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Christmas safety for your dog

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‘Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season us fur mums and dads need to dog proof our Christmas celebrations!!

Who knew that there would be so many things we need to consider at Christmas time when we have our much loved dogs to share in the joy and festivities?

Christmas and the holiday season is about coming together as a family, seeing our friends and just enjoying the Christmas spirit. And for this reason, we have put together a much needed cautionary list for doggy safety, so that you can enjoy the company of family and friends rather than be stressed and concerned at the emergency vet clinic.

And the vet clinic is the first place to start.

Before the holiday season kicks in be sure to consult with your vet to work out their opening times over the holidays. When are they open and who should you call if anything were to happen?

It’s always beneficial to also find out which pet clinics or emergency hospitals will be open over the holiday period and to have their numbers saved in your phone or stuck to your fridge.

It never hurts to be too prepared.

And then comes the list of what to be cautious of this Christmas with your favourite fur baby in mind!

There are five main categories to consider. There’s food, medications, environment, holiday messes and Christmas dressings!!

Let’s start with the different foods you need to keep out of reach of our four legged friends:

  • Chocolate (dark chocolate is especially dangerous)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Grapes, sultanas, currents and raisins (things like mince pies and puddings)
  • Chives and onions
  • Blue Cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Fatty leftovers
  • Cooked bones
  • Artificial sweeteners (considered to be deadly)
  • Salt dough ornaments (can cause a fatal salt toxicosis)

There’s always a lot of food floating around when it’s the holiday season, so it really is best to stick to their normal diet and maybe a few dog friendly treats along the way!

With any food, make sure it is out of reach. If you know Christmas presents contain food take them off the floor. If you are having people over and food drops to the ground, be sure to pick it up as soon as possible. The same goes for leaving plates and drinks on the floor, empty or otherwise.

Next up is medications!

There are actually 2 things to consider here.

One is that with the busy season we really want to make sure that our dog’s preventative healthcare measures are up-to-date. Be sure to set reminders on your phone or mark your calendar and keep your dog’s flea, tick and worming treatments current as well as any vaccinations they may need at that time.

Two, with the holiday season there is usually a higher consumption of alcohol which can often lead to headaches the next day. So with all the extra paracetamol and ibuprofen laying around, be sure to keep these out of reach of any fur children as this can be extremely dangerous!

After medications comes your dog’s environment.

The holiday season can often see more people coming into the home as well as having you out of the home more often and for longer periods of time.

If you know your dog becomes stressed with loud noises and lots of strangers in the home, be sure to create a safe haven for them somewhere in the house where they can relax with some soothing music and be checked in on regularly.

If your dog has severe separation anxiety, be sure to either take them with you if you can or try your hand at some natural and herbal remedies to soothe their anxious minds and bodies.

In both cases it’s always a good idea to take them for a big run and play before any event so that they are tired and relaxed.

With the holiday season comes holiday messes

Things like cigarette butts lying around or wrapping paper and ribbons left strewn across the floor can lead to some serious and sometimes deadly consequences. There’s also things like Silica gel which are those little sachets of gel usually found in shoe boxes etc.

In the moment of celebrating and diving into presents we can often forget about our furry friends sniffing around on the floor, hoping to hoover up any missed crumbs. If any of the above were to be consumed it could lead to choking or obstructions not to mention toxicity.

Always have fun but be sure to keep everything off the floor when you can.

And last but not least, let’s dive into the world of Christmas dressings and all things Christmas!

There’s a long list of things to be cautious with in this category. So let’s just start with one and make our way through:

  • Real Christmas trees (the pine needles if eaten is toxic to dogs and can cause internal damage)
  • The chemicals and fertilisers used in the water supply for the real trees can be extremely unsafe for dogs if they were to drink the water)
  • Secure the Christmas tree, especially if they are big and heavy – if they were to fall on your pet it could be fatal
  • Plastic Christmas trees can also cause internal damage and blockages if your dog were to consume any of the plastic pine needles
  • Tinsel (eaten can cause blockages and internal damage)
  • Christmas ornaments, whether they are plastic or glass could be dangerous if broken
  • Fairy lights dangling or laying on the floor can be very interesting to a curious dog, if they were to play with it or chew at it, it could lead to burns and electric shocks
  • Wires and cables are also a safety hazard – keep them high and out of reach
  • Poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, and ivy are all considered Christmas foliage which can be quite toxic for dogs if ingested
  • Snow globes are beautiful at Christmas time but if broken the antifreeze inside them can be fatal for pets
  • Potpourri has a beautiful aroma and can add to the Christmas atmosphere but it can also cause significant gastrointestinal effects for our dogs if they were to ingest any
  • Candles – they’re pretty and set the mood – just be sure to keep them out of reach and in a safe place where they won’t be knocked over. It’s also a good idea to use dog friendly scents.

Lastly, with all the Christmas cheer and dressing up – avoid tying ribbons and bows around  your dogs neck in an attempt to have them fit in with the Christmas cheer. It can very well become a choking hazard and it’s just not worth the risk.

So, you have been given a lot of things to consider for the Christmas season! Our dog’s are part of the family and we should do what we can do dog proof our Christmas celebrations. For the most part it’s just being aware and also keeping everything off the floor.

Be sure to have yourself a Merry Christmas and if you have any other Christmas caution to share, we’d love to hear about it! Information shared is a potential life spared. Leave a comment or email us at [email protected].

Paws of Love,

Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo

P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.

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