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Avoid a Vet Trip by Putting Salt Dough Ornaments Out of Reach

Salt dough ornaments laid out next to a Christmas tree.
Lynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock

Handcrafting salt dough ornaments is a fun family tradition around the holidays, but did you know they can be unsafe for your pets to consume?

An innocent and fun family activity around Christmas time has landed many dogs in urgent care. How can you blame a poor pooch for licking and eating something homemade and deliciously salty?

Even more so, how could you blame anyone for not thinking about the dangers of these handmade decorations? That’s what we’re here for.

What Are Salt Dough Ornaments?

By mixing simple ingredients like flour, water, and salt, you can create a smooth and pliable handmade dough. The dough is then rolled and cut into shapes with cookie cutters, then baked.

Once they cool, you have the opportunity to get extra crafty and add paint or glitter. Before you know it, you’ve got a few beautifully decorated knick-knacks for your tree.

What’s the Danger?

While all the ingredients are edible, these salt dough ornaments should not be consumed, especially with the high amount of salt added. A typical recipe includes at least a cup of salt per four cups of flour. That’s a lot of sodium for anyone to ingest.

While the recipe works fine without the salt, they don’t hold well, especially when stored. Salt acts as a preservative and keeps these ornaments around for decades.

If your pooch overeats salt, this can cause severe problems and can possibly lead to salt poisoning. Some symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, and can even pose life-threatening risks, too.

So always be sure to keep your pretty (yet toxic) salt dough creations out of your pets’ reach.

Decorate with Caution

We all know that cats and other pets are known for climbing and knocking down trees. But not many of us think about the dangers of our beloved house pets eating our ornaments and becoming severely ill.

To be safe, always add your handcrafted ornaments high up and out of reach. Ensure they’re high enough, so your little buddies don’t jump up and chow. If you’ve got climbers, decorate your home with these ornaments, but keep them off the tree.

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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