The story I am about to tell you happened almost exactly one year ago:
Phoebe had just gotten home for Christmas break from her first semester at College. She and I were out shopping. My phone rings and it was my son calling from home.
“Mom, I just got home and found this….” attached was a photo of a ripped open and devoured chocolate bar. The big giant kind of chocolate bar. Godiva Dark Chocolate.
Where did that come from? I did not recall having bought any chocolate like that – I WOULD definITELY remember chocolate! Then I remembered that JUST before I walked out the door, the UPS guy had delivered a box of gifts from my family. I had emptied the packages from the box and put them right under the tree and left the house. I called my sister-in-law.
“Any chance any of the packages you sent contained chocolate?”
“Yes!” she said – “I did not even think to tell you!”
It appeared that the likely suspect was Beans the 25 pound Beagle mix. I called the vet – we sent her a photo of the ripped packaging, and she said, given his size and the amount he potentially ate that we should try to induce vomiting.
There was no way I would get home in time to do this so I had to talk my college sophomore BOY through the steps…
To induce vomiting in a dog – “If your vet or poison control center says it’s okay to induce vomiting, give your dog 3% hydrogen peroxide. It is the preferred vomit–inducing product for dogs. Give your dog one teaspoon hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of body weight.” So Tate had to give Bean 2.5 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide.
A few minutes later – we got a text – “All done – he booted! ALOT!!!”
What we learned – always check that there is NO food in a package before putting it out with unattended pets. Or better yet, when you are not home, block the pets from getting to the packages.
Last year it was our toddler beagle dog who got into the chocolate. Thankfully nothing tragic happened. This year we have a 6 month old puppy – Adelaide – who is into EVERYTHING. I do not remember any of other other dogs being such vacuum cleaners! She eats anything and everything – twist ties, cat poop, tape – she is like a furry Roomba!
ADDIE has already given me a clue as to what the top issues with Puppies and the holidays are – but I thought it might be good to visit the experts on this topic.
Puppy Spot identified the top 5 hazards/issues with Puppies and the Holidays?
- Puppies will chew on just about anything, so be sure to fasten ornaments and lights out of their reach. Same goes for tinsel or any hanging décor that they may try and pull on. (ADDIE was bringing me an ornament a day before I thought to make them out of her reach!)
- Keep Santa’s cookies and candies stored away. Chocolates and sugar substitutes like Xylitol can be deadly to pups.
- Certain holiday plants including poinsettias, mistletoe and holly can be poisonous, so make sure you display them somewhere your dog can’t chew on them.
- If using a real Christmas tree, don’t use any additives in the tree water. As far as your dog knows, it’s just another water dish and the chemicals could be harmful if they try to drink from it. (Our dogs drink from the tree water all day long !)
- Make sure guests know not to give into puppy-eyes looking for table scraps. Turkey skin, bones, and anything spicy can lead to stomach issues or worse.
As with children – an ounce of prevention….can make a HUGE life-changing difference. PROTECT your pets from their own natural tendencies to dig and explore and forage – and eat! And provide them with lots of toys and chew things that they CAN safely play with and chew on. We go through TONS of Bully sticks but they keep Addie from looking for something to chew – like shoes or the sofa or her latest – my paint brushes when they fall on the floor! arghhhh!!!!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOUR PETS!