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Know what Christmas treats are lethal for dogs

Know what Christmas treats are lethal for dogs

bowers chThe holiday season is upon us and, often this means guests are coming and going (or staying) and potential hazards become more available to the family dog.

The tree ornaments like tinsel, ribbons, bows, and ornaments can be hazardous to pets. Once ingested, tinsel and other items are dangerous to the pet. Last week an adult dog was euthanized after suffering severe salt poisoning when he ingested a homemade salt dough ornament hanging from the tree.

The lights and electrical cord pose a hazard if chewed so keep them out of the way of curious dogs who may chew. 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.

Presents under the tree may contain items hazardous to dogs so, if the dog is not trained to leave items alone, keep gifts out of reach of the dog.

Management of the dog who is not used to or doesn’t enjoy the activity of unfamiliar people or children can be done by giving the dog some quiet time in a separate room (baby gates work well to give the dog space if he needs it). I am a big fan of food dispensing toys (available at all our local pet supply stores) to keep a dog occupied. For a dog who is anxious with changes in the activity level of the household, DAP dispensers are available at local veterinarians. DAP is short for “dog appeasing pheromone “ (also called “Comfort Zone” and “Adaptil” ). DAP contains a formula that mimics the special calming pheromones mother dogs secrete when nursing puppies. These pheromones have been shown to calm dogs of all ages and help reduce anxiety in dogs.  With some management tools like baby gates, food dispensing toys and a quiet place for the dog if he needs it, the holiday season will be enjoyable and disaster free. Happy Holidays!

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