The television adverts have started. There has been the occasional muttering about gifts and family plans in the office and at dinner parties. Yes, Christmas is once again upon our horizon, and our thoughts are slowly beginning to look forward to some well deserved rest if (you can call Christmas that!) with the family.
And by family I do also, of course, mean our lovable furry friends. The holiday season can be just as exciting for our canine companions as it can for us; all of the people and smells, the presents and the winter wonderlands to explore.
But, you do need to take care to make sure your dog stays as healthy as it can during the Christmas period, not just on account of the cold weather but also because of what we humans like to eat and drink around that time.
There is no need to panic, all you have to do is just be a little extra vigilant and keep an eye on the following things.
Christmas food and drink
Although you should always be careful to monitor what your dog is ingesting, it is especially around Christmas time due to an increased prevalence in some of the food and drink that can really do your furry friend some serious damage.
There are a number of reasons why you might want to refrain from treating your dog to Christmas dinner.
Dog Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Alcohol is not good for your dog full stop! Aside from the damage to the liver and the kidneys, consumption of alcohol may also cause intoxication, coma and even death.
Human vices such as chocolate and coffee and other foodstuffs that contain caffeine, theobromine and theophyline can actually be toxic to your dog’s heart and nervous system.
Onions and garlic, which are often key ingredients to stuffing and gravy, can end up seriously poisoning both cats and dogs, leading to pain, diarrhea and even anemia!
It might seem nice to give your dog the bones that are left over from your Christmas bird, but these bones are too brittle and are likely to break when chewed, which could cause cuts and abrasions in the throats, stomachs and intestines of your pet. A splintered bone could also lead to choking – it’s just not worth the risk.
Grapes, raisins and sultanas (found in mince pies and traditional Christmas puddings) can also poison your dog and leave them with abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Macadamia nuts can be toxic to dogs, causing muscle spasms and hallucinations.
Importantly, too much fatty food such as leftovers from your Christmas meal can lead to kidney failure, heart problems and diabetes in dogs, so avoid the temptation to save some money by using the scraps as a cheap source of dog food!
So buy your dog a new toy and shower it with a little extra time and affection, but please avoid the temptation to include them in your festivities to such a large extent because you could end up hurting them in the long run.
At first it is always a shock when you find out just how detrimental some ordinary foodstuffs are to our dogs, but once you know what to look for, you will realise that you probably won’t have to change your practices particularly drastically.
Anyone else got any dog safety tips for the holidays?
Bio: Louise Blake is a new mum and aspiring writer who blogs for companies such as Petmeds. She’s looking forward to her first family Christmas and will of course be making sure her dog , Harley, is well looked after.