Christmas is a happy time for most dogs. The entire family is together, everyone is in a festive mood, there are all sorts of goodies to eat, … But there are also all sorts of dangers lurking around every corner. To prevent painful and potentially life threatening accidents, and save yourself a trip to the veterinarian during the holidays, beware of Christmas dangers for dogs and take the necessary precautions. Some of the most common dangers and ways to reduce the risk of injury include:
– Christmas decorations and ornaments. They are intended to look pretty and create that special festive atmosphere, however, they can be very dangerous for your dog. Christmas decorations and ornaments such as Christmas tree baubles, tinsels, ribbons, lights, candles, wrapping paper, etc. don’t pose an immediate threat to your pet but they are a very common cause of veterinary visits during the holidays.
For example, baubles which are often made of glass or other fragile material can cause serious injuries to your dog’s mouth, intestines or other internal organs if chewed or/and swollen. Also, they pose a choking hazard. The same goes for tinsel, ribbon and many other popular Christmas decorations and ornaments. Christmas tree lights, on the other hand, can cause electric shock if chewed, while burning candles can lead to potentially severe burns, not to mention the risk of a potentially very serious fire. So make sure that potentially dangerous Christmas decorations and ornaments are out of reach of your dog.
– Holiday foods and treats. It’s perfectly normal to feel the need to give your dog a special treat during the holidays. Unfortunately, many holiday foods and treats are dangerous for your furry friend. Chocolate, nuts, onions, grapes and other popular Christmas choices are difficult to digest or even toxic for dogs, while many can also cause choking, internal damage, obstruction or other forms of health problems. So resist the temptation to give your dog special treats during Christmas.
If you suspect that your pet has ingested something potentially poisonous, contact your vet immediately. The most common symptoms of food poisoning in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy and seizures. Also, call your vet immediately if your dog appears to be choking.
– Christmas tree and other popular holiday plants. Believe it or not, but many popular holiday plants are poisonous and can cause a potentially deadly poisoning if ingested. Fortunately, this doesn’t count for Christmas tree although pine tree needles can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested. Also, they can get stuck in your pet’s paws and cause a major discomfort, irritation or injury. You are therefore recommended to vacuum the needles on a daily basis.
Ingestion of plants such as Holly, Poinsettia or Mistletoe, all of which are very popular during the holiday season, is another Christmas danger for dogs as all the mentioned plants are toxic. The good news is that they are not very toxic although some Christmas plants can be deadly if ingested in small amounts. To reduce the risk of poisoning, check plants for toxicity before bringing them home and keep all poisonous (or potentially poisonous) plants out of reach of your dog.