Christmas With Dog: 5 Tips for a Stress-Free Celebration

Does the holiday season disrupt your dog's routine? We'll show you the dangers of the most wonderful holiday of the year for your dog. We also give you 5 tips to help your dog get through Christmas Eve and the holiday season stress-free.

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Christmas is an exciting time for human family members: the house is festively decorated. The whole family gathers, there are gifts and a special meal. It takes a lot of time to organize.

But the preparations don't just mean stress for you, but also for your four-legged friend. After all, the preparations and the holidays themselves disrupt his entire daily routine.

Ensure a Stress-Free Time

Holidays can be noisy and hectic. Make sure your dog has a quiet place to retreat to. A cozy dog bed in a quiet room away from the hustle and bustle of the festivities will allow him to relax and escape the stress.

Take your dog for long walks. Long walks are not only a great way to exercise your dog, but also to give him a break from the hustle and bustle of home life. Take advantage of the quiet morning or evening hours for long walks where he can sniff and explore to his heart's content.

No Christmas shopping with your dog! As tempting as it may be to take your dog Christmas shopping, the loud noises, crowds and hectic environment can be very stressful for him. It's better to leave your dog at home where he can be in a familiar and calm environment.

Christmas markets are off limits to dogs! Just like Christmas shopping, Christmas markets are not a good place for dogs. The crowds, loud music and smells can easily overwhelm your dog. There is also a risk of injury from falling food or broken glass. Walks in quieter areas are preferable.

Eliminate Hazards for Your Dog This Christmas

Stress is not the only problem. Christmas is also fraught with danger. We'll show you what to look out for so you and your pet don't end up in the emergency room.

1. Avoid Poisonous Plants

Poinsettia dog Xmas

Plants such as mistletoe, Christmas roses and poinsettias are poisonous to dogs. Learning how to call over your dog you will find other plants that are poisonous to dogs.

Poinsettias are especially popular during the holiday season. This decorative houseplant is a member of the spurge family. Its leaves and twigs contain a toxic milky sap. If your dog nibbles on the plant, it may be poisoned.

Symptoms of Poisoning

  • Vomiting
  • Strong salivation
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Trembling
  • Rare symptoms of paralysis

If your dog has nibbled on your poinsettia, you should consult a veterinarian immediately to be on the safe side. In the worst case, poisoning from poinsettia sap can lead to pulmonary edema or even death.

If you can't do without poinsettias, mistletoe and Christmas roses, make sure they're out of your dog's reach.

You can learn more about canine poisoning (types, tips and symptoms) by the way here.

2. Use Led Candles

Christmas Led Candles

Beeswax candles have a special warmth. That's why many families choose real candles for their Christmas tree and Advent wreath. But with a dog in the house, open flames are a big safety risk.

Don't want to give up the scent? Then be sure to place the candles out of your dog's reach. Do not leave your furry friend unattended with lit candles.

The coffee table is not a good place for an Advent wreath: if the dog runs around, it can knock the wreath off the table. If he wags his tail over the candles, he may set himself or the tablecloth on fire. If he nibbles on the candle, the swallowed wax can cause blockages.

If you want to avoid these dangers, you should use LED candles. There are now models that look quite realistic. This is definitely safer for your furry friend.

Measures for Burns

If your dog has been burned by a candle, the best thing to do is as follows:

  • Cool with lukewarm water. (Caution: Do not use ice cold water or ice!)
  • Do not use burn ointments or wound powders.
  • Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. The true extent of a burn may not be known until later.

3. Do Not Feed the Dog With the Holiday Roast

Christmas goose, turkey and duck may taste good to the human members of the family. But these dishes have no place in a dog's bowl. The meat and gravy are too spicy for your furry friend. Your dog may vomit or get diarrhea after eating them.

Don't give him leftovers from your feast. If the leftovers contain bones, your dog may swallow them. Bones can splinter. The sharp-edged pieces could injure your furry friend's windpipe and esophagus or cause intestinal damage. Instead, give your pet dried beef or rabbit ears. Or get him a raw, meaty bone.

4. Put away Chocolate and Cookies

Christmas cookies

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can be fatal. It contains theobromine. Dogs are slow to break down this component of the cocoa bean. Chocolate that is high in theobromine is particularly dangerous. These include dark chocolate and baking chocolate.

If your dog has eaten a large amount of chocolate, you should act immediately:

  • Did the poisoning just happen? Give your pet the following first aid treatment Charcoal tablets. These bind toxins.
  • Contact your veterinarian or take your furry friend directly to the vet.
  • Take the remaining chocolate or wrapper with you so the veterinarian can estimate the theobromine content and the amount ingested.
  • If your dog vomits, urinates or defecates, take samples with you.

In addition to chocolate, cookies contain many other ingredients that can be harmful to your dog. These include sugar, cinnamon and bitter almonds. Make sure that your dog does not eat raw or baked cookies. Do not leave "colorful plates" open or within reach.

Symptoms of Chocolate Poisoning

  • Hyperactivity
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhea, vomiting and excessive urination
  • Unrest
  • Rapid heartbeat and cardiac arrhythmia
  • Tremors and spasms
  • Shortness of breath and loss of consciousness
Find out what other foods are toxic to your dog here.

5. Eliminate Christmas Tree Hazards

Christmas ball with dogs

The lovingly decorated Christmas tree can also be dangerous for your pet: Is the tree safe? Or could it fall over if your enthusiastic pet sniffs it or brushes it with his tail?

Plastic and metal ornaments can contain toxic substances. If your dog swallows them, he will ingest these substances. There is a risk of stomach or intestinal obstruction.

In the worst case, broken glass can cause injury to the mouth or paws. If your furry friend drinks water from the tree stand, he or she may ingest hazardous substances.

Tinsel and ribbons pose another risk: If your pet swallows individual threads, it can cause an intestinal blockage. Especially young, playful dogs love to eat them.

Ensure the Safety of Your Christmas Tree

  • Hang the beads and jewelry out of your pet's reach.
  • Wood is less hazardous than plastic or metal.
  • Skip the tinsel.
  • Make sure that your dog cannot drink water from the tree stand.
  • Don't leave your dog alone with the wrapped presents under the Christmas tree.


Christmas can be a dangerous time for your dog. As you plan your family celebration and decorate your home, remember that certain plants, candles and decorations can be dangerous to your four-legged friend.

To make your Christmas tree, wreath and other decorations as safe as possible, use natural, non-hazardous materials and LED candles.

It's best not to leave your dog alone with the tree, and to clear away holiday plates, treats and leftovers. This will prevent your furry friend from helping himself and possibly having to go straight to the vet after eating them.

In connection with Christmas you might like our post 7 tips for a relaxed New Year's Eve with your dog are also interested in. Enjoy reading and implementing our tips.

Written by Claudia Weise
Written by Claudia Weise

Claudia Weise is the editor-in-chief at Hundeo.

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