20 Christmas dangers for your dog, for you to avoid!
Have you perhaps become a happy dog owner this year and you’re about to celebrate your first Christmas together? Christmas is supposed to be a time full of cheer and I’m sure you want to keep it that way. One of the last things that you’ll be wanting to do is have to make an emergency, after hours (well… Murphy’s law), visit to the vet!
I’ve made a list of what to keep a lookout for in your house to prevent just this!
Food & drink
Chocolate contains theobromine. At certain levels, theobromine is toxic for dogs (and other pets). Because they can’t metabolize theobromine as effectively as humans it builds up in their system until it reaches a toxic level. If you ever suspect that your dog might’ve eaten chocolate, contact your vet immediately.
How to avoid this: Eat it! You can also hide it from your dog (and maybe yourself too 😉).
2) Christmas pudding and mince pies
All grapes, sultanas and raisins are toxic to dogs so definitely keep those out of reach. Whole flour and loads of sugar isn’t good for anyone anyway…
How to avoid this: Don’t buy it and don’t bake it. If you really, really have to, then eat them all! DO NOT share them with your dog!
3) Macadamia nuts
When you’re nuts about nuts like me, make sure to keep your Macadamia nuts away from your dog. These nuts contain an unknown toxin that can lead to neurological issues and are very high in fat. This can put your dog at risk of serious gastrointestinal distress or even lead to pancreatitis.
How to avoid this: Eat it!
Onions can cause stomach irritation and lead to anaemia and should not be fed in any form. Signs of poisoning include diarrhoea, vomiting, lethargy and difficulty breathing.
How to avoid this: Eat all the stuffing and gravy or hide them away. Definitely don’t keep them on the kitchen counter where your big dog can reach them.
This one is kind of obvious as we know what it can do to us. But alcohol is significantly more toxic to dogs than to us and may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even death.
How to avoid this: Don’t buy it or drink it yourself. Cheers!
6) Artificial sweeteners
Xylitol is a very common one which is found in many foods, chewing gums and cakes. Ingestion can lead to potentially fatal hypoglycaemia, acute liver disease and blood clotting.
How to avoid this: The best way to avoid it is not to buy these items. You don’t need artificial sweeteners in your life anyway. If you buy them keep them locked away from your dog as even small amounts can be extremely dangerous. Avoid at all costs.
7) Blue cheese
Cheese can be a nice tasty treat for your dog but be sure to stay away from blue cheese. I didn’t know this until I did my research and learnt that blue cheese contains a substance called Roquefortine C, which dogs are sensitive to.
How to avoid this: Go vegan or don’t buy cheese. But if you do, keep it well out of reach and dispose of leftovers.
8) Cooked bones
Once cooked, all bones become brittle and splinter easily which can pierce your dog’s digestive tract or cause an obstruction. How to avoid this: Don’t eat meat! Or if you’re preparing a meaty Christmas dinner, ensure that all meat is kept on the kitchen surface and dispose of leftover carcasses in the outside bin.
9) Mouldy foods
Mouldy dried dog food and mouldy human food – particularly dairy products, bread and nuts – contain lots of toxins that can make your dog ill.
How to avoid this: Buy less, store it well and make sure that your food recycling bin (or your normal bin) is well sealed. Even better, keep it outside.
Another 4 Christmas dangers for your dog !
10) Christmas trees
Pine needles can cause mild stomach upset, cuts to the mouth and in really severe cases, even perforation of the intestines.
How to avoid this: Vacuum daily around your tree… boring but necessary.
11) Glass baubles
These tend to smash into shards when eaten, causing irritation, perforation or blockages.
How to avoid this: Opt for shatter-proof baubles or decorations made of pet-friendly materials.
Dogs can eat tinsel like we eat spaghetti. It can cause blockages or, even worse, work its way through the gut and into the intestine which can be extremely serious.
How to avoid this: Don’t use them. Use pet-friendly alternative decorations.
13) Fairy lights
Some dogs will try to eat anything, including fairy lights, which may cause an electric shock if chewed.
How to avoid this: Use an extension cord that shuts off automatically when damaged and tape all loose wires to the floor. Even better, train your dog, or don’t use the lights indoors.
Natural, but dangerous for your dog, and for you to avoid!
Can cause convulsions and are potentially fatal when eaten in large quantities
How to avoid this: If you’re keen on a Christmas bouquet, opt for red roses or white orchids instead.
15) Poinsettia, mistletoe and ivy
All are mildly toxic and can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhoea and other symptoms.
How to avoid this: Keep well out of reach.
This can cause serious gastrointestinal problems which can last several days even after the material has passed through.
How to avoid this: Keep well out of reach
Some dogs will swallow anything that looks appealing, including children’s toys, even if it’s likely to put them at risk.
How to avoid this: Monitor the opening of gifts and keep new toys out of reach.
This is a very serious one! Ingestion of batteries is more common at Christmas and can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning.
How to avoid this: Never leave batteries, or small toys including batteries, lying around.
19) Wrapping or crepe paper
While toxicity is low, eating a large amount of paper may cause an obstruction in the stomach.
How to avoid this: Don’t leave wrapped gifts lying around and dispose of old paper in an outside bin.
20) Silica gel
Commonly found in packaging and typically non-toxic, these can cause blockages in the gut.
How to avoid this: Monitor the opening of gifts that may contain these sachets and dispose of carefully in the outside bin.