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Christmas Time & Dogs

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Christmas is a fantastic time of the year for us humans as well as dogs. Not only does the working routine often change, so does your home. With many more things appearing in the house, a tree and all sorts of other decorations, your dog will have all sorts of new things to cause mischief with. Below we take a look at some of the precautions that should be taken around this time of year to ensure that your dog has a great Christmas but stays safe also. What over the festive period should you be mindful of?

Chocolate

As most of you will know, chocolate is not great for dogs, cats and a few other animals. The main reason for this is that is contains a chemical called theobromine. As a rule of thumb, the more expensive chocolate that you buy and darker in colour will contain more theobromine, making it more harmful to your animal. White chocolate actually contains very little theobromine which makes it far less harmful for your dog although it is still fatty, so probably not the best thing your dog can eat. If your dog ingests too much chocolate it can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. The stimulation can lead the dog to become over excited as well as develop twitching and tremors. If too much is eaten, the results can be life threatening. We would always recommend that you look to buy specific dog chocolate to keep your dog involved but more importantly avoid any potential problems. Be sure to also avoid any chocolate being left on the floor etc.

Raisins, grapes, currants and sultanas

All of the above are also harmful to your dog. In fact, these dried fruits are believed to be more harmful to your dog than grapes. Unlike chocolate, it is unknown as to why these are so harmful to dogs, but we just recommend that you keep them well out of reach to avoid any potential problems. Also be aware that the effects if eaten may take 48-72 hours to actually appear. Keep this in mind if your dog starts to show any signs of being unwell.

Blue Cheese

Various types or blue cheese which contains roquefortine C which is the substance that is used to produce the fungus. Dogs are known to be sensitive this substance so again, well worth avoiding. Although it is not expected that the effects would be life threatening, they certainly wouldn’t be very good for your dog.

Macadamia Nuts

Very little is known as to why these are harmful to dogs although it is well documented that a dog can appear very weak, dull and sleepy after consuming them, in which case they are to be avoided. Given that some of the nuts are covered in chocolate, they can be a double risk to your dog.

Bones

Bones pose there own risks to dogs if ingested. A cooked bone can often become brittle which if eaten by a dog could cause an obstruction, irritate the gut or in worst cases penetrate the stomach. Avoid giving your dog any carcasses etc and ensure that all cooked meat and bones are kept up high out of the way.

Alcohol

Alcohol contains ethanol, a substance in which dogs are more sensitive than humans, meaning a small quantity can have an impact on your dog. Be sure to keep all alcoholic drinks out of reach of your dog as they may be tempted by some drinks more than others.

Fatty and mouldy foods

Eating too much fatty foods will often lead to your dog becoming sick which could show in the form of sickness and diarrhoea. Mouldy and out of date food can often contain lots of different toxins which ultimately can lead to your dog being sick, as above.

Christmas Plants

Christmas is a time that we see the introduction of many different plants to the home. Some of which can be harmful to your dog. Holly, Mistletoe and Ivy all pose there own risks to dogs, some in the form of upset stomachs if ingested while others more physical problems, such as the spikes on ivy. Always try to keep your dog away from these and ensure they are not eating them when you aren’t looking :-)

Christmas Presents

Presents, wrapping paper and batteries will be plentiful in most houses throughout the Christmas period. Again each of the above can pose there own risk although avoiding your dog ingesting these is the easy answer. Depending on your dog, some may want to rip up as much wrapping paper as possible which could lead them swallowing some while others will simply not be phased and will go about life as normal. Christmas is a time of great fun and happiness for most of us and although your dog will be exposed to more risks during this period it doesn’t mean to say you can’t have a great time - just being mindful of a few things can save you and your dog any aggravation or harm. If you would like to speak to a member of our team, please feel free to contact us. Merry Christmas from us all at Dog Kennels Direct.

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