Christmas should be an enjoyable time for all the family including your four-legged family members. Follow these tips to help you and your dog have a stress free vet free Christmas.
Food Faux Paws
Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies are a no-no for dogs at Christmas, as most of them contain raisins and sultanas that can prove fatal to dogs if eaten.
Chocolate contains theobromine which can cause problems for your dog, especially dark chocolate and cocoa. Keep any chocolate presents out of your dogs reach, even when wrapped your dog can still smell them.
Turkey and chicken bones can get stuck in your dogs throat and cause choking or splinter which could cause throat injuries. Keep an eye on your dog when cooking Christmas dinner and keep leftovers where they can't reach them. If your dog eats food unfamiliar to them or food that's too rich it might give them diarrhea.
Consider making your dog some special festive homemade treats you can find hundreds of recipes on the internet.
If you have a real tree make sure it is anchored properly so your dog can't pull it over. If it is kept in water your dog might be tempted to take a drink so either put a fringe around the tree or put a lid on the stand. Real trees also tend to drop needles which could be painful if your dog swallows them or gets them stuck in their paw pads. Make sure you check around the tree and clear up any dropped needles.
Some dogs like to chew on tinsel but it could get caught in their stomach leading to painful and expensive surgery. If your dog is a chewer be careful with electric lights too as they could cause an electric shock if your dog chewed through the wire.
Teach your dog the 'leave' command around the tree or put up a barrier to prevent your dog from getting to it. Also consider putting the tree in a room where your dog has only supervised access.
Real holly, mistletoe and poinsettia like many flowers and plants are also poisonous to dogs.
Traditional decorations, such as baubles, can be very brittle and easily break, be careful with glass decorations as if they shatter the pieces are likely to be sharp.
If your dog is reactive to fireworks they probably won't like the sound of party poppers or crackers. You can buy crackers that don't have the snap and make sure your dog doesn't swallow any little toys from inside them.
Remember that some dogs might find Christmas a stressful time especially if it is their first one or if you have lots of visitors coming. remember to never leave dogs unsupervised around children and teach children to leave your dog alone if he is stressed, tired or unwell.
Have a safe Christmas and holiday season.
Samantha and Charlie @waggycampers