Thinking about getting a puppy sometime soon? It really can be one of the best decisions you will ever make. But I warn you, as a new puppy owner, it can be a lot of work. You better make sure you have done your research and have found the right breed for you. You have the time to put in and you are ready to take care of it night and day. Animals should not be gotten just because they are cute. They are adorable, but there's a lot more to go with it.

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Image Credit: Megan Zee/TSM
Image Credit: Megan Zee/TSM
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Having a puppy is at times like having a toddler. I realize not exactly the same, but since getting our Mini Australian Shepherd a little over a month ago I've found some similarities. Such as he fights sleep and gets ornery as he gets more and more tired. He will cry if you aren't giving him the right amount attention or too much attention. He's teething, but his little teeth are already in and sharp!

But one other thing that can be similar is he puts anything and everything in his mouth if he can. I can't count how many times already, he'll be chomping on something and I have to scoop it out as he tries to get away with his treasure.

However, there was something the other day while I was walking him that I noticed was scattered all over that any dog owner should take note on. Now that Christmas and the holidays are over, everyone is or has taken down their decorations. One of those items for certain households include real Christmas trees.

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When I was walking with Mozzie, again I noticed him pick something up in his mouth real quick and he started chomping away. It was then that I noticed a lot of pine needles and pieces of an old Christmas tree all over the side walk. Reacting right away, I scooped him up and thankfully was able to remove what was a pretty a good sized piece of the tree from out of his mouth before he tried swallowing any of it.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
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He wasn't happy but I think he would have been more unhappy had he actually ate that big piece. For anyone that doesn't know, pine needles can be pretty bad for dogs. While it might not kill your dog, according to Citizen Cane:

The needles can puncture or irritate the lining of your dog's stomach, and the oils can irritate the mucous membranes. The needles may not kill your pet, but they can make him really uncomfortable and ill.

In a few rare instances dogs have had to have emergency surgery to remove the needles and that's the last thing any pet owner would want for their puppy or dog. So if you're out there walking your dog, especially after many have disposed of their Christmas trees lately, be aware of your surroundings and make sure they aren't sneakily trying to eat pine needles or branches the way my little puppy was recently.

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I was lucky and caught it right away, but if you aren't paying attention it could cause some problems. So do your best to keep that pup safe and enjoy your walk around the St. Cloud area!

LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.

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