Christmas is a time of eating, drinking, and making merry. With all the food around, it can be a little tempting for dogs. Dogs can eat some people food with little to no problem. What you should do if your dog ate Santa’s cookies could be slightly more complicated, depending on what the cookies are made of.

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Santa’s cookies aren’t the only risk at holiday time, however. Guests who set their plates down or drop things could lead to an unwanted dog snack. Anytime you walk away from your table setting or something you’re prepping for the meal, you’re providing an opportunity for your dog to sneak. Some of the decorations you put around the house can also tempt a dog to take a bite.

These things do happen from time to time in spite of your best intentions. I’m here to tell you what to do when your dog eats Santa’s cookies, or anything else he shouldn’t!

First we’ll go general.

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Common Signs Your Dog Ate Something Bad

Every adverse reaction a dog has to eating something he shouldn’t will be a little different. There are, however, some signs you can look for that will help you assess the situation. These are general symptoms that can alert you to the need to reach out to your veterinarian.

Any of the following symptoms your dog exhibits may mean he ate something that isn’t good for him:

Vomiting, dry heaving, or gaggingAbdominal painLoss of interest in food and appetiteLethargy or sluggishnessChanges in the usual behavior you see in your dogChanges in bowel movements to either constipation or diarrheaDroolingTrouble breathingLight sensitivityLoss of coordination or tremorsLoss of consciousness

If you see any of these signs in your dog, I advise that you call your vet immediately. None of the advice in this article is meant to supersede or replace a conversation or appointment with your vet.

It’s a good idea to remember to pay attention to your dog even during the busy holidays when company is in and out. If you’re watching closely, you’ll see these symptoms when they first start and treatment will be easier.

Your vet will more than likely recommend one of the courses of treatment detailed below in the following section.


Your Plan For Holiday Safety

I have a few thoughts for you on keeping your dog safe during the holidays. Use these suggestions to come up with a plan you can work with:

Don’t stress if you have to shut your dog away from the festivities. If you can’t keep your dog safe, this is the best solution. You could even ask a family member or friend to dogsit during your party.Do bring your dog out to socialize with guests unless she is shy in groups of people. She doesn’t have to be out during the entire party to be a part of the celebration.Use puppy pens and gates to section off food-laden areas in your home during holiday entertaining.Remind your guests not to feed your dog any treats. It’s well-meaning, but it can get out of control quickly.Keep Santa’s cookies high up out of reach for your dog. If your little ones are worried that Santa won’t find them, you can create a fun game of leaving clues or signs that point Santa to the cookies.Just go ahead and leave dog-friendly treats for Santa!Train your dog to leave the Christmas tree and decorations alone and use a puppy pen if necessary.Keep a special eye on children who visit- they love to slip the dog a tasty treat! Explain to them that some people’s food is bad for dogs, and your dog should only ever eat dog food and his own special treats.

After It’s All Over

Don’t let doggie dangers suck all of the fun out of Christmas with your pet! Follow the precautions I’ve discussed here to minimize the chance your dog will have a Christmas issue that requires a costly emergency vet visit.

You don’t want your dog to be a member of the I Ate Santa’s Cookies Club, but if something unfortunate happens at least you know what to expect.

If you do live with a doggie thief, there is a uniform ready and waiting for him via this holiday bandana. It’s an upscale dog shaming. You know my usual drill here: if you get this for your dog, I want the comments section full of photos!

If you haven’t read my recent article about Christmas sweaters and winter coats for dogs, follow the link to wade through the adorable outfits I found to fit your dog. I also explain how to find the right size garment and included a photo roundup of some of the cutest doggie models I could find.

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Thanks for spending a little holiday time with me here today and I hope you have a wonderful season with your family and friends; the two and four-legged variety.