If you're like most people who share their lives and homes with a canine companion, you naturally want your furry friend to share life's most meaningful moments with you — and if you're hosting a holiday celebration in your home, you probably want to include your dog in the festivities. However, this may not be the best idea, even if your dog is the social type who loves being around people. Because you'll be busy with your guests, you may not notice situations with the potential to have adverse effects on the health and safety of your pet, especially if you're entertaining more than three or four people. The following are three reasons not to include your dog in holiday festivities:
Your Dog May Get Loose
Guests coming in and out of your home during the course of the evening when you're hosting a holiday soiree provide numerous opportunities for your pet to slip out the door unnoticed. If your dog gets loose, the situation puts a huge damper on the festivities, and the evening may end up with a trip to your local 24-hour emergency pet clinic. Getting hit by a car is a significant risk for dogs on the loose, especially those who aren't wise in the ways of traffic. There is also the chance that they'll get into antifreeze or other hazardous substance while on the loose.
Your Dog May Ingest Harmful Foods
Many human foods traditionally served during holiday celebrations are toxic for furry friends. Examples include onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, anything prepared with cinnamon, and ice cream. Even if you try to make it clear to your guests that they are not to feed the dog, sympathetic souls sometimes disregard this and slip domestic pets treats when the host isn't looking. Children are particularly notorious for this behavior, and if they're part of the celebratory picture, your dog may gulp down an entire piece of chocolate cake in a matter of seconds. Although most dogs may survive small amounts of chocolate, large doses are often fatal.
Your Dog May Be Harmed By Decorations
Decorations are another culprit when it comes to posing a safety and health hazard to dogs during the holiday season. Tinsel, for instance, can cause intestinal blockage in dogs if ingested. Seasonal plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly are poisonous to dogs. If your dog is a social butterfly who loves the attention that comes with being included in human gatherings, try letting it join in the fun for the first 15 minutes or so, and then putting your dog away in a secluded area with its favorite blanket and a few toys for the duration of the festivities. It's also a good idea to have the contact information of your local emergency veterinarian clinic close at hand in the event that something unexpected occurs and your furry friend needs immediate medical attention.