Without sacrificing Ebenezer Scrooge, we offer this safety reminder that, as fun as the holidays can be, they are a potential minefield for dogs and cats. Keeping the following in mind goes a long way towards ensuring everyone has a good time.
The festive season of winter, with its excitement, sparkling decorations and delicious food, is the ultimate time of danger for dogs. Vet emergencies are increasing by around 40 percent, and many holiday celebrations end abruptly when dogs get sick. Avoid being part of the uptrend and enjoy the season by following these holiday dog safety tips.
1. Christmas tree
Dogs that eat natural and even man-made conifers can develop vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. The needles can enter paws, stomach, or intestines, causing a serious emergency. Don’t leave your dog alone with your tree, vacuum the needles daily, pour a live tree well (and don’t use preservatives in the water), and put a dog-proof fence around it.
2. Glass balls
These ornaments are beautiful, but they are easily broken, with potentially catastrophic consequences for dogs, if the broken pieces pierce their pads, stomachs, or intestines. Use unbreakable balls, especially at lower elevations, and make sure that breakable ornaments are well secured above the dog’s level.
3. Tinsel and ribbons
Dogs (and cats) may mistake sparkling tinsel and ribbons for toys, but the consequences of ingesting them are far from funny. They can cause blockages in the intestines with serious consequences. Definitely skip the tinsel and curly band and replace them with more dog-friendly options like paper chains or a wide, lumpy band.
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4. Decorative lights and batteries
Hanukkah lights and fairy lights pose great danger to dogs. If you chew them, they are prone to electric shock, burns, and even electric shock. Chewed batteries can burn a dog’s mouth and esophagus, and also cause heavy metal poisoning if consumed. Conceal and cover all wires securely so they cannot be chewed. Keep batteries out of reach of your dog.
5. Edible decorations
Dogs that eat salt dough ornaments can develop salt toxicity, with vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures, with potentially fatal consequences. Display them out of reach of dogs and preferably out of the tree. Popcorn strings are also a threat. Many dogs find it difficult to resist popcorn, and in their excitement they will also pick up the obstructive cord. It’s best to pass this attractive nuisance on!
Curious about new things, dogs not only burn their noses, paws, or fur when examining candles, but they can also set the house on fire by knocking them over. Display candles of all kinds out of reach, do not use them on trees, never leave them unattended, and always keep an eye on your dog when they are lit. When in doubt, opt for dog-safe LED candles. Scented candles can be a problem for dogs with allergies or other sensitivities; If your dog is one of them, either stop using scented candles or burn them less often and for a short time.
7. Wrapping paper and silica gel
Swallowed wrapping paper – enough of any type of paper, indeed – can potentially lead to GI obstruction, as can silica gel found in packaging materials. Immediately repack or remove all wrapping paper and packing materials and dispose of them in a safe trash can.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs and can be fatal to smaller dogs in particular. Even a lab-sized dog can get seriously ill if they eat enough of it. only 26.5 ounces. Milk chocolate will cause seizures in a larger dog, and much less is required to put a small dog at risk. Don’t put chocolate gifts or treats on or under the tree. Any type of chocolate or food containing chocolate should always be out of the reach of dogs.
9. Boiled bones
Cooked bones, especially poultry bones, are very brittle and can easily splinter into small pieces that penetrate the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. This creates a life threatening emergency for your dog. Keep all meat items out of reach during cooking and meals, and throw away any remaining bones in a secure container outside.
10. Fatty and spicy food
Abundant, fatty, and flavorful foods not only upset dogs’ stomachs, but can also cause inflammation of the pancreas, which is a painful and serious condition for your dog. Keep this food out of reach and don’t share it off the table.
11. Nuts, onions, blue cheese
Nuts, especially macadamia nuts, can cause vomiting, weakness, and tremors. Allium species (onions, shallots, garlic, chives, and leeks) are also toxic and can cause serious blood disorders and anemia. Blue cheese contains the mycotoxin roquefortin C, to which dogs are sensitive. None of these products or foods containing them should be fed to dogs.
Artificial sweeteners like xylitol are commonly used in “sugar-free” cookies, cakes, candy (including candy canes), gums, and other foods. If eaten by dogs, they can lead to hypoglycemia, liver failure, blood clotting, and seizures. Even the smallest amounts should not be specified. Instead, treat your dog to special festive dog treats!
For dogs, alcohol is a very powerful toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, tremors and even coma with fatal consequences. Clean up spilled alcohol immediately before your dog can lick it.
Poinsettia, mistletoe, holly, and ivy are slightly to moderately toxic to dogs, causing drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach. Keep them out of reach.
Potpourri products and essential oils – including cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, birch, tea tree, wintergreen, and ylang-ylang oils – are toxic to dogs and cause serious stomach and intestinal problems. Make sure you keep them away from your dog.
Following these dog safety guidelines can help you enjoy an accident-free holiday season with your furry friends!