Dog Owner Guides | Christmas and the festive Season
The season of joy and goodwill to all people and our dogs is nearly upon us. Christmas is a very exciting and busy time for us all, but it's important we don't forget about our four-legged friends in the midst of all the excitement!
With this in mind, we've pulled together our top festive tips to ensure a fun and safe Christmas this holiday season.
Festive decorations can help us all get into the holiday spirit, but its important these are kept out of reach of curious paws and noses. Always be careful if you’re putting up fairy lights, baubles, and tinsel which can easily be chewed or swallowed and cause serious problems, so make sure they’re kept well out of reach of your dog.
It’s also important to note that some of our favourite festive plants are highly poisonous to dogs. These include holly, ivy and poinsettia which are all toxic to pets. If you are choosing to use these to help decorate your home, make sure they are at heights no animal can take a cheeky nibble.
Likewise, our dogs can be very interested in the gifts we’ve hidden under the Christmas Tree, especially those of the edible kind! If your pet has eaten anything they shouldn’t have – contact your vet immediately for advice. Plus keep an eye out for silica gel which comes in small sachets and is often found in packaging.
You may be hosting or attending plenty of parties over Festive period. Great fun for you, but it could be a bit overwhelming or over-exciting for your dog. If you will be having friends and family over to your house or you plan to visit them, think about whether your dog might prefer to sit the party out and instead enjoy a relaxing nap somewhere else in the house.
A table full of delicious festive food can often be too tempting to ignore, especially for curious pups. Christmas food which your dog should avoid is Chocolate, Grapes and Raisins, (these are in a lot of Christmas food such as mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding) - If your dog eats any of these they should be taken to see your vet ASAP.
Turkey Skin and Fat from the Christmas Ham and other meat should also be avoided, as these foods are too rich for your dog and can lead to gastroenteritis. Signs of that your dog may have gastroenteritis and will need to see a vet ASAP are listed below;
• Vomiting (may appear foamy and yellow in colour once the stomach has been emptied)
• Stomach pain (your dog may be restless or adopting a praying position with the front legs stretched and the back end raised)
• Lack of appetite
• Gagging or non-productive heaving
Alcohol can have a similar effect in dogs as it does in their owners when drunk in excess. They can become wobbly and drowsy and in severe cases, there is a risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma. Dogs may help themselves to any unattended alcohol left lying around over Christmas, so ensure it's always out of their reach.