Christmas is truly a festive holiday with impressions for all the senses - the smell of saffron and cinnamon, the sight of the candlelights, the sound of Christmas music and the taste of fudge and chocolate. But some of the Christmas mood must-haves come with risks for your doggo. To make sure that the Christmas celebrations is not exchanged for the animal hospital, here are some tips from our veterinary nurse Karin for a really cozy and dog-friendly Christmas.
Christmas food and Christmas candy
Chocolate and christmas candy with cocoa
It is now widely known that chocolate is toxic to dogs - despite this, the number of chocolate poisonings usually increase during the Christmas holidays. Keep in mind that the toxic substance for the dog is found in cocoa, so it is not just the chocolate box that should be kept out of the dog's reach, but all Christmas candy that contains cocoa. The higher the cocoa content, the greater the risk of poisoning, but always call and consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog has ingested chocolate. Keep the chocolate packaging close at hand where it says how high the cocoa content is, so that the veterinarian can calculate if the dog has ingested harmful levels.
Raisins, nuts and saffron buns
Raisins are found in many of Christmas' buns and bread and can cause kidney failure in dogs. Do not offer the dog anything with raisins in it and make sure to keep the package at a dog-safe distance when you are baking. For more reasons, it is advised not to leave your dog unattended in the kitchen: Should your dog eat a fermenting dough, there is a risk of alcohol poisoning and if you bake with nuts, you should keep a watchful eye as the dog's stomach can not digest the nuts and there is a risk that they cause a blockage in the intestine. How much it takes to reach toxic levels of different foods varies with the type of food eaten, and also depends on the size of the dog, so always contact your veterinarian for advice if your dog has eaten something inappropriate.
Ham, sausages and meatballs in abundance…
During the Christmas weekend, consultations in animal hospitals almost always increase for gastrointestinal problems and pancreatitis. The major cause a is a high intake of fat during the Christmas weekend. In addition to being very high in fat, Christmas food is also too salty to be recommended for the dog. Many dishes contain onions in different amounts, which is toxic and can cause anemia. Limit the amount of Christmas food you let the dog taste, and always discard the fattiest and saltiest pieces.
Christmas decorations and Christmas crafts
Having lots of feasting little birds outside the window is very cozy, but should a tallow ball fall down and come within reach of the dog, you need to remove it quickly. The net can cause blockages in the intestine, and the fatty contents can cause vomiting, diarrhea or inflammation of the pancreas.
Strings and glitter
Christmas wrapping strings and glitter that get stuck in the gut are more common in cats, but even a dog can ingest them if it is allowed to play with the wrapping, especially puppies who are curious to taste everything. The strings can cause major intestinal damage and cases have also occurred with pieces of string being stuck around the tongue or in the throat of the animal.
Christmas tree and Christmas lights
A swaying tail or a pair of curious whiskers can cause both burns to the dog or set a curtain on fire. Place the candles so that the animals can not reach them and never leave them unattended!
Christmas balls and Christmas tree decorations
If you have a dog or puppy who likes to play and pull at everything, decorate the Christmas tree out of reach of the four-legged. Broken Christmas balls can cause cuts in the paws and the strings are at risk of getting stuck if swallowed. Also remember not to pour any fertilizer into the Christmas tree water as it is toxic.
Several of Christmas' classic plants such as amaryllis, hyacinth and lilies contain toxic substances. It is especially common for cats to chew on the leaves of these plants, but they can also be toxic to the dog. If you get a plant home and the dog shows a little too much interest in it, be sure to place it where the dog can not reach it.
What can I do?
If your dog has ingested something that is toxic or unsuitable for the stomach, you should always call a veterinarian to consult if you need to go to the emergency room or if you can wait at home. The advice always depends on what food the dog has ingested, the amount and the size of the dog. If your dog develops symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea or lethargy and you suspect that he or she may have eaten something inappropriate, you should also always consult a veterinarian.
Something that can be good to have at home to relieve some milder stomach problems, is for example pre- and probiotica with good intestinal bacteria to help support the intestinal flora. These are available both as powder and pasta in a tube. A first-aid kit for patching and washing lighter wounds and scratches is also good to have at home, if your local veterinary clinic is closed over the Christmas weekend.
Of course, not everything with Christmas is dangers - there will also be more free time for crafts and coziness - so enjoy celebrating a really lovely and safe Christmas with your four-legged friend!
Merry Christmas from your team at petgood