Updated: Dec 11, 2020
If the holidays seem stressful for us, imagine what it might be like for our pets, especially dogs. Trips to new places; unfamiliar homes and aromas of all kinds of new and exciting holiday foods; family and friends who may not always be pet-friendly or may own hostile pets; toxic plants and decorations are just a few of the many hazards that can challenge our companions this time of year.
The humanesociety.org list of foods toxic to dogs include:
Alcohol particularly in baked goods such as Fruitcake;
Chocolate and espresso beans;
Candy, gum peanut butter treats (containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol; **Tip: Ask guests to keep handbags closed and place off of the floor or chair.
Coffee and tea grounds, and caffeine in general;
Onions, garlic, and garlic powder;
Grapes and raisins;
Walnuts and macadamia nuts;
Mushrooms and moldy foods (Blue cheese);
Salt and unbaked yeast dough.
Pits: Apricot, Cherry & Peach
Stems & Leafs: Potato, Tomato & Rhubarb
Seeds: Apple & Mustard
The ASPCA lists more than 400 plants that are toxic to dogs many of which can be prevalent during the holidays:
Holly and Evergreens;
Amaryllis, Juniper, and Mistletoe.
Poinsettias, while not as toxic as the above, can cause irritation of the mouth and stomach.
Other potential holiday hazards noted by the ASPCA include:
Christmas trees, ornaments, tinsel, ribbons, and candles;
Lights and electrical wires;
Toys and batteries;
Antifreeze and ice melt products;
The Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that up to 10,000 cats and dogs die each year from exposure to ethylene glycol containing antifreeze. One lick of this highly poisonous substance can be enough to cause irreversible kidney failure and death in a cat, and it doesn't take much more than that to have the same effect in a dog.
Additionally, consider placing pets in a quiet room to avoid the commotion created as guests arrive and depart. Ensuring that your pets are microchipped and/or have identification on collars at all times can facilitate their quick return should they happen to go missing during ensuing holiday festivities which can contain many hazards that can require extra vigilance to ensure your home is safe for both pets and people.
Accidents happen. But they don't always have to.
If you suspect your dog has digested a 'forbidden substance', don't wait. Call your local animal emergency hotline or hospital.
Let's keep this Season of Joy safe for all.