Christmas can be a fun but also dangerous time for dogs if pet owners are not careful about potential hazards in the home. Knowing what items and foods to keep away from dogs can help keep them safe and healthy over the holidays. Consider these Christmas dangers for dogs and how to avoid them.
There are always plenty of tasty and tempting dishes in our houses over the holidays. But if dogs manage to get their hands on them, a lot of these foods can be Christmas dangers for dogs. Both theobromine and caffeine, which are found in chocolate, are poisonous to dogs. The risk increases with the purity and darkness of the chocolate. Small doses might result in nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fast breathing, trembling in the muscles, seizures, and in extreme situations, even death.
It’s typical to have bones left over after roasts, turkeys, or hams for the holidays. However, they are more Christmas dangers for dogs because they can cause severe discomfort, intestinal damage or blockage, oral injuries, and even a potential puncture when swallowed. These can be extremely serious choking dangers or splinter and puncture the digestive tract.
Another of the Christmas dangers for dogs are heavy foods. Heavy foods like gravy, meat drippings or pan oils can lead to acute pancreatitis in dogs. The inflammation can be extremely painful and potentially fatal if untreated and dogs should never be allowed access to these fats. For unknown reasons, grapes and raisins are very toxic to dogs, whether raw or cooked. Even a handful can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy, lack of appetite and kidney failure.
Foods like onions and garlic contain compounds that can damage red blood cells in dogs when ingested. This can lead to anaemia and even cause death at high dosages over time. Cooked or powder forms are also unsafe.
Unfortunately, more Christmas dangers for dogs come in the décor. Many popular Christmas decorations pose a risk to curious dogs. To dogs, shiny ribbons, tinsel, and string used for decorating trees and wrapping gifts resemble tempting toys. But if eaten, they can quickly result in more Christmas dangers for dogs with harm to the digestive system or choking hazards. Pets that are rough around the tree run the risk of breaking delicate Christmas tree ornaments. If they chew or swallow the glass or plastic fragments, it could cause cuts to their lips and throat. In case something happens to your pet, make sure the ornaments you use around are safe for them.
Dogs may become poisoned from seasonal flowering plants such as mistletoe, holly berries, and poinsettias. If it is consumed it may cause irritation to the mouth and stomach, which may lead to diarrhoea, drooling, or vomiting. The gifts under the tree often contain batteries, which are highly dangerous if chewed or swallowed. If there is any exposure to battery fluid and acids can cause ulcers in the mouth or internal bleeding and tissue damage.
During the holidays, a lot of families exchange gifts with their pet pals. On the other hand, if dogs manage to rip into gifts beneath the tree, some goods might actually be dangerous for them. Every owner should inspect every gift meant for a pet and exercise caution while handling any that do.
If button or disc batteries are eaten, they can lodge in the stomach or oesophagus and release caustic liquids. If a blockage happens, this can burn any tissue it comes into contact with and necessitates immediate surgery. Gifts that require batteries should always be kept out of the reach of unattended children.
If a dog toy breaks apart and is swallowed, it could pose a choking hazard since it has plastic eyes, noses, or interior squeakers. The same goes for children’s toys with any pieces small enough to block the throat or obstruct the intestines if swallowed. Cheaply made pet toys and other products could be covered in lead-based paint, varnish with heavy metals or other coatings not intended for use on dog items. These toxins can cause heavy metal poisoning if chewed off and consumed and you should always check labels for safety specs.
Dogs might try munching on metallic gift bows, ribbons, string or removable foam/plastic gift stuffers out of curiosity. These could all present either choking dangers or intestinal obstructions. Never leave unwrapped gifts within reach.