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Holiday hazards to dogs

Holiday hazards to dogs

The holiday season is upon us and potential hazards can become more available to the family dog.

Some Christmas plants can be hazardous and puppies, in particular, can be curious.  According to the Pet Poison Helpline, ingestion of Christmas tree needles can irritate the mouth and stomach, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, and drooling. Poinsettias contain a milky white sap that can cause mild vomiting, drooling, and diarrhea when ingested by pets. Mistletoe and amaryllis are also toxic to dogs.  

Homemade salt dough ornaments are a popular craft around Christmas but this dough is hazardous to dogs so make sure these types of ornaments are well out of reach of dogs because sometimes dogs are attracted to the ingredients. The dough contains large amounts of salt which, when ingested, can cause neurological issues and seizures, so any dog suspected of ingesting salt dough should see a vet immediately. 


Jane’s dog Pete is hoping for a safe holiday season. Jane Bowers photo

Chocolates, raisins, xylitol and grapes are poisonous to dogs so keep them out of reach of the dog. Cooked turkey bones can splinter and cause health issues if ingested by the dog and unattended platters of food may cause indigestion and diarrhea.

Some dogs may feel overwhelmed by the presence of holiday guests so provide the dog with some quiet time in a separate room if he needs it. Food dispensing toys (available at all our local pet supply stores) help keep a dog occupied. Try and keep the dog on his routine including daily exercise as much as possible. 

For a dog who is having trouble coping despite management of the situation, talk to your veterinarian as there are products that can help relieve anxiety and that your veterinarian can recommend and prescribe.  

Be sure that your pets are microchipped and wearing identification and a reflective collar just in case they get loose. 

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

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