Christmas is just around the corner, and more than ever we feel the need to be close to our loved ones. But how do we ensure a safe and healthy celebration for our furry friends? Certain foods are definitely off the menu; for a start, be careful with stuffing that contains onions or any member of the Allium family, as they can damage canine red blood cells.
Chocolate is a big no-no due to the theobromine causing gastrointestinal issues, seizures, tremors, heart failure and even death. Sweets are just as bad, as xylitol, a common ingredient, is poisonous and its effects on insulin may compromise liver function. Even snacks that are considered healthy for humans can be hazardous to dogs: grapes and their associated dried products lead to kidney failure, and macadamia nuts cause lethargy and stiffness. Throw your rubbish away carefully out of your pet’s reach, as the mould that grows on it produces toxins that may result in rapid onset convulsions.
Care must be taken with seasonal plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe, holly, ivy, and Christmas trees themselves. All of these can cause stomach problems, and could also present choking hazards, as well as decorations, wrapping paper, candles, and potpourri. Many gifts come with silica gel packets to prevent excess moisture, which definitely need to be kept away from your canine, who may think they are a delicious treat to be consumed!
The bottom line is, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of treats to be shared with your pooches, just exercise caution and be vigilant that they don’t eat too much! And to be on the safe side, make sure you are aware of Christmas opening hours at your local vet, for added peace of mind. ❤
~ Tania Marie de Saram