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Pets & the holidays: The truth about rawhide bones & poinsettia plants

Social media posts claim rawhides are dangerous, but a NC vet says it depends on how your dog chews them.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Like many pet owners, I put my dog in jammies and made her sit by the Christmas tree for a picture. No doubt she was thinking, do I get a treat for this? The answer of course is yes, but certain treats are being called dangerous on social media posts.

There have been several posts about rawhides. These are chews for pets made out of dried animal byproducts. The rawhide itself isn't dangerous, the issue comes with how your dog chews them.

“A lot depends on how they chew that. If they chew it into little pieces, it can be dangerous to dogs who like to eat them right up. On occasion, they can cause problems, the primary one is going to be an obstruction of the intestines. It can irritate the intestines. The best thing you can do is monitor your dog as they're chewing those toys,” said Dr. Fred Winiger, Animal Neurologist at CARE in Charlotte.

The American Kennel Club agrees rawhides are meant to be long-lasting chews that break down slowly over time. If your dog breaks them into big pieces, it could become a hazard.
So, watch to see how your dog deals with them.

Now, let's verify if a common belief is true: Are poinsettias deadly to pets?

Our sources are:
The American Kennel Club
And the Pet Poison Helpline

If you snap open a leaf on the plant, its milky white sap will ooze out. The chemicals in the sap are similar to those found in detergents.

If cats and dogs consume them, they may experience gastrointestinal irritation, such as nausea, vomiting, drooling, or sometimes diarrhea. Contact with the sap can also cause skin irritation, including redness, swelling, and itchiness.

The Pet Poison Helpline website says claims about pet poisoning from the plant's sap are "greatly exaggerated."

So we can VERIFY, no, poinsettias aren't deadly to pets, but consuming the sap and the plant leaves, in general, is still not good for them.


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