Dog Mom Tips For Keeping Your Dog Safe This Holiday Season

It’s hard to believe that my rescue pug Kilo, has been part of our family for over two years now. My girls even call him “the favourite child”. Kilo is very food motivated, very resourceful and very anxious around strangers. He loves being with the family and getting attention and he likes routine. He does not like other dogs or delivery people, especially the postman.

Kilo posing in red bowtie

We decorate the house for Christmas and are quite social, hosting or attending quite a few holiday parties and dinners over the season. We also have a relative and her little rescue dog Angus staying with us.

The holidays can be a stressful and in some cases even dangerous time for pets. I thought it would be useful to share my experience as the Dog Mom of greedy  Kilo the Pug and a few tips for keeping him safe at this time of year.


I am thrilled to have a brand new Furbo, the world’s first treat-popping dog camera designed for pet-parents to communicate with their dogs in real time through the iPhone in my case. It really helps me keep an eye on Kilo and see what mischief he’s getting himself into when left alone. It also lets me dispense treats and play with him and talk to him virtually which is a cool feature.

Read my Furbo review HERE

Little Angus was up in the loft away from Kilo the Troll – safely behind a baby gate, for a few hours. I was downstairs and happened to take a look upstairs through the Furbo and saw that he had been sick on the white carpet on the stairs. I raced up and found that he had somehow managed to get into our house guest’s chocolate bar which she thought was locked away in a backpack out of reach. Luckily, he only ate a teeny weeny taste and had thrown up all the chocolate and all his breakfast- some lovely brown patches I need to get rid of. I knew from Kilo’s chocolate exploits what to do and what to look for. Thank goodness Angus was fine and seemed to get rid of all the toxins and Kilo did not get up there.

Curiosity Can Kill- PET SAFETY TIPS

  • Don’t leave your pet unsupervised around Xmas trees or plants or presents. Kilo has been pretty good, but pine needles, poinsettias, decorations, electric lights, breakable ornaments and other things can all be very dangerous and some pets can not resist eating or playing with them, especially puppies. Even the water around the Christmas tree can be toxic apparently. I did catch Kilo checking out the presents under the tree and he peed on one of the empty gift bags as the real tree smells fresh.
  • Consider crating your dog in a quiet area if you have lots of guests or activity or can not supervise them. Kilo has been known to get into mischief so I often do that and leave him with a stuffed Kong.
  • Do not leave human treats or snacks within reach. Clear up any appetizers after cocktails and any food on the dining table if you are no longer sitting there. Kilo has cleaned cheese plates and stolen chocolates, wrapper and all.

For a list of holiday foods dogs can and can not eat Read our Post Here

20 Food You Should Never Share With Your Dog Here 


  • Do not leave the dishwasher open or the garbage accessible. Kilo loves taking out the trash or helping with the dishes.
  • Do not leave things dangling off the stove or tables. Kilo jumped like a basketball player and pulled the edge of a white plastic bag down off a very high counter. He then ate a whole onion quiche.
  • Watch the door if you are opening and closing for guests or deliveries and they are loose. Kilo has bolted out across the road and chased someone with a big dog passing- luckily there were no cars coming and he did not catch them before I caught him.
  • Make sure tags are up-to-date, detailed and on.kilo-the-pug-in-his-christmas-sweater
  • Remember to license and microchip your pet and keep current. We are trying a new mobile tracker to this year (more details to come).
  • Make sure your dog can easily stand, sit, lie down, walk, and use the bathroom at any time if wearing a Christmas costume (if there are things sewn onto the outfit, your pet may try to eat them). If your pet doesn’t like getting dressed up, don’t force him or her. Opt for a simple festive bandana or collar or harness instead.
  • Take your dog our for extra long walks or runs or activities and tire them out if you are planning a party or even leaving them alone.
  • It gets dark early around here. Make sure they are wearing reflective collars and gear. Keep them on a leash.
  • I also keep deposits of treats around to trade if Kilo does grab something he shouldn’t or to calm him down and make him happy if he is meeting a stranger or to lure him back if he escapes. I make him go to a spot and do tricks when new people come in the door.

If your Dog does eat something toxic like chocolate or grapes or onions – call your vet and the 24-hour ASPCA emergency poison hotline 1-888-426-4435 (fees may apply- I had an excellent experience during the onion scare).

Share Your Dog Mom (or Dad) Tips For Keeping Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season In The Comments Below.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




  • All important safety tips for even the most “seasoned” pet owner. It never hurts to be reminded about taking cautions around this busy time of year. Thank you and all the best for a happy holiday and New Year!

  • What a great roundup of safety tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • I’m not sure my comment posted–again, this is a terrific list and great for anytime of the year, including the holidays.

  • These are awesome pet safety tips…. it’s easy to be distracted with other things during the holidays but nothing is more important.

  • Great holiday tips for pets. I love the cookie eating! lol That dishwasher and garbage….that is so Dexter!

  • Oh those picture of the pup sneaking doggy cookies is just the most fun. Thank you for a fact packed post with some lovely pictures!

  • We are lucky that Ruby and Rosie show absolutely no interest in the tree. The act like it is not there. LOL. Unfortunately, they both will eat anything and everything and we have to watch them like crazy any time food is out for guests, etc.

  • Great info and for those celebrating Hanukkah don’t forget to watch your cats especially with the candles

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Great point thanks Ruth. Kilo has almost knocked a candle over when raiding the dinner table as I was saying goodbye to guests.

  • OMG, that chocolate incident must have been so scary! I’m always amazed at how often chocolate bars, especially the BIG gift giving sizes, get into the paws of dogs. I’m so glad Angus only had a little of it and was unharmed. That could have been disastrous! I just got a big basket of Godiva chocolates and I’ve been so careful about storing it high up, out of reach. Little Phoebe tried to get to it the first hour I had it! I don’t bring Poinsettias into the house anymore, I sometimes get the fake ones. Some of them look so real! Happy Holidays!!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    • Profile photo of Talent Hounds

      Yes – you have to be so careful as dogs seem to like the smell of chocolate and some are very resourceful. Happy holidays to you and your family too

  • Very important safety tips to remember around the holidays.

  • I admit we leave Mr. N unsupervised around the tree and presents but he’s proven himself to be responsible. Our foster dog was always supervised!

  • Kilo, you are one lucky pup!! You’re so lucky to be adopted by such a loving family!! ATM, I’m making Christmas bandanas for my dogs, which is easier than a whole costume, haha! But Kilo’s outfit is on point! I love it! Great tips and tricks (def about reflecting gear! So important!! When I go out, me and my dogs look like Christmas trees! Haha!! )
    Happy Holidays!!

  • These are really important reminders. Thank you for sharing them. We crate the pups in a safe and quiet spot in the home, especially when we have guests over to be sure they don’t escape or eat something they’re not supposed to.

  • Thank you for sharing this informative post of safety tips during the holiday season