Making sure that your dog is safe during Christmas can be a really demanding task, especially if you are not familiar with all possible dangers that your dog can stumble upon during holidays. There are many things that could seriously harm your pooch, and you really need to educate yourself on what these things are and how to minimize those dangers.
For this reason, we have decided to present you with some of the most dangerous Christmas decorations for dogs. You may be surprised to find out that some of these very common items could pose a threat to your dog. This is sadly what makes them so dangerous.
Most homes have at least 70% of these items lying around during the holiday season. They are common, meaning they are found virtually anywhere. This means that your dog may be exposed to these decorations when visiting your family or friends, while at doggy daycare or while spending time in a boarding facility.
Even if you choose not to decorate during the Christmas season, it is likely that your dog will have contact with these dangerous decorations at some point.
Knowing what Christmas decorations can be dangerous to dogs is the first step to making sure that your pet is safe and sound. If you know the dangers to watch out for, both you and Fido can enjoy the Christmas spirit to the full extent.
20 Most Dangerous Christmas Decorations for Dogs
Even though this Christmas plant (shown in the photo above) is not as toxic as it was once believed, it can still harm your dog and you should keep him as far away from it as possible. The leaves from this plant can irritate and damage your dog’s mouth and stomach, and often cause nausea and vomiting.
It does have sharp leaves and bitter taste, which will keep most dogs away from it. However, if your pooch is not so easily deterred you need to know that holly can be pretty toxic if ingested, even in small doses.
Ingesting mistletoe can be very dangerous for your dog since it is very toxic because it has multiple toxic substances. Some of the most common symptoms of mistletoe ingestion are severe stomach pain, drop in blood pressure and breathing problems. In larger amounts, mistletoe can also cause seizures or even death.
This plant is often used for Christmas decoration, and it is without a doubt on the top of the list when it comes to the most beautiful Christmas plants. But beware, it is also pretty toxic to dogs. Ingesting this plant can make your dog experience stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy and even tremors.
5. English Ivy
This very attractive vine can be dangerous to humans as well since it is toxic all around and can also cause dermatitis and skin inflammation if you handle it improperly. For dogs, ingesting the leaves of this plant is the most dangerous part and can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Your dog can also experience dermal reactions like blistering, redness or swelling if he comes in contact with it.
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6. Christmas Rose
The pretty white flowers on this plant (pictured above) will certainly cause the desire to include it in your Christmas decoration, but you should be aware that Christmas Rose can be dangerous for your pooch. It can lead to many gastrointestinal problems, and you should make sure that your dog can’t reach it at all.
7. Christmas Tree
Christmas tree, whether it is real or artificial, can also be mildly toxic to your dog. Needles from the real tree can cause slight mouth irritation and stomach pain, and if ingested in larger amounts can even lead to some more serious abdominal issues. Artificial trees are mostly made of plastic or aluminum and if your dog ingests some part of it he can also experience various gastrointestinal problems.
8. Christmas Tree Preservatives
Even though Christmas tree preservatives are not actually decoration, they are still very hazardous to your dog. They are used to keep the Christmas tree fresh longer, and if your dog drinks the tree water that has been mixed with these preservatives, it can have some pretty serious health consequences. Use regular water for your Christmas tree, and your dog will be safe from poisoning.
9. Christmas Lights
Christmas lights are an inevitable and must-have part of Christmas decoration, but they are also a common source of accidents that involve dogs. Whether it is getting burned on the lights themselves or chewing at the cords and wires (which results in burns, shock and seizures), dogs will often make a mistake that puts them in danger around Christmas lights. It is up to you to do everything in your power to prevent this.
Lit Christmas candles present a serious fire hazard even if you don’t have a dog or any other pet. However, with an excited dog running around, these candles are even more dangerous. In addition to potential fire, they can also burn your dog’s mouth or nose if he comes to close to them. That is why electric candles are a great, good-looking and much safer alternative to the real ones.
Cats are more prone to tinsel poisoning, but dogs can also come in harm’s way because of it. Some of the symptoms of tinsel poisoning are vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, dehydration and abdominal pain.
12. Glass Ornaments
Avoid using glass ornaments for your Christmas tree if you have a dog. They are not dangerous per se, but if they fall off the tree and break, your dog can step on the glass and cut his paws. He might even try to eat the glass, which can cause severe mouth cuts, and if he manages to swallow the glass, it can lead to some serious abdominal issues.
13. Edible Ornaments
Ornaments that smell good, and look good to you will also seem pretty tasty to your dog as well. In that case, you can expect that your pooch will try to eat them, which can be dangerous. Most of these ornaments are made from excessive sugar, particularly candy canes, which can cause sugar rush and other sugar-related health problems.
Also, glue and other materials are sometimes used to make edible ornaments and they can be toxic or otherwise hazardous to your dog. Be particularly wary of salt dough ornaments since there were some cases of these ornaments leading to fatal incidents with dogs.
14. Imitation Snow
Imitation snow, or flocking can also be hazardous to dogs. Flocking is often sprayed on a Christmas tree in order to make it look more realistic and provide a charming natural setting. However, flocking is also toxic to dogs, and your pooch might become tempted to chew on it because tree branches might look like fun sticks to him with the imitation snow on them.
15. Angel Hair
Angel hair is basically a relic of the past, but some households still have this old Christmas decoration that is made of a finely spun fiberglass. If that is the case with you, you need to be aware of numerous health-related concerns that come with its use. Some heirloom decorations are also made of angel hair and you need to make sure whether that is the case if you plan to use them.
16. Snow Globes
A lot of people like the look of a snow globe in their home for Christmas, but you need to be careful with them if you own a dog. Since some of the snow globes, particularly imported ones, contain antifreeze, they can be very dangerous to dogs.
Antifreeze is extremely toxic to dogs, and can even result in death. Some of the symptoms that follow antifreeze ingestion are euphoria, nausea, rapid heartbeat, seizures, finding and coma.
17. Popcorn Strands
Popcorn strands look really attractive to most dogs, and your pooch will probably have a hard time resisting them as well. However, there are some dangers that come with popcorn strands, particularly from the string that keeps the popcorn pieces together. If your dog somehow manages to ingest the string, which is often made of fishing line, he can have a really unpleasant experience and might even end up on the surgery table.
18. Ornament Hangers
Ornament hangers are those small wire bits that keep your ornaments on the Christmas tree. However, if your dog gets his mouth on them, he might chew and ingest them which can cause plenty of havoc in his stomach. They can become lodged within your dog’s digestive tract, or even puncture through it, which can even become fatal if you don’t react fast. Surgery is often required to deal with these things in case of ingestion.
19. Wrapping Paper
Be careful with your wrapping or crepe paper, since ingestion can cause irritation in the mouth. However, the toxicity level of these things is considered to be quite low, so you don’t have to get alarmed about it, unless your dog ingested a large amount which can cause a stomach obstruction. Also, when it comes to wrapping, keep ribbon, yarn and string away from your dog as well since these things can twist around his intestines if he swallows them, which can lead to surgery.
Potpourri is often used during Christmas to enhance the atmosphere and provide pleasant aroma for you and your guests. Potpourri and the essential oils blends that produce the fragrance, however, are often toxic to dogs and you need to keep them away from your pooch. Ingestion of potpourri can cause gagging, drooling, dehydration, lethargy and muscle tremors, among other things.
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