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Could Homemade Dough Ornaments Harm Your Dog?

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It’s that time of the year again when we start seeing super cute tutorials for making salt dough ornaments for the tree. Children love to make them, they’re very inexpensive, and they provide a great way to preserve a memory, whether that’s a dog’s paw print or a child’s hand print.

There’s only one problem: that salt dough is toxic to dogs.

Made with only salt, flour, and water, the dough ornaments can be poisonous if eaten by a dog, even once the ornament is dried and hung on the tree. Salt toxicity is a real risk with salt dough due to the high salt content. We had several salt dough ornaments of our own that we bought in Ecuador when we were there on assignment years ago (above). We no longer use them on the tree because we learned that salt dough–including most homemade play dough–is extremely toxic to dogs with potentially life-threatening toxicity.

Instead of salt dough, consider clay kits to preserve your dog’s paw print! These are also extremely easy to use. Kits like Pet Paw Print Kit (on Amazon)* are an easy way to create a long-lasting ornament without the danger of salt dough! Other alternatives are to make ornaments using archival paper with an inked impression of your dog’s paw, or outline your dog’s paw with an embroidered ornament.

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