At this Festive time of year, Christmas Safety needs to be foremost in our minds. It is easy to get so wrapped up (if you’ll pardon the pun!) in the celebrations, we may miss the dangers to our dogs.
Of course, we all want to enjoy ourselves, but Christmas Safety has to come first. An emergency trip to the vets is certainly not what any of us want. If this is your puppy’s first Christmas, then they are likely to be over excited and possibly confused by all the goings-on.
This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but here our Top 20 Christmas Safety tips you should be looking out for:
- Fairy Lights
At just that chewable height! Can cause electric shock if chewed when switched on.
Plenty around at this time of year. If eaten can cause burns and/or poisoning.
- Silica Gel Packets
Found in many presents. Can cause blockages in the digestive tract.
At any time of year, of course. Can cause stomach irritation, red blood cell damage and anaemia.
- Glass Baubles
Tempting toys just at the right height. Can be easily broken and can cause cuts – internally and externally.
- Cooked Bones
Not just from the turkey. These become brittle and splinter, causing internal damage.
- Blue Cheese
Another Christmas luxury. The mould contains Roquefortine C, which dogs are sensitive to.
Easily spilt, especially when flowing and friends are around. Can cause breathing difficulties. If a large amount is consumed, can even put your dog in a coma.
- Artificial Sweeteners
Far from healthy. Can lead to fatal hypoglycaemia, acute liver disease and blood clotting. Warning – chewing gum contains this. Definitely get to the vets ASAP.
- Toys with small parts
With children around, this is a real danger. These toys can get stuck in the throat or intestines and may need surgery to extract them.
Another Festive Speciality, but poisonous to dogs.
- Poinsettia, Mistletoe, Ivy & Lily
Decorative plants and foliage look nice and make your home Christmassy. However, they are toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, drooling and diarrhoea.
Makes home smell nice, but not great if consumed by dogs. Can cause serious gastrointestinal problems which can last several days.
- Grapes and Raisins
Around all year, these are common ingredients in Festive Fayre. Highly poisonous to dogs, so keep your pets well away from your Mince Pies and Christmas Pud.
- Christmas Tree Needles
Real or synthetic, both present dangers if consumed. Can upset the stomach, cause cuts in the mouth or intestines and could need surgery.
- Wrapping Paper
Plenty of this around at this time of year. Biggest problem is if your dog decides to eat it, as it could cause a blockage that requires surgery to remove.
- Macadamia Nuts
Another Festive treat that you need to keep away from dogs. Can cause weakness, tremors, vomiting and hypothermia within 12 hours of consumption.
Pretty to look at, but not for eating! Can give your dog an upset stomach and get caught in the intestines causing serious damage.
- Mouldy Foods
Who doesn’t have leftovers at this time of year? Not great for humans, but any bugs can also make your dog “proper poorly” too.
- Salt Dough Ornaments
A children’s favourite. But the salt content can cause your dog to vomit or give them diarrhoea or even seizures if they eat them.
These are just some of our Christmas Safety suggestions. There are, of course, other hazards. Be watchful and if you have the slightest concern, contact your vet. For further reading, follow this link to the PDSA website.
As with children’s Christmas presents, it is important to make sure any present you buy your pet is safe. Sadly, there is no requirement for dog toys to be CE marked. So, if you are buying toys, make sure they are from a reputable manufacturer and ALWAYS check the toy before giving it to them. In addition, make sure you supervise them whilst they are playing. It can be all too easy for them to rip the stuffing out and start eating it!
Be wary of buying any dog toys that contain batteries. See above – if they manage to get the battery out and ingest it, this can be extremely nasty.
We are very careful what toys we stock. No toy can be guaranteed indestructible – some dogs seem capable of destroying even the toughest toy. Curiously, we have come across one known power chewer who has made a toy last for ages, whereas another less destructive dog destroyed a similar toy in seconds!
Your Christmas Safety plan needs to make sure that your dog doesn’t feel left out! They will still need their walkies and attention during the day. If you’ve got family around that you haven’t seen for a long time, make sure they are involved with your pet too.
Normally quiet households can be particularly “busy” at this time of year and this can be very unsettling for your dog. So make sure you give them extra attention and reassurance. Make sure they have somewhere to go where they feel safe. A LickiMat, loaded with your dog’s favourite treat can help them relax and destress. Or, pour some Furr Boost onto a LickiMat and freeze it for a super relaxing treat!
We hope you have found our Christmas Safety tips helpful. We at The Doggie Boat want you to enjoy a peaceful and worry free Christmas.