By Dr. Kate Kuzminski, GDB Medical Director
Happy holidays! This is always such a fabulous time to celebrate with family and friends. This year will likely be much different for many as we reduce our travel and hunker down in our own homes. What a lovely opportunity to reduce some of the seasonal hustle and bustle. What will remain constant, are the safety risks that every December brings for dogs. An emergency trip to the veterinarian is a surefire way to ruin the holiday spirit! To reduce the risk of this unpleasant adventure now is the time to take inventory of your home and your holiday plans and see what might be risky for your dog. As always, having your veterinarian’s phone number and address posted in a visible place, as well as the local after-hours emergency clinic shows excellent preparedness!
Holiday Safety Tips:
- While delicious, the holiday meal is not something to share with your dog. Avoid a case of pancreatitis and keep the people food for you and your two-legged family. Similarly, sweets and adult holiday beverages can also be dangerous. Remember that chocolate and the sweetener xylitol can be toxic to dogs. (So can grapes/raisins and onions). Make sure all tasty morsels and unattended alcoholic beverages are placed where your dog can not get them… and keep that lid on the garbage can.
- Holiday plants such as amaryllis, holly, poinsettias, and the berries of mistletoe can be dangerous to your dog if ingested. Vomiting, diarrhea, incoordination, drooling and even seizures are possible depending on the plant. Do your dog a favor and avoid these plants in your home this holiday.
- This is the season for candles! Make sure candles are not down at dog level and that your dog is always supervised when in a room with candles burning.
- Ornaments are so pretty…but not if they are ingested. Broken ornaments can cause obvious damage to your dog’s mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Similarly, keep any ornaments made from food-based materials out of reach as well.
- While lovely to smell, potpourri can be toxic to dogs if handled or ingested. Keep all essential oils and potpourri products out of your dog’s reach.
- Child toys and small toy pieces can be exceptionally intriguing to a dog. So can the batteries that are needed for our new devices and games. It’s always best to ensure these items are not left on the ground. Taking a bite of a battery can cause chemical burns to your dog’s mouth.
- Sometimes we all need a quiet place to retreat to when we need a rest from the fray. Having a comfy bed in a separate room might give your dog a welcomed respite. This is especially true on New Year’s Eve when revelers delight in fireworks and noisemakers.
Sending you the warmest wishes for a safe and peaceful holiday and a fabulous new year!
Learn more about GDB's state-of-the-art veterinary services as well as our veterinary financial assistance program for GDB clients today.