'Tis the season to be jolly and as the festive season rolls around again, many of us will be indulging (or over-indulging) in lots of holiday cheer. But some favourite human treats can pose a threat to our furry friends. So check out our tips on how to have a great Christmas while keeping your dog safe.
Are your Christmas treats naughty or nice for pets?
Many seemingly innocent foods can be harmful for dogs, including:
- Chocolate, cocoa powder
- Drinks containing caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, energy drinks)
- Grapes, raisins
- Large amounts of dairy foods or very salty foods
- Many nuts (including macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, pecans)
- Corn on the cob (can lead to a blockage in the gut)
- Bones (can be a choking hazard or puncture the gut if swallowed)
- Xylitol (an artificial sweetener found in many lollies, diet foods or sugar-free gum)
- Onions, garlic or chives
Only turkeys should be stuffed – the dangers of over-feeding
Like a fly circling your Christmas pudding, a dog knows when there’s food about. So don’t leave your Christmas treats unprotected (this writer speaks from personal experience of a Dalmatian wiping out an entire party's spread of food in less than a minute while guests were in another room!). And don’t forget any gifts under the tree that contain food, like chocolates or biscuits – your dog can smell what’s inside and you may end up with just shredded wrapping paper. Finally, make sure all garbage and kitchen waste is safely binned and out of reach of nosy dogs.
Baubles belong on Xmas trees, not in your dog’s tummy
Glass or plastic Christmas tree baubles or decorations can pose a threat if accidentally chewed, crushed or swallowed by an inquisitive dog who loves ball-shaped objects. Also be alert for stray strands of tinsel, string or gift ribbon that your dog could swallow, potentially leading to a blockage of their intestines.
Batteries not included
Electronics items are a popular gift, so watch out for fresh or discarded batteries that could be chewed or swallowed by your dog. If you think your dog has swallowed a battery, seek immediate veterinary care as battery acid can cause serious damage to your dog’s gut.
Jingle bells, doggy smells
If your dog accidentally over-indulges on rich foods over the festive season, you might receive an unwelcome ‘gift’ of flatulence, gas, or even vomiting and diarrhoea. So if your dog experiences an upset tummy from something they’ve eaten (or the stress of Christmas travel or even the presence of lots of visitors), try PAW DigestiCare 60. It contains multiple strains and species of beneficial probiotics in a tasty powder that can simply be sprinkled over their food to help relieve gastric upsets.
As you can see, there are some things to keep in mind over the festive season, but with these simple tips, you and your furry friend will be celebrating many more Christmases to come. Season’s Greetings from all of us at PAW by Blackmores!