these foods out of his reach during your holiday parties. If your dog does ingest any of these foods, contact your vet immediately.

For more tips on dog ownership, visit the AKC at

(c)2019 American Kennel Club, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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