At Christmas-time some pet owners indulge their dogs with people-treats while other people get very busy and aren’t able to pay as much attention to the dogs as the usually do. Either way, there are dangers for dogs at Christmas that you must be aware of to avoid an emergency trip to the vet.
If your Christmas meal includes a juicy turkey, a glass of wine and an elegant chocolate desert, these are just three of things you must not share with your dog. While the turkey meat would be OK, poultry bones are very dangerous for dogs because they tend to splinter and poke holes in a dog’s stomach.
Alcohol and chocolate are both toxic to dogs.
Other people foods that present dangers for dogs are coffee and nuts. Dogs do not process caffeine and while most nuts are bad for dogs, Macadamia nuts and walnuts in particular can be extremely toxic.
But it isn’t just food and drink that present dangers for dogs; so can the decorations. Poinsettias, pine needles from Christmas trees and mistletoe are harmful to animals.
Have you heard that old trick about putting an aspirin in the water your tree sits in to keep the tree fresher longer? While the aspirin is great for the tree, it treacherous for your dog if she drinks the water.
If your dog is a chewer like my bully, watch to make sure she doesn’t chew on the wires of the Christmas tree lights or the wrapping or ribbons on the packages. Those ribbons can twist around a dog’s intestine, leading to emergency surgery and a quite costly vet bill. If she ingests the adhesive you use to wrap the packages, she could become extremely ill as glue is another toxic danger for dogs.
Just as the Holidays often cause stress in people, it can also cause stress in your dog. When dogs are stressed they may become unexpectedly aggressive. So if you have company coming for Christmas, create a safe, private, quiet place your dog can escape to when she feels overwhelmed by your guests. If you’re going to someone else’s home for Christmas and they have a dog, be sure that you keep your eye on both dogs — especially if the dogs don’t know each other.
Global Animal reports the top 5 reasons dogs visited a vet on Christmas Day last year:
- Gastritis / Enteritis
2. Lacerations or bite wounds
3. Soft tissue trauma
4. Foreign body ingestion
5. Chocolate poisoning
Avoid these dangers for dogs and have a safe and merry Christmas.