As lovely as tinsel looks during the holidays, it might not be worth the risk if you have dogs at home. Just like you, no dog wants to eat tinsel. It’s obviously not for dinner, and your pup knows that. But it’s shiny and wriggly, and that can be too tempting a toy for a playful puppy.
A moment is all it takes for a dog to get all tangled up in tinsel, and if you’re not there to help it get free, then your dog will likely pull at the tinsel with its teeth, which can lead to accidental swallowing. Dr. Julian Rivera from the West Village Veterinary Hospital explained that swallowed tinsel might need to be surgically removed.
How do you know if your dog swallowed tinsel?
If you didn’t see it happen, you might have no idea that your pup has swallowed tinsel. But there are some clear signs to look out for. Watch for vomiting, diarrhea, or difficulty going to the bathroom, lack of energy, signs of pain, loss of appetite, or any abnormal changes in behavior.
And if you notice any of these, treat them as an emergency if you know there is tinsel or other stringy items around the house. Get your dog straight to the vet, because it could cause life-threatening damage. This is why many vets suggest avoiding tinsel, ribbons, and other stringy decorations, which they call “linear foreign bodies”.
Stick instead to larger festive displays that cannot be swallowed so easily. Other holiday hazards can include candles, small toys, wobbly trees, and gift-wrapping. Of course, you can still enjoy gifts and decorations responsibly, just be sure to keep your Christmas puppy-safe!