Holiday Dangers Can Turn Ho-hos into Uh-ohs

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Scout & Zoe’s offers tips for dog owners to make sure the holidays are safe and happy for everyone in the family

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Christmas Dogs

"Keep in mind that decorations, holiday lights and even something as simple as tinsel on the tree can be hazardous to our furry friends if we're not careful."

For humans, the holiday season may indeed be “the most wonderful time of the year;” but for dogs and other pets they bring new faces, an unsettling uptick in activity and an increased risk of injury due to decorations and other unfamiliar items left around the house. Scout & Zoe’s Natural Antler Dog Chews reminds dog owners to keep their pets in mind when decorating and entertaining in order to avoid potential dangers.

“At our house, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are very special to everyone, including Scout and Zoe,” says Cindy Dunston Quirk, owner and developer of Scout & Zoe’s chews. “But we have to keep in mind that decorations, holiday lights and even something as simple as tinsel on the tree can be hazardous to our furry friends if we’re not careful.”

Dogs are creatures of habit, and the American Kennel Club advises dog owners to be mindful of the fact that changes in family routine can be upsetting to them. It’s important to stick as closely as possible to the dog’s regular feeding, walking and playtime schedule, despite all the special activities surrounding the holiday season. It’s also critical to ensure that your dog is ready to take part in any special events.

“If you host a party, remember that some guests may be uncomfortable around dogs,” AKC says. “Your dog may, in turn, be uncomfortable or frightened around a large group of unfamiliar people.”

For most families, excluding the dog from holiday activities is unthinkable. The following checklist from AKC is a good guideline for things to keep in mind in order to allow them to be part of this special time of the year:

  •     Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.
  •     Do not put lights on the lower branches of your tree. They may get very hot and burn your dog.
  •     Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
  •     Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog's feet or mouth.
  •     Do not use edible ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings. Your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
  •     Keep other ornaments off the lower branches; if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he can be made sick by the materials or paint.
  •     Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off (with a playpen or other "fence") or in a room that is not accessible to your dog.
  •     Tinsel can be dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, block the intestines.
  •     Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog's wagging tail.
  •     Review canine holiday gifts for safety. Small plastic toys or bones may pose choking hazards.
  •     Your dog may want to investigate wrapped packages; keep them out of reach.

About Scout & Zoe’s: Scout & Zoe’s Natural Antler Dog Chews are 100 percent natural premium elk antlers, gathered only after they’ve been shed naturally as part of the animal’s life cycle.

Scout & Zoe’s are superior to other chews in helping dogs maintain clean, healthy teeth and contain trace minerals such as calcium and phosphorous which add to the pet’s overall health.
Typically lasting four to six weeks, Scout & Zoe’s chews are available in a variety of sizes to suit every breed. No animals are harmed and no violence is imposed on any elk during the gathering of the antlers.

To order Scout & Zoe’s chews for your pet, go to or call (317) 457-7222 to find a retail outlet near you.


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Cindy Quirk
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