Christmas is one of the happiest times of the year for us humans.
But for our dogs, it can also be one of the most dangerous…
Between the tree, the decorations, the unbelievable amounts of chocolate, small toys, batteries, bones from your Christmas turkey and more, the list of potential hazards for your pooches goes on and on…
In a bid to save you an expensive (and potentially upsetting) trip to the vets, we’ve put together a list of some of the most common ‘Christmas Calamities’ for pooches.
Christmas Calamity 1: Food & Drink
When it comes to Christmas hazards for your dog, the first thing that comes to mind is chocolate, right?
For humans, chocolate is the ultimate treat, especially at Christmas time with the numerous boxes of Celebrations and advent calendars laying around.
Nevertheless, ALWAYS keep chocolate high up and out of reach of your dog… CHOCOLATE IS HIGHLY TOXIC.
What many people don’t realise is that the darker the chocolate is, the more dangerous it is for your dog.
Why is chocolate so bad for dogs?
Chocolate is toxic for dogs because of the theobromine.
This chemical is easily digested in humans, but for dogs, digestion is much slower.
This is what causes the toxicity.
At Christmas, the possibility of chocolate being wrapped and placed under your tree – in full reach of your dog – is extremely high.
If you’re receiving a gift from a loved one that could contain chocolate, make sure to ask the gifter what’s inside.
That way, you can keep the gift way out of reach of your pooch!
The same also applies if you are gifting someone else chocolate who you know is a dog owner. Be a pal, and let them know!
Don’t forget about the stockings!
Stockings are also usually full of delicious chocolaty treats for us to enjoy.
However, it’s easy for our dogs to jump up at the fireplace, pulling them down and eating the contents of the inside.
Make sure to keep your stockings high up and as out of reach of your pesky pooches as possible.
What symptoms should I look out for if my dog eats chocolate?
Here are some symptoms to look out for if your dog helps themself to your chocolate stash:
- Heart problems
- Kidney issues
- Even death
If you suspect chocolate has been ingested, it’s always best to ring your vet for advice. Make sure to keep hold of any empty wrappers in case your vet asks to see them.
Raisins & Nuts
Throughout the Christmas season, there are lots of foods that contain raisins.
Christmas pudding, mince pies, cookies, cakes – there are loads of ’em.
For humans, the sweetness of the dried fruit can be extremely tasty. However, for dogs, they can be highly toxic and cause kidney dysfunction issues.
Similarly, nuts and grapes are also toxic to dogs.
Nuts have a high possibility of getting lodged in their intestines, and if a large quantity is consumed, it can also be extremely bad for your pooch’s heart.
The quickest way for a vet to treat a dog who has eaten raisins or nuts is to induce vomiting.
This is often performed as a life-saving measure, but it’s not kind to your wallet, and it’s not a pleasant experience (for you or your pet.)
We all look forward to tucking into a tasty Christmas dinner.
We’re pretty sure our dogs do too, what with all the potential bits and pieces that are dropped on the floor for them to quickly hoover up!
But a quick word of warning… whichever poultry you prefer, they all contain bones!
Once the bones are cooked, they become brittle and have the ability to splinter.
If dogs consume bones, they can quickly cause blockages in their digestive system.
Therefore, if you’re going to treat your dog this Christmas by feeding them any meat – make sure that it is thoroughly checked for bones first.
To help prevent issues, opt to prepare your meat on a kitchen surface out of your dog’s reach.
Then, when the big day comes to an end, throw the carcass in the OUTSIDE BIN.
Alcohol is the best part of Christmas…right? However, any form of alcohol is incredibly toxic for dogs it can cause symptoms such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Potential Death
So, clean up all spillages and keep all drinks high up and out of our dog’s reach.
Christmas Calamity 2: Home Decorations
Christmas trees are the heart of a home at this time of year.
They bring coziness, light and joy to numbers of families across the globe.
However, like most fun things at Christmas time, they can be dangerous to your pooches.
The pine needles on your trees are sharp, with the ability to cut your dog’s mouth, or even worse, puncture their intestines.
The best way to stop this from happening is to vacuum the needles daily.
Fairy lights are also highly hazardous for your dogs.
If the wire of the fairy lights is left on the floor, there is a high possibility for your dog to chew through it.
If chewed, this could cause electric shocks. Just like humans, a big shock can be fatal, so stay on the safe side.
Glass ornaments, well, where do we start?
They have the opportunity to fall off the tree and smash into a million pieces.
The glass can get stuck in your dog’s paws, cut their stomachs and cause numerous blockages in their digestive system.
Go for shatterproof decorations. They’re just as beautiful but much more pet friendly.
Diffusers are the ultimate gift to receive at Christmas, alongside making your home smell marvellous for your guests this year.
However, research suggests that there are some essential oils that are harmful for your dog such as;
- Tea Tree
Symptoms of oil poisoning in Dogs:
- Watering nose and eyes
- Vomiting and drooling
- Difficulty breathing
- Low heart rate
If you notice your dog showing any of these symptoms, ring your vet immediately.
As the oils can potentially stick to your dog’s lungs and block their airways, your vet will likely induce vomiting.
Christmas Calamity 3: Toys & Batteries
It is guaranteed if you have children, small toys and batteries will be laying around all over the floor and house at Christmas time. It is important that all toys and batteries are kept away from dogs as they can cause various issues making them seriously ill. If your dog gets hold of that pesky toy or small battery not only will this be a nightmare for you and your children but can be potentially fatal for you pooch!
Small toys have the opportunity to get lodged in your dog’s digestive system causing various blockages.
If batteries are indulged, they can corrode inside your dog’s stomach, leading to chemical burns.
If you think your dog has swallowed a battery, it’s a medical emergency. Ring the vet immediately!
The moral of the story is…
Stick to what you usually feed your dogs
Keep everything out of reach of your pet that is highly hazardous
Remember these two tips, and you’ll have a carefree relaxing Christmas with a healthy pooch (and a bank account that will thank you at the end of it!)