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Christmas Hazards For Dogs

Christmas is a fun time for many, including dogs, but there are several food hazards that could harm your dog. Most dogs will probably nab or sample some food left out for Father Christmas and his reindeer, so it's important to know what to avoid them having access to. If your dog is a bit of a counter surfer/bin raider/cupboard opener then try to keep them out of the kitchen! Here are a few foods that are toxic to dogs, it's not a complete list but are big ones to avoid:

  • Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. White chocolate contains the least amount of this, while in dark chocolate it is much more concentrated. It's best to avoid all chocolate for dogs, as even though white chocolate has very little theobromine, it's still quite fatty and has the risk of causing pancreatitis. If your dog has eaten chocolate, then phone your local vet to ask if they need treatment. It's best to avoid having chocolate under the tree in case curious noses sniff it out.

  • Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies

Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies contain grapes and dried fruits (raisins, sultanas and currents for example). These are toxic to dogs and even a small amount can cause severe kidney failure. So don't leave a Mince Pie out for Father Christmas in paws reach of your dog (ideally make sure your dog cannot access these foods). If you think your dog has eaten Mince Pies or Christmas Pudding then phone your local vet ASAP.

  • Leftovers

Try to avoid giving your dog leftovers from your Christmas dinner. Some ingredients can be toxic to dogs, for example, onions and garlic. This toxicity may not become noticeable for several days after eating as dogs can develop anaemia as well as vomiting and diarrhoea. Leftover turkey can also contain small cooked bones that could splinter and cause damage to your dog's throat and tummy.

Your dog can have a little titbit at Christmas, but try not to give them too much as lots of new food can result in vomiting and diarrhoea! Examples on what your dog can enjoy are: Cooked turkey meat (ensure no skin or bones) Cooked lamb meat (no bones) Scrambled egg Carrots (cooked or raw) Or provide them with a lickimat with their normal wet food, or a snuffle mat with their normal dry food! Your dog will be happy with a new way to eat his/her current food without necessarily needing new flavours.

I hope you all stay safe and have a Happy Christmas!

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