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The holidays are a festive time for us and our pets. However, due to ongoing activities and constant distractions, we can easily overlook potential dangers to our four-legged family members.

Many pet owners know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs, or that leftover bones from your meal can splinter and cause an obstruction or laceration to your pets intestines. 

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Here are a few more dangers you may not know to look out for this holiday season:

  • Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs. Make sure they are kept in places your dog cannot reach.
  • Table scraps and fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, may cause pancreatitis.  Acute pancreatitis is characterized by the abrupt onset of vomiting and severe pain in the abdomen. The dog may have a tucked-up belly and assume a prayer position. Abdominal pain is caused by the release of digestive enzymes into the pancreas and surrounding tissue. Diarrhea, dehydration, weakness, and shock may ensue. (http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-pancreatitis-symptoms-and-treatment)
  • Many nuts are extremely toxic to dogs.  It is best to avoid giving your dog any nuts, just to be safe.
  • Watch out for electrical cords. Pets often try to chew them and get badly shocked or electrocuted. Place them out of reach.
  • Avoid glass ornaments, which break easily and may cut a dog’s feet, mouth, and/or intestines.
  • Do not use edible ornaments such as cranberry or popcorn strings. These foods are poisonous to dogs, plus your dog may knock the tree over in an attempt to reach them.
  • Keep all ornaments off the lower branches; if your dog chews or eats an ornament, he can be made sick by the materials or paint.
  • Both live and artificial tree needles are sharp and indigestible. Keep your tree blocked off (with a playpen or other “fence”) or in a room that is not accessible to your dog, unless he is being monitored.
  • Tinsel and ribbon can be dangerous for dogs. It may obstruct circulation and, if swallowed, ultimately twist throughout the intestines, leading to emergency surgery and even death.
  • Keep burning candles on high tables or mantels, out of the way of your dog’s wagging tail.
  • Your dog may want to investigate wrapped packages; keep them out of reach.
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