Pet Safety Over The Holidays



Let's talk.

We need to talk.

Ruff! Hi, my name is Dusty. I’m a Havanese. I normally sleep this time of day, but the top dog in our pack was feeling lazy and asked if I’d like to write a post for our blog today. Now, I’m usually a good-natured little fella and I remembered the holidays are coming up so I figured what the heck, why not? Of course, I’m not stupid, either, so I held out until top dog bribed me with a special treat. What a sucker! Anyway, I thought I’d talk about the holidays and pet safety so here goes:


Happy boy!

This is me pretending I actually like those 4 month old dog biscuits.

Even if your dog is well-trained like I pretend to be when I’m messing with my master’s head, food left behind or within easy reach may be considered fair game when you’re not around. Personally, I like to party when you’re not around so watch out!  And some of those morsels may be impossible to resist—I know I can’t. Unfortunately, most of the dogs I know aren’t exactly rocket scientists and that means some of the foods that can do the most harm are the same ones they’ll end up eating.  We’re talking serious trouble here folks…like a trip to the vet or even the pet cemetery (gulp).  This is probably a good time to bring up some of that scary Rod Serling Twilight Zone music…do, do, do, do…do, do, do, do.


Thankfully, we can all avoid a lot of holiday hassle if you’ll just remember these tips:


1)      Train your dog to “leave it” if you give the command. This is a good way to avoid him or her cleaning up spilled food before you get the chance. On your mark, get set…go!

2)      Don’t leave foods out on tables or counters that your dog can reach. Remember, we’re not completely stupid and our stomachs pretty much rule the day when your back is turned.  (Sheesh, I hate giving away secrets for free like this).

3)      Don’t leave trash cans accessible. Scrap food left in garbage cans is often at nose height. I’m just saying that properly aged trash is a toughie to resist. You wouldn’t believe how great you can smell if you dump the whole can and rub your back in the mess.

4)      Ask your holiday guests to avoid feeding your dog. I didn’t actually put this one down…my editor did.  Not fair!

5)      Take extra care to avoid feeding your dog foods known to be toxic. (I was going to write a list of things I can eat like steak, chicken, pork, etc., but top dog reminded me to stay on topic. Rats!) Toxic foods include:


  1. Chocolate
  2. Onions & Garlic
  3. Grapes (or Raisins)
  4. Coffee (either the grounds or beans)
  5. Macadamia Nuts
  6. Nutmeg
  7. Unbaked Yeast Dough
  8. Alcohol
  9. Baking Powder & Baking Soda
  10. Excess fatty foods
  11. The stems, leaves or seeds from certain fruit such Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Peaches and Plum


Look, I’m no puppy dog scientist, but if you want more information about the chemicals and stuff in the foods that aren’t good for us, be sure to ask your vet.



Other Holiday Safety Tips For Your Pet


Dusty as a pup.

Come on, admit it…my puppy pictures are adorable.

Frankly, the holiday’s often scare the bejesus out of me. That’s cause you guys are racing around like one-eyed dogs in a meat market in a futile attempt to get ready for all those big dog home invaders (i.e your guests…grrrrrrr). And, really, what’s up with all that extra crap you’ve been storing in the house. We got trees outside in case you missed it—why’d you need to go chop one down and drag it in here. You want me to do a better job of marking our territory or what?


You might want to remember that all that fake stuff you call holiday decorations (i.e. anything not a stick, leaf, grass or rock) can pose a serious health hazard to yours truly. How the heck was I supposed to know that the thing I thought was gonna be my favorite new squeaky toy was stock full of Styrofoam and covered in fake fur containing super toxic red dye number 99? Blah! What are you trying to do, kill me?


And for Pete’s sake, where’s the warning not to drink out of that big bowl of fresh water under the tree? I didn’t know you filled that sucker with chemicals. What’s up with that? And don’t get me started on all those cords and wires with the lights around the tree. I got this buddy that chewed through one—you wouldn’t believe the way his hair glows.


I'll be nice to kitty today.

Here’s kitty: My nemesis.

You have no idea how hard it is for me to write this next one. I mean, I prefer chasing a cat out of the yard instead of helping it, but it is the holiday season so I’ll try to be nice. Okay, here goes: Are you an idiot? Don’t you know cats love the tinsel and other stuff they find hanging on trees? Look, I’m only saying that unless you want to be cleaning up a tinsel fur ball, or maybe get your hand bit off because you’re pulling glass out of kitty’s paw you better start paying attention here.


Dusty getting some zzzzzz's.

Man, I’m tired. Time to catch up on my zzz’s.

Whoa, all this huntin’ and peckin’ on the keyboard can tucker a fella out. I guess, I’ll wrap it up, but before I go, I did want to mention that if you’re looking for a good pet safety checklist check out this one at


Okay, time to take my nappy, here. Meanwhile, stay safe and have a happy holiday.  Ruff!


By Dusty The Dog

If you enjoyed this post, you may want to see:
Woofda – Life From A Dog’s Perspective


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