Ah, the holidays! What a beautiful time of year! The food, the chocolate desserts, and Christmas trees! But, did you know that these are just some of the holiday dangers to your dogs? Seemingly non toxic substances to us can be toxic to our pups and things that we don’t affect us can be a major safety issue to our dogs. To learn more about these holiday dangers, read our 8 Holiday Dangers for Your Dog post.
For some of you guys, this may be shocking. You’ve seen on TV with dogs inside their mouths. Heck, there’s even dog bone chew toys! So, are we inadvertently putting dogs at risk? No. No, you’re not. At least hopefully not. It all depends on what kind of bone you give them. If you give them a raw meat bone, you’re fine. But, if you’re giving them chicken, pork, or cooked bones, you’re risking your damage to your dog’s mouth, throat, and internal organs as the tiny bone shards can cut your dog from within. Not to mention, it can block your dog’s intestine and give him/her constipation. (American Kennel Club)
As most people know, chocolate is toxic to dogs, but the kids coming to your house for the Christmas party might not! They don’t know that dogs can’t metabolize theobromine and that it can cause a buildup, which is extremely toxic to dogs (Hill’s Pet). So, make sure they don’t accidentally give Aunt Ethel’s famous brownies to your pup! Otherwise, you might see your pup vomiting, exhibiting hyperactive behavior, pacing, panting, shaking, having a seizure, or relieving his loose stool on your carpet (Pets WebMD).
3. Holly and mistletoe
Despite the poinsettia's bad reputation, they have very little effect on our pets and are only mildly toxic. The real holiday plant dangers are the holly and mistletoe. They have spiny leaves and contain toxic elements, such as saponins, methylxanthines, and cyanogens. Eating these plants can result in your dog drooling, his/her lips smacking, head shaking, vomiting, and, again, relieving his loose stool on your carpet. (Pet Poison Helpline)
Alcohol may be a good time for us, but a potentially lethal time for your dog. Alcohol has similar effects for dogs as it does for us - it can get him/her a little buzzed and/or nauseous, but because dogs are significantly smaller than we are, it takes a much smaller amount of alcohol intake to get alcohol poisoning. With that said, be wary of feeding your dog cakes or foods that have alcohol in it, like rum cake. (Pet MD)
If eaten, tinsel can get caught in your dog’s intestine and block it. When their intestine contracts, it can cut your dog’s intestine from the inside rendering significant damage to your pup’s digestive tract (Pet Poison Helpline).
6. Christmas Tree
There can be many dangers to your dog when it comes to Christmas trees. One can be the tree needles. Even if it’s only mildly toxic, they’re still not digestible and the fir tree oils can irritate your dog’s mouth and stomach. This can cause your dog to vomit or drool a lot. Plus, the tree needles can obstruct or puncture your dog’s gastrointestinal system. Another danger is the tree water, which contains many preservatives and pesticides in it to keep your Christmas tree fresh. These substances can poison your dog. And watch out for falling ornaments! (Hartz)
7. Raisins and grapes
Is Grandma bringing fruitcake to the Christmas party? Make sure your dog doesn’t get a hold of it, especially if she makes it with raisins and grapes! There have been many instances where dogs have gotten grape and raisin poisoning. It’s been proven to be toxic even if they are eaten in small amounts. Signs of grape and raisin poisoning are vomiting and diarrhea, weakness, abdominal pain, dehydration, seizures, and coma.
If you see your pup eat any grapes or raisins or know that he/she has eaten grapes within that last two hours, you need to force him/her to vomit immediately unless he/she has already vomited, is unconscious, and is showing signs of shock. Call your vet immediately if he/she has already vomited. (Pet MD)
8. Sugar-Free Baked Goods
Most sugar-free baked goods and other common household sugar-free items, like some different kinds of peanut butter and mints, have xylitol, which is extremely toxic to dogs. If your pup were to accidentally eat this, it can be fatal. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning are vomiting, weakness, loss of coordination, and seizures.
The xylitol causes blood sugar levels to drop, which leads to hypoglycemia. The pancreas, then, releases a huge amount of insulin from the pancreas. This can lead to liver failure and death if not treated quickly and appropriately. (Wag!)
For more information or if you pup ingests any of these substances, here is the Pet Poison Helpline telephone number: (855) 764-7661 and for their website, click here.