Jessica Cristen plays with her pit bulls Tuesday, November 21, 2017 in Beaconsfield, Que.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

Pet-proof your home for the holidays

  • Dec. 25, 2017 2:41 p.m.

The holidays are a festive time spent with family, friends and your pets. However, popular holiday items such as decorations and food can threaten your dog’s well-being.

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

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

— Avoid popcorn and cranberries as decorations. When decorating Christmas trees, avoid using foods such as popcorn or cranberries. If your dog eats them, they can cause blockages, which can require surgery to remove.

— Place eye-catching ornaments higher up on your tree. Just like children, dogs are drawn to shiny objects. Unfortunately, during the holidays, those shiny objects often include tinsel, glass bulbs and ornaments that your dob might be tempted to reach. Ingesting ornaments can cause serious health problems for your dog or puppy.

— Consider having 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, which can cause stomach irritation or contain poisonous plant food. 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 the hearty foods placed near 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 their reach during your holiday parties. If your dog does ingest any of these foods, contact your vet immediately

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