Holiday Safety for Dogs: Tips and Tricks for Pet Parents

December means eating, drinking and having fun with friends and family. But nothing can spoil the holiday cheer like an emergency visit to the vet. These tips can help prevent a holiday disaster for you and your pup.

Keep people’s food away from the puppies

  • Make sure your dog does not have access to foods, especially those that contain chocolate, xylitol, turkey or turkey skin, grapes/raisins, onions, or other toxic foods.
  • Exchanging table scraps should be avoided, especially during the holidays, when food tends to be very rich and fattening, which is difficult to digest.


  • Secure your tree! A curious puppy can run into it or knock it over.
  • Be careful with water-based Christmas tree additives that can be dangerous to dogs (we suggest avoiding all additives to be as safe as possible!)
  • Put trinkets, decorations and electrical cords out of reach.
  • Never leave a dog alone in an area with a lit candle!
  • Keep holiday plants—especially hollyhocks, mistletoe, and lilies—out of the way.
  • Unplug decorations when you are not around.

Hosting a small get-together?

  • Dogs who aren’t usually shy may become nervous around visitors – be sure to provide access to a comfortable, quiet place to retreat.
  • Watch Exits Even if your little one is comfortable around guests, keep a close eye on them, especially when people enter or leave your home.
  • Make sure your pup has proper identification with your current contact information, including an electronic chip with registered and up-to-date information.
  • Take out the litter to make sure her pups don’t get to it, especially if it contains scraps of food or bones.

vacation trip

  • Interstate and international travel regulations require that any dog ​​you bring with you obtain a health certificate from your veterinarian—even if you’re traveling by car.
  • Puppies in vehicles should always be safely restrained using a secure harness or carrier and placed in a place free of airbags.
  • Dogs should never be left alone in the car – in any weather.
  • If you are traveling by air and are considering taking your pup with you, talk to your vet first. Air travel can put some puppies at risk, especially short-nosed dogs.
  • In addition to your dog’s food and medications, be sure to pack copies of their medical records, information to help locate your pup if he goes missing, first aid supplies, and other important items.
  • Do you board your dog while traveling? Talk with your vet to find out how best to protect your pup from canine influenza and other infectious diseases, and to make sure your pup is up to date on vaccinations.

advance plan

  • Always keep the phone number of your vet, 24-hour emergency clinic, and poison control in an easy-to-find location.
  • Quick action can save lives! If you think your pup has been poisoned or ate something he shouldn’t have, contact your vet or local emergency clinic immediately. Signs of distress include sudden changes in behavior, pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.

About the Author: Dr. Jim McClain, Chief Veterinary Officer, Sinthound

Dr. McClain’s first job was as a personal care assistant when he was 15 years old. Since then, he has worked in every aspect of small animal veterinary hospitals, practiced small animal medicine and surgery for 26 years, and owned and started multi-doctor veterinary hospitals. With interests in both medicine and business, Jim earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from VMRCVM at Virginia Tech in 1994 and an MBA from Georgetown University in 2011.

Turning around, he joined the Scenthound pack to bring his experience and expertise to the world of body grooming. As a lead veterinarian, Dr. McClain guides the Scenthound from a health and medical perspective and helps fulfill our mission to improve the overall health of pets more broadly.

About Scenthound

Scenthound is a wellness-centric, membership-based dog grooming company that empowers dog parents to ensure their furry friends get the routine care they need. Pet parents can choose the most appropriate membership plan for their dog and add additional services as needed. The brand gets its name from its unique approach to grooming with a focus on the five core areas of routine and preventive dog care, including sClose cFelt tired, eArs ndisease and teth. Use our Scenthound Locator to find the Scenter closest to you!

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