Christmas with Dogs

If you're reading this, you most likely have a dog (or 2, or 3!) and undoubtedly involve them in the festivities - we buy them presents, we wrap them, we put them under the tree, we think about their Christmas Dinner, we may even actually buy them an advent calendar!

Does putting your Christmas Tree up fill you with dread because you know your pup will clearly find all this so exciting and will absolutely want to play with those decorations - Don't forget you're bringing in your dogs very own spectacular pee post! How amazing is that!

Whilst it's great fun for your dog, there are many dangers with a Christmas Tree, especially if your pup is still at the chewing stage and everything in sight is theirs for the taking!
The pine needles from a real tree can cause stomach upsets as well as the risk of internal damage from the sharp needles and branches. Decorations can be made using toxic materials, such as glitter, glue and paint - not forgetting the metal clips used to hang them or broken pieces can cause internal damage if ingested. 
Do you like to hang chocolates on the tree - rethink that! Or hang them higher up - but if there's a chance your dog will pull the tree over, best not to have them! Christmas lights run the risk of electrocution if there's a chance the wires can be chewed.

Poinsettia plants, holly, mistletoe and ivy are all poisonous to dogs.

Of course we want to treat our pups to some treats at Christmas, the odd pig in a blanket won't do any harm and I'm sure it'll be inhaled and won't touch the sides, but what should we not give?
'I'm sure we're all aware that chocolate is poisonous for dogs; even the smallest amount can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, hyperactivity, heart issues and death. The darker the chocolate, the more potent it is. 
Anything that contains grapes and their shrivelled up friends - mince pies, Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding - can have serious consequences on the kidneys.
Alcohol - I'm sure I don't need to explain this one - but alcohol can be found in many Christmas treats, even the Christmas Dinner (gravy, etc).
Speaking of Christmas Dinner, as tempting as it is to replicate your dinner for our four-legged friend, there are certain things not to give, such as onions and garlic - so again, watch out for the gravy, stuffing, any vegetarian roasts will undoubtedly contain onions and garlic.
Artificial Sweetner - we all know that Xylitol is poisonous for dogs, so watch out for sweets, biscuits, jellies, etc that may contain artificial sweetner.

What leftovers can we give?

  • Any meat - but no bones, once cooked, bones splinter.
  • Most vegetables (remember, nothing from the onion family)
  • Potatoes, especially sweet potato

Most gravies will contain a high amount of salt, so best to avoid, give in moderation and remember any new foods may give your dog sickness and or diarrhoea, which is the last thing you ant your dog to perform in front of your friends and family as Christmas entertainment! Also, bare in mind your dog's allergies and health conditions.

Remember, Christmas can be overwhelming for your dog, especially if they are a pup, a rescue, ill or elderly. Just having a Christmas tree up can trigger your dog's anxiety because it is something different and not usually there. Ensure your dog has a safe space for it to retreat to if needed.

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