Top Tips To Keep Your Pooch Safe This Holiday

Don’t you just love the holidays? Family, friends, food, and presents — it doesn’t get any better than that! If you read my recent article “Top 8 Christmas Gifts For Dogs” then you know I love to spoil my pups and make sure they’re enjoying the Christmas celebration too. While I’m all for keeping our canine kids engaged, I’m also a huge advocate for keeping them safe. 

My good friends over at Orvis, put together this awesome infographic, highlighting top tips to keep your pooch safe this holiday season. They go over everything from where to place your Christmas tree decorations to which household plants are toxic to dogs. They also offer suggestions for keeping nervous dogs calm during holiday parties and gift opening time.

*After reading through the infographic, keep scrolling for more safety tips and details!

Infographic by Orvis.

The Tree

Along with hanging ornaments high up the tree and avoiding garland, Orvis also recommends placing your tree in a safe corner. That’s because it’s less likely to topple over! For added protection, they even recommend setting up your tree behind a paneled dog gate and making sure your pooch can’t reach the branches when left home alone. 

Holiday Food

Rather than feeding your pooch table scraps, why not whip up a batch of healthy, homemade dog treats? This will make your pup feel involved and you can ensure what they’re eating is safe. Click here to see a list of our DIY dog treat recipes

Holiday Entertaining

Is your dog the life of the party? Some pups love to greet human guests and join in on the celebration. If your dog get’s skittish, though, Orvis recommends keeping him away from the excitement. Either set your dog up in a gated room or crate. Here are some extra tips to make sure your pooch is as comfortable as possible:

  • Leave The TV On
  • Play Calming Music (Through a Dog’s Ear offers a selection of pet-calming tunes. They even sell a portable music player and music specifically meant to soothe your dog. Check it out here!)
  • Use a Dog Appeasing Pheromone Plug-In (DAP is a synthetic chemical based on a hormone that’s produced by lactating female dogs. It’s this hormone that helps keep puppies calm. DAP comes as a plug-in diffuser with vials that last for about 30 days. Don’t worry about these synthetic pheromones stinking up your house — humans can’t smell it.)
  • Dress Your Dog In A Thunder Jacket (A thunder jacket is a tightly fitting jacket that applies pressure to your dog’s body. The continuous pressure is believed to calm an anxious dog’s nerves. My friend’s dog has a thunder jacket and she swears by it.)


In the above infographic, Orvis highlighted some popular holiday plants that are considered toxic to dogs. I know it’s not ideal, but I personally decorate my house with faux flowers and they get the job done! 

Holiday Candles

Candles should be out of your pup’s reach for obvious reasons. Be sure to keep lit candles on high, stable surfaces out of reach of your dog’s nose, paws or wagging tail.

Wrapped Gifts

So, I personally let my dogs join in on the gift unwrapping part of our holiday celebration. I also wrap special gifts for them and they go nuts when it’s time to open them. With that said, Orvis makes a great point on this topic: 

  1. Dogs are naturally curious and many will want to chew open packages to see what’s inside. If your dog likes to explore with his mouth, keep gifts out of his reach until it’s time to share. Wrapping paper, ribbons and bows can block your dog’s digestive tract so you definitely don’t want them feasting on them! 
  2. If your family often exchanges edible gifts (like cookies and other chocolate pastries), it’s best to keep your pooch in the other room until those gifts are opened and put away. 

Happy Holidays!