Christmas dangers for dog owners to watch out for, says NI vet
Christmas is a great time for everyone to get together and enjoy each other’s company, but there are a few items to keep our dogs away to ensure they can enjoy the holiday season as well.
James Buick, a vet at the Comber and Ards Vet Clinic, put together a list of items this time of year we should keep out of reach.
This is the number one food hazard that many dog ââfamilies are familiar with – never feed your dog chocolate!
But when it’s Christmas and the families are there for a few drinks and a party, it can be easier for the chocolate to drop on the floor and be picked up by our dogs.
Chocolate can be extremely toxic to dogs, with the chemical theobromine causing everything from stomach aches to heart palpitations – so be extra careful to keep it out of reach.
The toxic dose will vary depending on the size of the dog and the amount and type of chocolate ingested. A German Shepherd who laughs at a strawberry cream will be much less at risk than a Chihuahua who eats his own weight in the best 70% cocoa chocolate from Green & Black, but it is advisable to contact your vet just to be sure.
Raisins and other dried fruits found in Christmas foods such as Christmas tarts and cakes can also be very toxic to dogs.
The toxic dose with these is much less predictable than with chocolate, so it is advisable to contact the vet if your dog gets paws on the Christmas pud.
If you are refueling the car, be sure not to spill any antifreeze, as the sweet-tasting ethylene glycol is both attractive and deadly to dogs.
Toys, decorations and ornaments
At Christmas, the house is full of potential dangers in the form of festive decorations.
If your dog is inclined to eat random things, let everyone know so they can keep an eye out and make sure the dog isn’t laughing at the garlands, please!
If we’re lucky enough to have a White Christmas this year, keep in mind that gravel on trails and roads can irritate and inflame paws.
It is recommended that you wash your dog’s paws with hot soapy water after hiking snowy trails.
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