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Looking at Christmas from your dog’s point of view, it’s a very exciting time of the year when many strange and unusual items are brought into your home, which means it’s time for adventures and mischief for them. Christmas trees, unique plants, shining decorations, presents, and exciting foods will all be of enormous interest to your pet, yet not all of these items are safe if eaten by your dog. Take extra precautions to ensure that your dog is not allowed access to these food and plant products. However, if he does manage to consume any of them, seek assistance and advice from your Vet.
Please remember that if your dog decides to open the Christmas post, it could contain chocolate or small choking hazards.
Pine needles will be sharp and could pierce your dog’s paw pads. Oil from the pine needles may irritate the stomach and mouth, resulting in excessive salivation and vomiting if swallowed. Be aware of your dog attempting to chew the cable on the Christmas lights and even chewing the tinsel or the glitzy baubles on the tree. These could cause an obstruction or, worse still, splinter, resulting in a gastric rupture.
The Holly and The Ivy and the mistletoe too
Holly – The spikey leaves of the holly bush may cause physical damage if eaten, whereas the berries can cause diarrhoea and vomiting.
Ivy – Skin contact with ivy may bring on allergic contact dermatitis or severe irritation.
Mistletoe – European mistletoe is low toxic, but if the berries are eaten, they could cause a stomach upset.
Although not deadly toxic if eaten, Poinsettia can still cause vomiting and excessive salivation.These are just some of the deadly Christmas plants
Toys – Be aware of your dog searching out and chewing small toys, which, although appealing to him, can cause a blockage if swallowed. A lot of toys also contain batteries which is another danger.
Wrapping paper – other than the risk of an obstruction in the gut if eaten, crepe paper and wrapping paper are usually relatively harmless to dogs, other than some staining around their mouth.
Batteries – Your dog may chew a battery and puncture it with his teeth, resulting in chemical burns to his mouth or, in some cases, heavy metal poisoning. A dangerous stomach blockage may occur that will need surgical intervention. Look for symptoms of being off their food, lethargy, vomiting and difficulty defecating.
Silica Gel Sachets – Although non-toxic, these little sachets are often found in packaging with handbags, shoes and electrical items. They aren’t poisonous if swallowed but could cause an obstruction in the gut.
If you’re expecting family and friends to visit your home over the festive period, take care with gaping doors and be prepared for your dog to rush through an open door, especially if there are strangers around. Ensure that your dog has been microchipped and is wearing a collar with ID if they decide it’s time to escape from the stress and noise of the party.
Numerous toxic food items present a danger if eaten by your dogs, such as Macadamia nuts, fruit cake, Christmas pudding and mince pies, which all contain dried fruit, and of course, chocolate which contains theobromine, which is highly toxic if eaten by your pet. Avoid putting chocolate tree decorations on or under the Christmas tree, as we all know the temptation to eat it is just too great for any dog.
Alcohol can have a similar effect on dogs to humans, becoming drowsy and wobbly if taken in excess. Low blood sugar, coma and low body temperature will occur in severe cases.
We cannot think of a more serious way to spend the Christmas Holidays with your pet and an emergency visit to the Vet’s surgery. By being aware of any dangers and potential hazards in your home, you can take appropriate precautions to ensure that you and your dog will have a fabulous Christmas.