Christmas Safety for Dogs

December 12, 2013

By Bear, canine guest blogger

Hi all, it’s me Bear. I’m taking over the post today so Mommy can work on getting ready for the holidays. She discovered that she is the only person in town who doesn’t decorate on the weekend after Thanksgiving, so today she’s crawling around in the attic pulling out decorations and cleaning the house.

I love the flashing lights and the yummy smells of the holidays, but there are some things that responsible pet owners need to know about the dangers of Christmas for their dogs. So I’m here to give y’all a little rundown and some warnings that will help all you doggy Mommies and Daddies keep my canine pals happy and healthy this Christmas.


Those really pretty flowers that appear around the holidays and make your holiday décor really pop are also really bad for dogs (and cats). We dogs don’t usually go around chewing house plants like those silly cats do, but sometimes we do like to check things out. The sap from poinsettias is very irritating to our mouths and stomachs and can make us really sick. You don’t want to have to clean up doggie vomit under your Christmas tree, do you? Keep poinsettias up high and make sure that you pick up the little seeds and leaves that fall off of them.

There are actually a lot of flowers and plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats; you may as well check out the list and make sure that no matter what time of year it is, you aren’t unintentionally exposing your furry friends to danger.

Turkey Bones and Other Food Dangers

Turkey meat itself is fine for doggies to eat; the danger is in the cooked bones and the skin. We could choke or the cooked bones could splinter and hurt us internally. Turkey skin should never be given to pets raw or cooked because the fat can cause pancreatitis. So feel free to pass down a few bites of your yummy turkey meat – just no bones please! You should also know which veggies and other people food we can’t eat, so please check out our previous article on Veggies Dogs Love and Ones to Avoid, as well as Human Food That’s Deadly for Pets.

The Christmas Tree

While the tree isn’t necessarily dangerous to us, it kind of depends on how your dog behaves. I’m an old dog, I’ve been around for a lot of holidays so I don’t try to get under the tree or walk around behind it. The dangers for your dog may be that they knock the tree over on themselves, or a wagging tail breaks ornaments which can cut their feet or if they try to chew on them can really hurt. If you have breakable ornaments put them up higher on the tree.

Also make sure that if your dog likes to be near the tree that wires and cords are taped to the floor or wall to avoid your dog getting tangled up, wires getting broken or chewed and to help prevent accidental fires. Icicles – those shiny silvery strings – are sometimes eaten by both cats and dogs and can be hard to expel or even cause intestinal and stomach problems, so you should just leave those off the tree to be safe.


Everyone seems to love the ambience and great smells of holiday scented candles, but wagging tails and nosy dogs could cause spilling, burns and even fires. Make sure you keep lit candles (and even unlit candles that smell yummy) where your dog can’t reach them.

The holidays can be almost as much fun for us dogs as they are for you. We love to get presents and treats in our stockings. CANIDAE Pure Heaven biscuits are at the top of my list for Santa this year, because they really are heavenly! Just remember that your dogs and cats are kind of like children, and it is up to you to make sure they are safe and happy during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Top photo by DaPuglet
Bottom photo by Justin Russell

Read more articles by Bear’s Mom (Suzanne Alicie)

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