Keeping Your Pup Safe During Christmas: Foods and Decorations to Avoid
The holiday season is a time for celebration and joy, but it's also crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of our furry friends, especially amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Let's dive into the potential hazards that lurk in our festive decorations and favorite holiday foods, shedding light on how to protect our beloved pups during this merry time of the year.
Naughty or Nice?
1. Naughty Foods: Hazards on the Table
Chocolate: Everyone had heard that chocolate is "bad for dogs", specifically the theobromine content that can cause toxicity, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, or more severe reactions.
Grapes and Raisins: These often are added to some of our favorite holiday treats and side dishes. My Grandma always made everyone in the family fruit cake! However, even small amounts of grapes or raisins can cause kidney issues for our furry friends.
Xylitol: This is a new favorite for many! Xylitol is commonly found in sugar-free products, chewing gum, and some baked goods. This ingredient which can cause a rapid insulin release in dogs, resulting in low blood sugar and liver failure. Although a great alternative when we are trying to watch what we eat this holiday season, let's not share with our pups!
Please avoid giving your pup these treats this season, and call your vet if you are concerned or have questions.
2. Decorations and Ornaments
Tinsel and Ribbons: Although very pretty with Christmas lights, the long, shiny strands of tinsel can cause serious issues if they get tangled in the intestines. It is safest to skip this decoration with our four legged friends around.
Ornaments and Small Decorative Items: Curious puppies, especially when teething, might get a hold of smaller décor and ingest small parts of decorations. A safer alternative is to keep these items out of reach, or wire our ornaments to the tree.
Toxic Plants: This is important! Mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias, which can cause gastrointestinal upset or, in severe cases, poisoning if ingested. Do not bring these plants into your home this holiday season to ensure your pup's safety. (See diagram)
Symptoms of Poisoning or Health Issues: common signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive drooling, tremors, or difficulty breathing.
Veterinary Attention: Contact your a vet immediately if there's suspicion of ingestion of toxic substances or if any concerning symptoms arise.
This Christmas, let's ensure the season remains merry and safe for our furry companions. By being vigilant about the foods and decorations that pose risks to our pups, we can all enjoy a worry-free holiday together. Let's celebrate the joy of the season while keeping our beloved pets safe and sound.