If you and your kids plan on making salt-dough ornaments this Christmas, keep them far away from your pets. This nostalgic craft is made from everyday ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen: flour, salt and water. Safe, right? Wrong.
A family’s tragedy recently went viral when they shared their heartbreaking experience on Facebook. Larry and Hope Pospisil made a simple salt-dough ornament with their baby daughter Alice and hung it on their tree. They never could have known that their 2-and-a-half-year-old Boxer, Lexi, would sneak over to the tree and eat the ornament. Sadly, they also didn’t know that the ornament could kill their beloved dog.
In her Facebook post, Hope wrote:
“With tear-filled eyes, I’m writing this as a warning to everyone. Lexi snuck downstairs today around 7-8am and ate Alice’s salt dough ornament (she NEVER does this). We were, of course, so mad at her. She seemed to act normal. We left here at 1pm, thinking she was ok. When we got home around 5pm, she had peed all through her kennel and was shaking uncontrollably.”
The Pospisils took Lexi to the vet right away, but it was too late. Lexi had suffered massive neurological damage due to an extremely elevated body temperature. The family made the heart-wrenching decision to humanely euthanize Lexi.
If you decide to hang salt-dough ornaments from your tree, hang them high up out of your dog’s reach—even if your dog isn’t usually prone to eating stuff. This was the first time Lexi ever did something like this, according to Hope, and unfortunately, it was her last. Salt-dough ornaments are deceptively similar to dog biscuits and cookies and might entice your dog to take a bite.
After their story went viral on social media and in news outlets, Hope followed up with another post thanking everyone for their support:
“We just want to say thank you for the outpouring of love, support & prayers during this extremely difficult time. Lexi was our baby whenever we didn’t think we were going to be able to have one of our own … Our family is definitely missing an integral part now and our hearts will forever be cracked with her absence … I’m so happy that Lexi is being a voice for all other dogs that could have had the same outcome. We love and miss you so much Lexi. We love you forever. Thank you all again.”