We are always happy when it is time to get the Christmas tree set up and start our holiday baking.  However these two activities can potentially be harmful to your dogs and there are some things to think about while preparing for these activities.
The Christmas tree should be well-secured.  It can easily be toppled by a happy puppy and could hurt the dog (or person) who may be standing in the wrong place at the wrong time!  Also remember to watch your dog for the first few days after your tree is up to be sure they are not showing interest in eating the tree or its decorations!  Pine needles can irritate the throat if the dog eats them and lead to subsequent problems.  Christmas ornaments – especially home-made ones that are baked or made from dried pasta – are notorious for getting eaten!   Put them high on the tree or keep them off the tree until your puppy grows up and has been trained to leave the tree and its decorations alone!
Most of us know that chocolate is also harmful to dogs.  The primary substance of concern is called theobromine and it is toxic to dogs in high quantities.  High quantities are prevalent in baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate.  It is present to a lesser degree in milk and white chocolate.  The dog most frequently begins to have nausea that leads to vomiting.  Keep in mind that our large breed dogs can easily access items left on coffee tables and even counter-tops, so be aware of where you set down that box you have been snacking on!
Have a safe and happy holiday!