The Hidden Dangers of Christmas for your Dog.

Christmas is almost upon us, I am looking forward to the festive break, seeing family and friends too. I’ll admit I have already started my Christmas indulgence with Mulled Cider, the occasional Snow Ball, Stollen Cake and Mince pies. Quick question how many Mince Pies is too many….asking for a friend!
But with the exciment of Christmas it is easy to forget the hidden dangers that pop up for our dogs. So this is my quick guide on what to keep an eye out for!

Christmas TreesHaving a real Fir or Pine tree in the house is one of the wonders of the festive season. Although they look lovely, they can be troublesome for dogs. The oils in fir trees can be mildly toxic, causing stomach upsets if your dog ingests them. The needles themselves can get stuck in your pet’s paw and those needles are sharp. Regularly sweep/hover up needles and close the door of the tree room when you go out, to avoid any accidents.

Open Doors, Family Staying and Visiting Friends.Christmas time often means a busy home, with friends and family coming together in seasonal spirit. Remember that new faces and more noise can be scary for your dog, so it’s a good idea to provide them with a safe room/space like their bed, they can escape to and be put at ease if it all becomes too much.
With visitors means the door is opening and closing a lot, the front gate might not get closed either. Staying guests might forget about your dog with their activities, so take a moment to remind everyone who comes in that your dog could escape if the door/gates aren’t closed. Put a sign on the inside of your front door too.
It’s also important to maintain your dog’s normal routines, especially with feeding and exercise, to avoid them becoming too unsettled.

Food and TreatsOver christmas there is usally more food and treats around the home, make sure you keep them well out of reach of your dog. The last thing you want is an ill dog over the festive period. There are a number of human foodgs not safe for dogs, so if you have visitors around it might be worth reminding them whats not suitable for your dog..The list includesChocolate / SweetsOnions, Garlic, AvocadoGrapes, Raisins,Baked goods / sugary foodAlcoholNutsCorn on the CobBlue cheese / Mouldy foodCaffeine / Tea / CoffeeChristmas cake, Mince Pies, Most of all use your common sense if you don’t think your dog should eat it then you are probably right.

Fairy Lights, Baubles, tinsel and moreThe fairy lights which dangle and adorn are tempting chew items for some dogs. Try to place them out of reach, and always turn the lights off when leaving your dog unattended.Ensure you secure or hide any trailing wires too.
Baubles and Tinsel provide irresistible play opportunities for your dog. Be careful, tree decorations can be dangerous chocolate/edible treats are harmful to dogs so hang those yummy decorations out of reach. Anything knocked off the tree can be swallowed by our inquisitive pups, and broken ornaments can get stuck in a paw or cause cuts too.
Poinsettias, mistletoe and hollyFestive Plants are Christmas favourites, bringing lots of cheer and colour into the home. However they are dangerous for pets with varying levels of toxicity, the side effects depend on how much of the plant is consumed. Display out of reach to avoid any tummy troubles.If you think your dog has eaten part of your plant get straight on the phone to your vet.

AntifreezeOK not strictly a Christmas item but it should be included due to the inevitable frosts and ice, and for our four-legged friends, the smell of antifreeze is extremely alluring. With the onset of winter comes the inevitable frosts and ice, and for our four-legged friends, the smell of antifreeze is extremely alluring. But it is hugely toxic and can be fatal, so be careful not to spill any on the ground, and keep bottles out of reach – even the smallest amount can be dangerous.

VetsOver the festive period it will be highly likely your Vet will be only running in case of an emergencey. So make sure you are well aware ahead of time what your Vet has in place. Is there an emergency number, will there only be one Vet practice open for your area?Ensure that if your dog is on any medication you have enough to get them through the holiday period.
Take CareSuzanne Chief Canine Happiness Officer

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