As you drag the Christmas tree from the garage and bring it back to life, hang the wreath on the door and begin to bring the festive spirit into your home, it’s important to make sure that your decorations don’t become a hazard for your dog.
While you may think that your Christmas decorations pose little to no risk to your greyhound, you should be aware that these ‘harmless’ items can present a serious risk to your dogs’ health. For example, small decorations present a choking hazard if they become lodged in your dogs’ throat, while power boards and cords can end in electrocution if they are chewed on.
Here are some things you should consider to dog-proof your decorations:
1. Christmas tree placement: Consider raising the tree off the ground by perching it on a stand or raised platform. Not only will your tree look even grander, but it will ensure that ornaments are kept well away from curious mouths.
2. Light placement: Hang lights high up enough that they are not accessible to your dog. Chewing on lights can cause electrocution which can lead to severe burns in their mouth, respiratory distress, and heart problems.
3. Fragile ornaments: Hang these high on the tree so there is no risk of them being knocked off or damaged
4. Non-edible ornaments: While beautifully decorated sugar cookies or gingerbread may complete the look of your Christmas tree, avoid putting any edible ornaments on your tree as this can become irresistible for your dog.
5. Toxic plants: If you intend to bring (or have been gifted) additional plants in your home, ensure you understand whether they are toxic for your dog. Popular plants like poinsettias are toxic for dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea.
If in doubt while hanging your decorations, do the ‘pooch test’ by squatting down to approximately the height of your dog and take note of what is accessible. If there are any low hanging lights, low hung stockings, or food/alcohol that can be easily accessed, consider moving them.
Also, consider fencing off any areas with a baby gate to block them from accessing rooms where it's impossible to remove hazards.
If your dog has inadvertently eaten foreign objects that can cause harm (broken glass, chocolate, poinsettias, alcohol, etc), it’s best to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.