A Dog’s Christmas
Christmas is a time of family, fun and enjoyment for all, including the dogs! There are many ways you can really include your four legged family members within all the festivities which is great! However, within the mist of all the fun there are certain things you need to be aware of to ensure the safety of your dog at all times.
Below are just some of the things that will appear over Christmas that you need to be aware of when living with dogs.
Chocolate is poisonous not only to dogs but other animals such as cats and rabbits. It contains a chemical named theobromine. Theobromine is present in all chocolates, but is much more potent in darker chocolates. White chocolate contains very little theobromine but it is still in there, as it is in milk chocolates. The darker the chocolate the more danger your dog is in. However all chocolate contains the chemical and should not be fed to dogs.
Symptoms of theobromine poisoning include but are not limited to vomiting, diarrhea and fitting. These symptoms can be fatal and so it is at this time of year you need to be most vigilant. Ensure any advent calender’s are kept out of reach of your dog, and any chocolate wrapped gifts should not be placed under the tree.
With food and drinks all around them, dogs could easily be forgiven for being attracted to some more appealing drinks such as cream or egg based drinks. Alcohol is understood to be more reactive to animals than humans. Animals are much more sensitive to ethanol than humans are and therefore even a small amount can cause illness. Symptoms can include but are not limited to vomiting, diarrhea and can cause seizures and coma. Be vigilant with your dogs throughout the festive period and don’t be tempted to let them ‘try a bit’ with you.
Raisins, Currents and Grapes
All currents, raisins, grapes and sultanas are toxic to dogs, however the exact reason is not known why. It is believed that dried forms of all the above are more toxic than their grape form.
Symptoms can be delayed and not start to show for up to 72 hours after the event. These can include but are not limited to vomiting, diarrhea and kidney failure. It is important to keep all of these foods out of reach from your dog, and to remember what they are in! It can be easy to feed your dog a little treat from the Christmas table, but these ingredients can be found in Christmas cakes, mince pies and Christmas puddings to name a few. Ensure all those at your table know what they can and can’t feed your dog to avoid any possible problems.
Cooked bones can be deadly as will splinter easily. If your dog gets hold of a cooked bone any large splinters can become lodged in their throat to cause an obstruction. Smaller splinters can cause gut problems and can even penetrate the stomach or intestine wall. This can result in costly surgery as well as one very poorly pup. To avoid this situation ensure all carcasses are disposed off immediately after cooking or kept out of reach of your dog.
Not to be confused with the American poison ivy which is not commonly found here in the UK, the ivy vine can cause irritation to the skin and possible vomiting if digested.
The common plant of Christmas is a beautiful addition to most house holds over the festive season. There are two arguments as to the toxicity of this plant, and its potency is often over exaggerated. However, it can still cause vomiting and it is recommended you keep it out of reach of all animals.
This plant has a very low toxicity and is not generally considered a danger, however its physical appearance can be harmful. The spiky edges to the holly leaf are painful to touch and can cause physical damage if eaten or trodden on. If your holly still has its berries, these can cause vomiting if eaten.
Christmas trees are not considered dangerous to animals as are low in toxicity, however their dropped needles contains oils that can cause illness to dogs if eaten or chewed. Symptoms can include but are not limited to severe salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. Keep an eye of your Christmas tree and if your dog is interested in the dropped needles, clear them away as they fall to avoid any possible problems.
Great care must be taken when using any antifreeze products as these may contain the chemical ethylene glycol. This chemical can be lethal when ingested. Symptoms can include but are not limited to dizziness, drowsiness and vomiting and you should contact your vet at the first signs of any antifreeze poisoning. Not only do you need to consider your use of any antifreeze product, but when your out pavement walking your dog it is highly likely that they will be stepping in various forms of antifreeze products that are used on the roads, private paths and driveways. Later on when you are home you may notice your dog licking their paws as ethylene glycol is sweet to taste. There are various things you can do to prevent this from happening such as to clean their paws after any winter pavement walking.
Batteries are dangerous to dogs just as they are to humans when penetrated. If your dog gets hold of any batteries for a good chewing session this can result in chemical burns and in extreme cases heavy metal poisoning. Be vigilant with any new toys and batteries over Christmas ensuring your dog does not have access.
Christmas is a time for fun and laughter and we wish you and your four legged family members a very Merry Christmas!
Love from all at Bojangles Pets