12 Holiday Dog Hazards to Watch Out For
The holidays are a wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a season of hazards for your pets. Having to bring your dog to the vet can put a damper on the festive mood for everyone involved. Fortunately, with a little bit of awareness, you can help your furry pal avoid common dangers and have a safe and happy holidays!
- Chocolate is a very common cause of visits to the vet around the holidays. Simply put, chocolate is off limits to dogs, and the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is. If your dog does consume any form of chocolate, please seek veterinary attention immediately.
- You might think it’s natural for your dog to chew on a bone. However, this can be a life-threatening gift. Bones can either be swallowed whole or splinter when chewed, potentially causing damage to the intestines. Avoid giving your dogs any bones, and consider sharing some dry turkey meat instead – in moderation, of course.
- Speaking of sharing your holiday dinner, be aware of what your meal contains. Onions and similar vegetables, such as shallots, scallions, and garlic, are toxic to dogs. So when giving table scraps to your dog from the dinner table, be mindful of what ingredients you’re sharing with them.
- Nuts are also toxic to dogs. They are very rich in fat and can give your dog an upset stomach, as well as neurological symptoms. Almonds are not toxic to dogs, but they are not easily digested and can also cause an upset stomach, so steer clear of sharing them with your pup.
- Poinsettias get a bad rep. You may be surprised to learn that this festive flower is not severely toxic. The leaves contain a sap that irritates dogs’ throats and mouths, and can cause nausea and vomiting, but it would take a large amount of the plant to cause poisoning. However, always proceed with caution and try to keep these plants away from your pet – especially if pesticides have been used to treat them.
- Mistletoe is one of the more dangerous holiday plants, as there are multiple toxins in mistletoe that can cause severe symptoms and even death. Bring your dog straight to the vet if you suspect that they’ve eaten mistletoe.
- Holly can also be quite dangerous. Ingestion of this plant can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. If you think your dog has eaten holly, get them to a veterinarian immediately.
- The Christmas tree might not be so jolly for Fido! The oils in a Christmas tree can be irritating to dogs’ stomachs, causing vomiting and drooling, and the needles have the potential to cause intestinal damage. The water your Christmas tree stands in also poses a risk, as it may contain bacteria, molds, and fertilizers that could make your dog extremely sick with just a couple of laps.
- In addition to the tree itself, decorations on the Christmas tree may pose a problem for your dog. Twinkling lights or low hanging bulbs may be seen as toys, gobbled down, and possibly cause intestinal damage. Be wary of how interested your dog is in your tree and proceed with caution.
- Batteries experience a surge of popularity around the holidays, as new toys or lights may require them. However, avoid leaving batteries out on tables and countertops, as they may be seen as new chew toys or treats in the eyes of your dog. Make sure that your dog doesn’t get their mouths on these, as the compounds within the battery can seriously harm them.
- Alcohol is also more readily available around the holidays. Make sure that your dog isn’t given or has access to any alcohol. Dogs don’t process alcohol the same way that humans do, and drinking it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, and even heart failure.
- Having guests over can be stressful for your dog – some dogs love visitors and behave very well, while others may be fearful or aggressive. You know your dog best, so make sure they have a quiet place to escape to if they want to get away from all the noise or little children!