Christmas with Canines: Eliminate the Dangers!

11480754_sChristmas should be a magical time for all.  Don’t ruin your holiday with a trip to the Emergency Vet – be aware of a few Christmas dangers and keep everyone in your family safe this holiday season.

Things to be aware of:

  • Tinsel: Tinsel can be a tempting treat for dogs.  It’s shiny and fun to shred.  Swallowing pieces of tinsel can result in a bowel obstruction.  Even a well trained, older dog may take interest in something novel like tinsel, so try to block access to the tree when you can’t supervise.
  • Glass or plastic ornaments:  Some dogs, who like to crunch and destroy, may be temped by ornaments.  Keeping dogs away from temptations such as these when you can’t intervene is a good way to keep them safe.
  • Wrapped presents: If you’ve ever given your dog a wrapped gift to open, you’ll know that they are very good at quickly getting into them!  Remembering that their sense of smell is far greater than ours, there is a good chance that they can identify items high in scent and perfume even through shrink wrapping and containers.  Wrapped gifts of chocolate, soap, alcohol and other foods can be deadly if dogs sniff them out and get into them.
  • Christmas Trees, Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia:  All of these can be mildly to severely toxic depending on how much is ingested.
  • Food:  Dogs love to eat!  If there are nuts, trays of cheese, fruit baskets, cakes, etc. left on the table and your dog is unsure of the rules, they may help themselves.  There are plenty of foods around on the holidays that may cause digestive upset or worse dangers for your dog.  Be aware of the household garbage as well.  Be sure your dog isn’t getting into turkey or chicken bones.  They can splinter and be lethal.

To ensure an enjoyable holiday for you and your canine, take care to supervise closely!  Even a reliably trained dog can fall to temptation when the right ones are presented.  Include them in the festivities so they can be part of the action, but have a place to tuck them away safely, like a crate or room, when the festivities become too busy to properly attend to the dog.

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