With Christmas just days away, it’s understandable for you to be concerned about all of the potential items your dog could get into. In fact, it’s the sign of a responsible dog owner that you are concerned for your pet’s wellbeing and are looking into ways to protect them!
Candy canes are among the more common types of Christmas-themed treats, and if they’re left lying around, there’s always a chance your pup will take an interest. The short answer is that if your dog eats a candy cane, it probably won’t hurt them, so long as it’s just a small amount. But here’s some more information from a dog vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.
Taking action after a dog eats a candy cane
Most regular candy canes are not harmful to dogs. Sugar-free candy canes, however, can be harmful, as they contain a chemical called xylitol that is potentially deadly to dogs. This means if your dog has eaten a sugar-free candy cane, you should take it to a vet just to be on the safe side. Common symptoms of xylitol poisoning include tremors, seizures and loss of control of motor functions, so any of these signs should be enough to get you out the door and on the way to an emergency vet immediately.
If you know your dog ate a candy cane, your first step should be to figure out what type of candy cane the dog ate, and what its ingredients were. If the candy cane was made with real sugar and there are no other harmful ingredients for dogs, your dog should be fine, though they may potentially be uncomfortable.
If the candy cane was sugar free or you are unable to determine what ingredients were in the candy cane, you should call your vet or an emergency vet in your vicinity. They will want to know what kind of dog you have and how much of the candy cane your dog ate.
Keep in mind that the dog may also eat the candy cane wrappers, which could be harmful to the dog. There’s a chance the dog will pass the wrappers without any issue, but there’s also a chance they could cause an intestinal blockage. If this happens, your dog may start to vomit, show signs of a reduced appetite, or strain when attempting to defecate. The dog may also appear to be listless or lethargic. Any of these symptoms should prompt you to bring the dog to a vet immediately.
With all this in mind, it is important to engage in proper safety precautions over the holidays. There is likely going to be lots of food and candy spread throughout your house. Just make sure you keep it out of reach of where the dogs will get them. Throw away all wrappers immediately after using them, and watch small children around dogs to make sure they’re not feeding any candy to the dogs.
For more information about what to do if your dog eats a candy cane, contact Newkirk Family Veterinarians to speak with a dog vet in Egg Harbor Township, NJ today.