Many dogs love the holidays just as much as people do. The excitement of gifts, lights, and activity is fun for pets too. While celebrating with your dog can be a highlight of the season, there are some safety risks to consider. Here are 7 holiday dangers to be aware of when it comes to your four-legged bestie.
Pretty plants are often used for decoration during the holidays, and they are sometimes given as gifts. You’ll want to keep your dogs away from plants, especially if your pet has a tendency to explore through chewing. Be careful about any plant that comes into your home, but specific holiday plants to be aware of are mistletoe, poinsettias, lilies, and cyclamen.
The plant that causes the most holiday injuries to dogs is the Christmas tree. It’s not that the trees themselves are a problem, but they tend to include some temptations that dogs find irresistible. Fragile ornaments can break and cause dogs to cut themselves. Cords from lights can be a chewing disaster, and tinsel can become stuck in a dog’s intestinal tract. Some dogs will topple the entire tree. For all of these reasons, it’s important to supervise a curious dog around any Christmas tree.
Turkey or Chicken Bones
You should never give your dog bones from a turkey or chicken you’ve cooked to feed people. Those bones are prone to splinting, and slivers can easily break off and damage your dog internally. No matter how much your dog begs, do not share bones from cooked foods. Instead, have a safe bone from a pet store ready to give you dog.
Batteries are extremely dangerous for dogs who love to chew. Sometimes the scent and texture of batteries can be attractive to dogs, but the chemicals inside can burn your dog’s mouth or digestive system. Make sure that any batteries given with gifts or used in decorations are kept off the floor and away from your dog. Don’t forget that sometimes greeting cards contain batteries, too.
Just as you wouldn’t leave a child alone with a lit candle, you can’t leave a dog with one either. Dogs can easily knock a candle over and quickly start a fire. Some scented candles release toxins into the air, so be aware of any signs of sensitivity. Also, dogs may try to eat candles that smell like food.
Dogs may enjoy playing with ribbons found on packages or holiday decorations, but swallowing those ribbons can be dangerous. In some circumstances the ribbons may travel through the dog’s digestive system with no problem, but sometimes they can cause damage to the intestine. A dog who swallows a ribbon and then begins vomiting or showing signs of distress should see a veterinarian immediately.
Many holiday foods can be dangerous to dogs, so it’s important to keep food far out of your dog’s reach. This includes foods like chocolate desserts, raisins in fruitcake, onions, garlic, and avocado. Any sugar-free treats may contain xylitol, which can be fatal when consumed by a dog. Be very careful not to let your dog eat food meant for people, especially if you don’t know the origin or ingredients.
The holidays can be a joyful and exciting time for dogs, and it’s fun to enjoy that through your pet’s eyes. Just be aware of safety issues that your dog could face and be sure to protect your pup from anything potentially harmful.