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Christmas Hazards for Dogs & Cats and How to Avoid Them

1 CommentFriday, 19 December 2014  |  Kate

Christmas, love it or loathe it you know it's coming and it's all too easy for the family pets to get up to mischief.

Last Christmas my kitten Cleo was just an absolute site as she raced through a sea of wrapping paper and hid in various sized boxes, can you imagine the excitement? Watching her antics for five minutes could be a possible cure for depression!

Luckily no harm came and she didn't choke on anything so I'm not trying to patronise you by listing a few pet hazards to avoid this Christmas, just sharing.

Hazards:

 
  1. Alcohol - is toxic to dogs and cats and has the potential to seriously harm or kill your pets. We're not trying to scare monger but even a small dose of alcohol can be lethal to a smaller dog. If you think your dog has had swiped some and you see staggering, decreased reactions or mood changes get them to the vet as soon as possible.

  2. Chocolate - probably the most well-known dog poison, and indeed it is extremely toxic to both dogs and cats. The ingredient that dogs and cats can't handle is called Theobromine which can increase blood pressure, induce vomiting and affect the central nervous system. Remember that the darker the chocolate: the higher the concentration of Theobromine. Given the higher availability of chocolate around Christmas it is far more likely that your dog manages to wolf down a Green Triangle, again: to the vets!

  3. Salt - in large doses Salt can lead to kidney failure and produce an imbalance in your dog's electrolyte levels in turn affecting the amount of water in their bodies. If you want to give your dog their own Christmas dinner, stick to raw meat and veg.

  4. Cooked Bones - you all know this easy one, bones tend to split when cooked and can splinter in your dog's throat or puncture vital organs so only give them raw uncooked bones.

  5. Raisins and Grapes - another toxic hazard for dogs, although the reason behind it is unknown, it is known to lead to renal (kidney) failure. Dried fruit is a no-no as well; if you want to indulge your dog over Xmas please don't make it a mince pie! Instead try a healthy substitute like Munchies Chicken Chips.

  6. Tinsel, wrapping paper, foil and Clingfilm - all the typical debris from Christmas presents are choke hazards for dogs and can get wrapped around the intestines if swallowed. Make sure to clear up every bit of wrapping paper when you're done.

  7. Christmas tree decorations - just as the deer feed off low hanging branches in the forest, dogs have been known to feed off low hanging chocolate decorations on Christmas trees. Keep them high out of reach of inquisitive noses as the foil won't help their digestive systems either!

  8. Christmas Lights - Exposed wires from Christmas lights can easily be chewed on and can lead to an electric shock and in some cases burns around a dog's mouth. Make sure to hide those wires safely where your dog can't get to them and turn them off when you go out.

  9. Unfamiliar foods - Not really a hazard per say but try to endeavour to buy healthy presents for your pets this Christmas. Those colourful doggie calendars may seem appealing but are often just full of sugar and added colours.

Tips
  1. Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean you need to introduce anything into your dog's system they are unlikely to tolerate. If you want to treat your dog try our range of Healthy Treats.

  2. It's a good idea to walk your dog early on in the day so it's not on your mind and you are free to relax and enjoy your Christmas.

  3. In order to avoid your dog eating something harmful, hide some of our healthy treats inside a toy like a Kong – available from good pet shops – and they should be occupied for hours while you open your presents.

  4. New people and loud noises at Christmas can make a lot of dogs nervous so set up somewhere peaceful, away from the madness where they can relax. Make sure they have access to a little food and drink as well and they can have a snooze. It sounds much better than having an excited two year old shoving a crayon up your nose!

Remember to have a happy and safe Christmas this year.

Merry Christmas!


Christine Eldridge
Friday, 19 December 2014  |  16:09

Thanks Kate for all your help and great website!
Happy Christmas to you and your 4 legged friends.