Christmas Day is often a time for the entire family to get together to exchange gifts and eat a family meal. It's not unusual to have beloved family dogs take part in many of the festivities as well. While this may be a fun time, there are a few hidden dangers lurking in Christmas Day traditions. Not paying attention to the family dog can lead to injury and illness. Here are three common Christmas Day dangers that can send a dog to the animal hospital.
Chocolate is a favorite treat for many around Christmas time. While most humans have no trouble enjoying the sweet treat, it can cause major health problems for our canine friends. Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromide, which can cause heart problems and respiratory failure in dogs. The type of chocolate plays a big role in how much theobromide is present. Milk chocolate and white chocolate do contain theobromide, but rarely is enough ingested by a dog to be fatal. The real killers are dark chocolate and baking chocolate since they contain higher levels of theobromide. Just one ounce of baking chocolate can be fatal for a 10 pound dog.
Brightly wrapped gifts and presents under the tree are a big part of Christmas Day. They can also be a big hazard for dogs. Wrapping paper is something that many dogs may be tempted to eat. While many may think that this isn't a big issue, eating wrapping paper can actually cause an obstruction in the intestines. Obstructions that are bad enough can require emergency surgery.
Just like in humans, too much alcohol can be problematic for dogs. While many know not to give their dogs alcohol, it's actually possible to ingest alcohol through other means. Dog owners should also keep holiday favorites such as rum-soaked fruitcake away from dogs. Unbaked bread dough with fermented yeast can also cause alcohol poisoning. Seizures, vomiting, disorientation, breathing problems, tremors, and coma are all symptoms of alcohol poisoning in dogs. Any dog who exhibits these symptoms should be treated as soon as possible.
Christmas Day has many potential dangers for dogs. Things like chocolate, alcohol, and wrapping paper can greatly harm and even kill dogs. If any of these are ingested, dog owners should seek the services of a 24 hour animal hospital, such as Metzger Animal Hospital, as soon as possible.