Many of our holiday traditions can pose serious threats to the well-being of our pets. As you begin to prepare for the festive season, be aware of activities that can be potentially dangerous to our four-footed friends.
‘Tis definitely the season for overeating, but it is important to keep your dog on a normal diet. Don’t give your pets holiday leftovers, and keep them out of the garbage. Poultry bones can splinter and cause blockages, and greasy, spicy and fatty foods can give your dog indigestion and diarrhea.
If you serve adult holiday beverages, be sure that alcoholic drinks are always out of reach of curious paws. If ingested, your dog can suffer severe damage, and possibly go into a coma, resulting in death from respiratory failure.
Be careful with holiday floral arrangements. Lilies can cause serious digestive problems, and common Yuletide plants such as mistletoe and holly berries can be potentially toxic. Should a dog (or cat) eat mistletoe, there is a strong likelihood that he will suffer gastrointestinal upset. Holly can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy if ingested.
Traditional tree decorations such as ribbons or tinsel, if ingested, can become lodged in the intestines and cause an obstruction. Take care to prevent your pets from having access to glass ornaments, wires, and cords from holiday decorations. Keep fragile ornaments toward the top if the tree, because, If chewed, such ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth from shards of glass or plastic, while a wire can deliver a potentially fatal electrical shock.
Several popular holiday treats are toxic to dogs. Many candies and other desserts contain the sweetener xylitol which is poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause abnormal heart rate/rhythm, and even seizures. Be sure to dispose of candy wrappers carefully, because ingesting aluminum foil or cellophane can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.
Be sure to cover the Christmas tree water. Stagnant tree water can act as a breeding ground for bacteria, and if ingested, a pet could end up with abdominal discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Remember that a dog will quickly know if a gift contains something edible, even if the humans don’t. Ask your guests in advance if there is food inside the presents, and keep them out of paws’ reach.
PLEASE do not even consider giving a puppy as a holiday gift. Usually giving a puppy for emotional reasons turns out badly. Love is not the problem because everyone loves a puppy, but people need to have some basic knowledge about the commitment and responsibility of caring for a pet. Accept the same philosophy as adopting a child. You don’t just give a kid away. Everyone must understand the responsibility of caring for a child, and the same holds true with a dog. A dog is not for Christmas; it is for life, and the holiday season is a busy time. We have all seen the ads depicting adorable puppies with red bows…Adorable? Absolutely. But in real life the holidays are not a great time to introduce a new puppy into the family.
The first few days with a pup are important, and it’s difficult to give a new dog the attention she deserves when everyone’s focus is on the big holiday. Puppies need lots of help at first to understand rules, and in a busy home, visitors are coming and going and doors opened to welcome guests make it easy for a pup to slip out unnoticed.
If you decide to give your family a puppy, please don’t take her home amidst the holiday excitement. Instead, wrap up a collar, dog dish, some puppy toys, and maybe a photo of the pup, and put those under the tree. Then wait until the festivities are over to actually bring the new puppy into your home. This accomplishes the puppy surprise, but allows time to make your home puppy safe, and give your new pup the attention she’ll need to adjust. Most of all, be committed to a LIFE LONG relationship