It’s almost that time of year again and before we know it the festive period will be here. The shops have been constantly playing Christmas tunes and have been full to the brim of Christmas decorations, presents and festive food for quite some time now.
Whether this Christmas is your first with you dog or whether you have enjoyed previous Christmas times together, it is important to prepare and know the hazards for this magical time of year, to ensure that it is a safe and happy time for both your dog and you.
We may spoil our dogs all year around but when it comes to Christmas we are that bit more generous and laid back, due to the spirit of Christmas and our happy and joyous moods.
However there are some hazards we should look out for and protect our dogs from in the Christmas season:
- If you have a real Christmas tree, be sure to regularly vacuum any needles that have dropped to the floor, as these can be sharp and get stuck, especially in your dog’s paws but also in other parts of their bodies too.
- Not only the needles are a hazard from a real Christmas tree but the water in which the tree sits in is toxic for dogs, so keep the base of the tree wrapped or covered to ensure your dog will not be able to consume the water.
- If you have Christmas lights try to hide electric wires or keep them out of reach of your dog because some dogs may be tempted to chew the wires and they could potentially be electrocuted by doing this.
- Dogs will be amazed and possibly curious by the decorations that hang from your Christmas tree, so try to avoid delicate and fragile decorations or ones that are sharp and could shatter easily, as these could be a real danger if your dog gets hold of one. Tinsel can also be a hazard to dogs, as if ingested it can cause problems with your dogs gastrointestinal tract, so either keep these decorations out of reach of your dog or use alternative decorations.
- Christmas plants such as the Poinsettias, Lillies, Holly and Mistletoe are all poisonous to dogs, so if you have any of these, they should be kept well out of your dogs reach.
- Over the festive period you may have a selection of rich and tasty foods and drinks, this include things such as chocolate, alcohol, coffee, Christmas pudding, fruit cakes, grapes, nuts and raisins etc…. As much as these are tasty and delicious for us to eat, they can be very dangerous if consumed by a dog.
- As large joints of meat are cooked during this time, it is easy to be too kind and think ‘I will save the bone for the dog’, this is not a good idea as only certain types of bones are ideal for dogs and cooked bones should never be given to dogs at all.
The above potential hazards for dogs are simply a guideline for you to follow, every dog behaves different, so some dogs you may be able to trust more with some things, whereas others may be a bit more curious and mischievous and you would therefore need to pay that extra bit of care of Christmas time.
However the mentioned foods and drinks are a danger for all dogs, as are the Christmas tree needles dropping on the floor, so caution should definitely be taken with those.