I live alone with Andy, my 110lb yellow Lab. (He is not fat, just a big dog.) Last Christmas, I wrapped presents and put them under the Christmas tree. The next day I went on a golf outing. When I returned, I found a small scrap of paper on the kitchen floor. Turns out, it was the wrapping paper I used to wrap a one-pound box of chocolates. I noticed the box on the living room floor, open and empty with all the chocolates carefully removed from their papers. I called Andy, who sheepishly looked around the corner.
We immediately headed to the vet’s office; $300 later, and Andy was okay. My advice to the world is when wrapping and putting gifts under the tree, keep in mind your pet’s ability to smell out the good stuff. Put [food] gifts where they can’t be reached.
– Bill, Las Vegas, Nevada
This is a good holiday tip. A dog’s sense of smell is much superior to humans, so any food gift placed under the Christmas tree will likely be scarfed down. Chocolate is dangerous for dogs. It can result in illness or death, depending on the weight of the dog and the type and amount of chocolate eaten. Having a big dog helped in your situation.
Never put food gifts under the tree, in stockings, or anywhere within a dog’s reach.
Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, author, columnist and pet expert who has more than 25 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal