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Christmas…. a time for all the family, including our four-legged family members. We all love to treat our pets at Christmas time but along with all the fantastic times you can have with your dog, there are several things to consider, to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable festive period too.

The things to be aware of:

  • Decorations
  • Food
  • Guests ;)
  • Wrapped presents

Dogs and decorations

The tree

If you have a ‘real’ tree, there are two things to look out for. If your dog spends any amount of time walking or rolling in an area where pine needles have freshly fallen off the tree, it could result in them getting stuck in their coat or paws, so keep the hoover on standby! Real trees may release toxic sap into their stand reservoir which some dogs like the smell of, enough to give it a taste! Try to make sure the tree stand is well hidden and not easily accessible.

Artificial trees don’t pose the same risks but due to being plastic and often structure with wire, if indigested, could cause quite serious digestive damage.

Lights (cava, Dachshund)

Jack Russell in front of a tree

Flashing lights might appeal to your pooch as a plaything which could mean they fancy a play or chew. Again, if they then decide to try and gobble the lights down, this could cause digestive system blockages and if bitten through, possible electrocution. If you know your dog loves anything shiny or sparkly be sure to keep the lights as out of their reach as possible.

Glass ornaments, baubles, and bouncy dogs…

We know it’s not always possible to cut out all glass baubles or other Christmas related glass ‘ornaments’ but you should look to keep them out of your dogs reach. It goes without saying smashed glassed from an excited bouncy dog could result in paw problems or, if eaten or chewed, cuts to their nose, throat and digestive system.

Tinsel and tummies

Due to its nature, of consisting of covered metal wire and modified PVC, it can cause very serious problems when chewed and accidentally swallowed. Do your best not too add tinsel to your Christmas decoration list.

Toxic Food for Dogs

We all like to treat ourselves and go all out on the food and drink front (think mountains of celebrations and roses washed down by anything alcoholic) but there are some foods that we eat at Christmas that are considered toxic to your dog. These are:

  • Christmas pudding, mince pies and Christmas cake (as they will contain currants, sultanas and raisins)
  • Chocolate
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Anything that contains onions (garlic, shallots, or chives) – this could be your Christmas dinner
  • Alcohol

Guests giving treats

You may also have more guests round over the period (within the 3-household limit), who may not be aware of your treat policy and will hand off bits of their xmas dinner to your dog. It might be worth communicating to your guests that whilst this may not be immediately toxic, the extra treats will pile on the pounds!

Mince pies and holly

Festive plants

Decorations are just limited to baubles, trees and lights. You might also be partial to plants to add even more vibrancy to your house over the Christmas period. The ones to watch for with your dog are:

  • Poinsettia
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Ivy

Presents and your pooch

Outside of the possibility of you coming home to a tree surrounded by destroyed presents, your pooch may also fancy chomping down on some wrapping paper and present boxes which is unlikely to do their stomach any good!

Consult your vet

We always suggest that if your dog finds themselves in any of the situations above and you are worried about them to consult your local vet.

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