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Festive Dangers for Dogs!
Many of us know about all the things that are dangerous for dogs at this time of year.

But here's a quick reminder for anyone who is unsure.
Remember we get very busy when we have parties, family visits, crazy busy kitchens! Counter-surfing dogs, tempted by wonderful smells, can easily get at something which may poison them, and turn a happy Christmas into an emergency vet visit -or worse, a tragedy.

Also remember that a lot of nice smelling wrapping, tinfoil etc gets put into the kitchen waste bin. Is your bin in a place the dog cannot get at it?

Onions (or any food with onions added.)
Christmas pudding
Mince pies
Christmas cake
Stollen (and any fruit cake as it will contain raisins/sultanas etc.)
Turkey or meat fat/skin/crackling from pork etc. Turkey skin can also be too fatty and can cause acute pancreatitis.
Macadamia nuts.
Anything with alcohol or caffeine

Other nuts are not necessarily toxic for dogs but can cause choking as dogs don't have "grinding teeth" and are likely to swallow them whole. Also they cause tummy upset and bad constipation. But things like peanut butter and tahini are quite safe in small amounts.

This isn't a complete list. There are other foods, so if anyone thinks of something, please post in a comment.

Christmas tree lights
Tinsel and decorations
Electric cables (if dogs or puppies are likely to chew at things.)
Glass baubles
Any decorations a dog can chew at which may get swallowed and cause intestinal blockage or choking.
Gifts put around the tree may contain chocolates! You don't know. But a dog will be able to sniff them, and could eat the parcel while you are out or asleep.
Mistletoe berries. Deadly!
I am glad you posted this. If I can think of anything else I will post it. It is such a tempting time of the year.
Some of these dangers apply to cats, especially ornaments and ribbons. Cats will eat tinsel and garland and chew on lights.

The risks of lights being chewed, and decorations being eaten are true for rabbits and guinea pigs as well if they are allowed to free roam. I have even had hamsters under the tree getting into things they shouldn't.

I think some of these dangers also hold for birds. If you are unsure about a food don't risk feeding it unless you have looked it up. Birds might be attracted to tinsel and garland and try to eat them.

I think the big danger of the holidays is distracted pet owners and lots of new things to attract a curious pet. Taking a few minutes to pet proof things is time well spent.
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I have thought of another thing!

Squeaky toys!
Many people give these to dogs as Christmas gifts.

Dogs love squeaky toys, but while some will just drive their humans batty with the constant squeaking Smiley4 ....others will chew at the toy, and pull it to pieces within minutes.
Then they are in danger of swallowing chunks of plastic or even the metal "squeaker".

Apart from that being a choking hazard, intestinal blockage is sometimes discovered even a day or more later when the dog becomes severely ill. Some dogs can die from necrosis of the gut.

Not only is this a life-threatening emergency, it is a very expensive emergency.

Always supervise a dog with a squeaky toy.
Good point about toys. A small dog with a squeaky toy probably would be fine. Some of the bigger dogs would be able to bite the toy in pieces and would probably eat some of them. 

Some of the small toys in Christmas crackers would be a danger to dogs.
Having a dog is like having a permanent baby/toddler, but smarter. You always have to think about the house from a dog's point of view so you can prevent the dog from getting into trouble. 

There are lots of good dog treats that can be given so the dog doesn't feel left out when everyone else is having something.
There are plenty of safe dog toys that look like Christmas decorations so the dog can have his own decorations.

You can include the dog and keep him safe. It is worth it to have a happy and safe Christmas for the whole family.
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I came across an article that confirms the warnings about festive dangers. A family dog snuck some food while people were distracted. There was a lot of onion in the food and the dog became very ill and had to be rushed to a vet.

Warnings about holiday dangers are very real and need to be taken seriously. It was very fortunate that Rosie the border collie survived. It could easily have ended in tragedy.

Whatever else we do this Christmas we do need to look out for our pets and keep them safe.
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Thank you! I had forgotten ONIONS. I edited the post at the top to include onions and any foods which contain onions.
Your example is a very good one Catherine.

Some foods like meat pates etc can contain onions, and even XYLITOL (which is also toxic for dogs -and probably cats too.) Something that looks like a simple meat pate, can contain other things, so it's wise to read the labels before giving it to animals.
I don't think any pate should be given to a pet. There are all kinds of seasonings in them that might be harmful. There are pet foods that look like pate that can be served to the pet when we serve ourselves.
We should always be careful that pets can't get at our food. We can eat many things that they can't.

Many human foods have onions and garlic in them and they could harm a pet. Foods often have more fat than a dog can safely eat.  Any human food given to a dog must be carefully chosen so it is safe. We just want to treat our pets, but we don't want to "treat" them to death. Better safe than sorry.
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