Christmas, love it or loathe it you know it's coming and 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 are a few hazards to be aware of and avoid over the festive period.
Alcohol - is toxic to dogs and cats and has the potential to seriously harm them. We're not trying to scare monger but even 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 extremely 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, and if he does manage to wolf down the bowl of Quality Street, he will need to go to the vets.
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. Those colourful chocolate doggie calendars may seem appealing but are often just full of sugar and added colours. 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 nice snooze.