6 Holiday Hazards for Your Dog
We’re all in such good spirits for the many festivities that mark the end of the year that we often overlook the many dangers our celebrations can pose to our four-footed friends. Don’t overlook these six key problems.
Candles – A furry tale can easily sweep a lit candle over resulting in a fire on your tablecloth, furniture or even on your furry friend. Even unlit candles can easily become a problem. Candles are often in glass containers that when broken can cut a tender canine paw. So many candles also boast irresistible scents from gingerbread to apples. Unfortunately, most dogs don’t realize candles aren’t food until the swallowing is done and the stomach problems begin.
Keep all candles, even unlit ones, out of your dog’s reach.
Christmas Trees – Trees are just one temptation after another. To us trees smell like Christmas, to dogs they smell like birds, squirrels, and many other animals they’d like to chase. These agitating smells can lead to an overexcited dog and an overturned tree. The water your tree is in looks like just one more—albeit unusual—water dish. Preservatives in the water can make your dog sick and an overturned tree can injure him. And then there are the decorations…place breakable and tempting ornaments(those that look like food) high on the tree and outlaw tinsel totally. Just one piece of ingested tinsel can cause intestinal damage that lead to death.
Supervise your dog around Christmas trees but also make your tree stable and free of tempting ornaments.
Plants – Although most pet owners are aware of the toxic qualities of poinsettia and mistletoe, they aren’t the only problematic holiday plants. Amaryllism, boxberry, Christmas berry, Christmas cherry, Christmas pepper, Christmas rose, holly, rhododendron and yew can all cause problems, even if just used as an accent in a wreath of arrangement. Keep hydrogen peroxide on hand in case you need to induce vomiting(only at a doctor’s recommendation).
Treat every plant as if it is toxic and place far from your dog’s reach.
Holiday Treats – Some of the holiday’s most traditional treats are dangerous to your dog. Turkey anyone? Your dog is sure to line up for turkey leftovers but poultry bones splinter easily and puncture the intestine. All that fat isn’t good for your dog either. Toast to the New Year? Dogs can easily lap up a few abandoned drinks at a large party without anyone noticing resulting in coma and possible heart attack. Sugar plums dancing in your head? Even though they love it, dogs and chocolate don’t mix, especially dark or baking chocolate. But that’s not the only sweet to watch out for. Dogs are known for gobbling a delicious smelling candy, plastic wrapper and all. Although they can stomach the candy, the plastic wrappers can cause intestinal problems. Don’t hang those candy canes to low on the tree!
Want to give your dog a Christmas treat? Give him a special doggie treat, not a human treat.
Zap – Some dogs, especially puppies still in the chewing stage, may find the new additions to your decorating plan the perfect chew toy. Guard your dog against electrocution from idle gnawing with a Ground Protection Fault plug (GPF), that can be found at any home improvement store, installed on your strings of lights.
Even if your dog doesn’t normally chew electrical wires, the newness of holiday decorations may encourage him to gnaw away.