Christmas! Love it or loathe it you know it’s coming and it’s too easy for the family pets to get up to mischief.
One Christmas Day, we found the dog running around the garden with a massive turkey leg in his mouth.
I’ve never laughed so hard but we were just lucky he didn’t eat the cooked bones before we got the bird back.
So I’m not trying to patronise you by listing a few pet hazards to avoid this Christmas, just sharing.
- Alcohol – If you think they swiped some and you see staggering, mood changes or decreased reactions, get them to the vet asap.
- Chocolate and Caffeine – Chocolate contains Theobromine which can increase blood pressure, induce vomiting and affect the central nervous system of dogs and cats, the darker the chocolate the worse it can be. Again, vets!
- Salt – If you want to give the dog a Christmas dinner of her very own, stick to raw meat and veg, hold the bacon, sausages and human gravy. Salt won’t do their kidneys any favours. If they like gravy try Joe Inglis’ Vet’s Kitchen gravy.
- Bones – Raw good, cooked bad, you all know this one. Cooked bones can splinter in your pet’s throat or gut so avoid, avoid, avoid.
- Raisins and grapes – Are seriously poisonous to dogs. Dried fruit isn’t great either, so whatever you overindulge your dog with please don’t make it a mince pie, try a Pet Munchies Chicken Chips instead.
- Tinsel, foil, clingfilm and wrapping paper, ribbon and string – All are choke hazards which can get wrapped around intestines if swallowed. Dogs love a bit of gravy and if it’s soaked into the string you wrapped around the meat then it’s all to the good as for as they’re concerned!
- Christmas tree decorations – My friend’s dog Albie is currently doing ‘sparkly yule logs’ around the garden. If you hang chocolate tree decorations on branches, hang ‘em high, out of reach from inquisitive whiskers, because that foil won’t help digestion either!
- Presents – If you’re buying your pet a Christmas present try to buy healthy stuff. The bright dog and cat treat stockings you can buy are usually full of inferior ingredients, sugar and added colours.Healthy Christmas treats don’t cost a bomb either, take a look at these.
- Food and treats – they’re not used to can cause an upset stomach, which you have to clean up, so buy the healthy stuff and hide them inside a toy like a Kong – available from good pet shops – to keep them occupied while you open your presents and eat your dinner. They’ll love it!
If you’re having friends and family round to yours it may be too noisy and busy for your dog so give them somewhere peaceful, away from all the madness where they can have a little food, drink and snooze away from small children armed with loud toys and crayons!
Walk them early on so it’s not on your mind to do.
And eat, drink and be merry.