Canine Christmas dangers advice from Vet Richard Black
November 7, 2023
As Christmas creeps closer, we start to see an increase in the number of dogs admitted to Rouken Glen Vets for seasonally related illnesses and injuries. Vet Richard Black wants to make owners aware of the risks that come with seemingly harmless Christmas décor and food and encourage them to use our Pet Proofing PDF guide at home in the run-up to Christmas.
The sooner your dog receives veterinary treatment for any of the conditions below, the better chance they have for a smooth recovery. Contact Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 if you think your dog could need emergency veterinary treatment.
Toxic substances for dogs
- Grapes and raisins
- Nuts – especially macadamia nuts
- Onions and shallots
- Xylitol – an artificial sweetener
Many of the food and substances above can be found on a buffet table, or around the house at Christmas time so keep watch of your dog and make sure they do not eat anything toxic. Richard advises that foods with a lot of salt, sugar, or spice can lead to digestive issues and more serious health problems too.
What happens if my dog eats something toxic?
It is essential you let the team at Rouken Glen Vets know what your dog has eaten and roughly how much and when, as this will impact their treatment.
- Baubles and tree ornaments
- Wrapped presents and gift wrapping
- Electric lights and cables
- Real Christmas trees
- Pine needles can puncture or irritate the lining of your dog’s stomach and the oils can irritate the mucous membranes
- The water in the Christmas tree stand can contain harmful chemicals, bacteria, or preservatives that may be toxic if ingested by dogs
The decorations and items listed above can be toxic but also cause intestinal blockages, digestive issues or burns that will require immediate veterinary attention. Vet Richard Black advises that it’s best to keep these items out of your dog’s reach and to consider using cable covers or a tree skirt to block their access to the tree and lights!
Stress, anxiety, and overindulgence
Around Christmas time, it is normal for dog owners in East Renfrewshire to see more visitors. This could be a cause of stress for your dog, and they may start to display digestive problems, behavioural issues, or even attempt escape. Ensure your dog has a safe space to retreat to away from the busy Christmas celebrations so they can relax when needed.
Also, as with humans, dogs tend to overindulge on special treats and edible Christmas presents. Remember to feed these, often rich foods, in moderation as part of their balanced diet to avoid tummy upsets and weight gain.
To keep your dog safe this festive season, Vet Richard Black urges you use the advice above and download our Pet Proofing guide for your home. Contact Rouken Glen Vets on 0141 620 2580 if you are at all concerned about your dog – we wish you a Merry Christmas!