At Christmas time it's all too easy for the family pets to get up to more mischief than normal! The last thing any pet owner wants over the festive period is a sick pet and an emergency run to the vets. Here a few hazards to be aware of and avoid over the festive period. Some are well known, others may not be:
Alcohol - is toxic to dogs and cats and has the potential to seriously harm them. A small dose of alcohol can be lethal to a smaller dog. If you think your dog has had some (no matter what their size) and you observe decreased reactions or mood changes get them to the vet as soon as possible.
Chocolate - probably the most well-known hazard for dogs, and indeed it is toxic to both dogs and cats. The ingredient that they can't handle is called Theobromine which can increase blood pressure, induces vomiting and can cause arrhythmia. Given the higher availability of chocolate around Christmas think about what your dog can reach and help himself to. Do warn any house guests to keep all chocolate treats out of the reach of the pets too.
Turkey Bones – should not be fed to your pet as they can splinter, cause internal damage or become lodged - avoid all-together.
Raisins and Grapes - another toxic hazard for dogs, when eaten they can lead to renal failure. Dried forms of the above are a no-no as well; so no mince pies, Christmas pudding or Christmas cake.
Tinsel, wrapping paper, foil and cling film - all the typical debris from Christmas presents are choke hazards for dogs & cats and can get wrapped around the intestines if swallowed.
Christmas tree decorations - dogs have been known to feed off low hanging chocolate decorations on Christmas trees. Keep them high and out of reach of inquisitive noses as the foil wraps won't help their digestive systems either!
Christmas tree water - since the water is low to the ground, dogs have access to it and tend to knock the tree over trying to get at it! If your tree was grown with pesticides or chemical fertilizers, the water will be tainted with it. Holly, mistletoe and poinsettias are also toxic to dogs & cats.
Unfamiliar foods - Not really a hazard, but try to endeavour to buy healthy presents for your pets this Christmas. Treats from Trophy are ideal!
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 their food and water, and can have a snooze. It’s so much better than having an excited two year old pulling your ears.