While our dogs will be very unlikely to understand the meaning of the winter holiday season, they will certainly pick up on the excitement and preparations. There will often be guests visiting, and in the subsequent bustle, it will be easier for your dog to bring harm upon himself. Keeping in mind that the holidays can present dangers to dogs, and understanding what those dangers might be can help guarantee that your best friend will be in good shape to greet the New Year.
Christmas and the holiday season in general will see a great deal of candy in evidence, including chocolates. Although dogs love chocolate as much as their owners do, chocolate is poisonous to dogs Ė the problem element is theobromine, and it will not take much to make a dog sick, or even cause the dogís death. The darker the chocolate, the more danger for your dog. Keep chocolate out of the reach of all dogs in the home.
Skip giving King or Beauty any of your fruit cake this year, too. Grapes and raisins are both poisonous to dogs. Any other cookie or cake that contains raisins, almonds, or currents should be on the forbidden list.
Dieters who are substituting xylitol for sugar to save on calories should keep any treats prepared with this sweetener away from their dog. Xylitol will cause a rapid and potentially fatal drop in blood sugar in dogs.
Many people are tempted to throw the dog some of the turkey bones as the holiday bird is picked clean. Despite the mythos of dogs surviving on bones, bones of all kinds are actually dangerous for dogs as they can splinter and perforate the stomach or intestines.
The holidays mean that a great deal of fatty food will be in evidence, and fat trimmed from ham, roasts, or the roast bird can pose problems for your dog. Too much fat can bring on an episode of pancreatitis, which is painful at best, and life-threatening at the worst.
Tinsel is sometimes looked upon as a delicacy by dogs. Eating tinsel can result in intestinal blockage, which will necessitate a trip to the vetís to handle. Glass ornaments that fall off the tree and shatter can also be eaten by dogs, especially puppies.
The Christmas tree can cause problems for your dog in several ways: dogs can knock over the tree either accidentally or deliberately, or the dog might eat some of the pine needles. Once inside your dog, pine needles will act in much the same way as bones; puncturing the tissues of the intestines and stomach. They can also lodge in the esophagus.
While the dangers of antifreeze are now quite well known and dog owners generally make sure to keep this away from their dogs, they may be unaware that those lovely snow globes often have an antifreeze-based fluid inside them. If these break, a dog could lap up poison that could cause kidney failure.
Itís no secret that people tend to consume a greater than normal amount of alcoholic beverages during the holidays, and some of these can be attractive to your dog, especially a drink like eggnog. Holiday punch may also smell good to a dog, so keep any drinks that contain alcohol well out of the dogís reach.
Decorations for the holiday often include candles, which lend a definite atmosphere. However, in addition to the dangers of burns and hot wax, if your dog knocks over a burning candle, it can cause a house fire, especially if the candle was near the Christmas tree.
Puppies, and some older dogs, too, will often chew on electrical cords. While you may have taken care to keep your usual cords safe from canine teeth, lights on the tree and other decorations can present additional hazards, so take care to keep all pets away from electric cords.
Donít let your dog get lost outside during the holidays. With the arrival of company, the door will be open for much longer than it is usually, and a dog that has become nervous with all the new people and happenings may bolt out. Making sure that your dog is wearing his or her tags or has been micro-chipped are ways of assuring that you will get your lost pooch back as quickly as possible.
Keeping your dog safe and healthy over the holiday season isnít difficult; it just takes a bit of forethought and planning.