Christmas and Dogs!

Christmas is the time of year to celebrate and get together with family and friends. Dogs, being part of the family as well, should definitely be part of it too! But there are lots of hidden dangers and hazards for them that all dog owners should be aware of to keep them safe! 

First, there are a few kinds of food that can be hazardous to dogs (some are very poisonous!).

1. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs as it contains the chemical theobromine. The darker the chocolate the more poisonous it is as there is a higher percentage of the chemical in it. Some of the symptoms are nervousness, hyperactivity, shaking and spasms, and heart problems. Even in little amounts. If your dog eats any more than 20mg/kg of chocolate (theobromine), it is best to see the vet for treatment.

2. Christmas Puddings and Mince Pies contains grapes and other dried fruits which are also very poisonous to dogs. They could cause severe kidney damage, even in very little amounts.

3. Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Shallots, Chives (Allium family) are toxic whether cooked or uncooked. The initial symptoms include vomiting and diarrhoea but later it would potentially cause red blood cell damage eventually leading to anaemia.

4. Alcohol has the same effect in dogs as in humans, where they can get wobbly, drowsy, and in more severe situations low body temperature, low blood sugar and possibly a coma. So, make sure you keep it out of reach of your dogs!

5. Macadamia Nuts can cause tiredness, increased body temperature, shaking, limping, and stiffness.

6. Artificial sweeteners contain the chemical xylitol, which is present in some Christmas sweets. It can affect the insulin levels, causing low blood sugar and potentially lead to liver damage. But it could be treated if the low blood sugar is caught quickly.

7. Also, be careful with leftovers as many can contain potentially toxic ingredients for dogs and some may contain mould. The mould can create toxins, eventually leading to convulsions. So, again make sure to keep these out of reach! Some can cause choking and certain cooked bones could splinter if eaten causing injury.

Second, there are a whole bunch of Christmas plants that people buy can be dangerous. These are some of the common ones!

 1. Poinsettia: These are not as poisonous as people first thought but if ingested it could cause irritation to the mouth and stomach and possibly vomiting.

2. Holly: The leaves and berries contain some chemicals that are poisonous to dogs. If a large amount is ingested, then vet treatment is needed (more than 5 berries). Some of the symptoms include diarrhoea, upset stomach, and loss of appetite. You should keep it out of reach of your dog or you can buy fake holly plants.

3. Mistletoe: The European ones are much less poisonous than the American ones. It only causes an upset stomach if ingested.

4. Christmas trees: if dogs ingest it, it can cause stomach upsets but since the pine needles are sharp it could also cause internal or external damage.

5. Ivy: this can cause stomach upset if eaten but can also cause skin irritation or allergic reactions if your dog has extended contact with it.

Some of the other things include

1. Wrapping paper which are not poisonous but can cause internal blockage if eaten in big amounts.

2. Silica gel from some packaging (Christmas presents) is not that poisonous but it is best to keep it away from your dogs.

3. Christmas decorations such as tinsel, can cause internal blockage if eaten and glass decorations can cause serious injury if broken or eaten.

4. Be careful with candles too! It can obviously cause injury due to the fire but also can cause choking and blockage if ingested. 

We hope you find this all helpful!

I canโ€™t believe 2018 is nearly over! It went so fast but it was a fantastic year for me. I hope it was great for everyone else too!

I want to take this time to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a very Happy New Year! I hope 2019 would be a great year for everyone!!

Geoffrey, Skye, and Cody