Christmas Time

Look after your pets this Christmas:

This information below is not about excluding your pet during the festive season, but to keep them safe during the season of increased noise, large number of guests visiting, temptations of food left in easy access and stress.  Dogs, and cats, are part of our family and we need to take their welfare into account, particularly during this time.

Traveling or day trips

  • Take plenty of fresh water with you to the beach, not only for yourselves but also for your dogs.  Too much salt water can make your dogs very sick
  • Take shade for all of you and check that your dog sits in the shade
  • If you have a light coloured dog, check with your vet to see if you need to use sun cream on them.  They can also suffer from skin cancer
  • Check the temperature of the sand before you take your dog, or toddler, on it by walking on it yourself in bare feet.  If you cannot walk on it, dont let your dog.  There paws are more sensitive than our feet and can burn easily

Christmas food and drinks

  • Chocolate, although a favourite for us it is not something that our dogs should not eat.  Find the dog friendly chocolate drops if you really want to give them chocolate
  • Other foods that your dog will have access too over the Christmas period that is not good for them are:
    • Grapes: Although there is no understanding of why grapes are bad for dogs, it is known that grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs, so best to store the Christmas fruit out of reach of your pets
    • Ham, ham fat: Ham has been preserved usually with a brine solution inserted into the pork leg.  Too much salt in a dogs diet can cause them to be really sick
    • Avocado: The substance called persin in Avocado can, in large quantities, be toxic to dogs.  Although we humans are not allergic to persin, dogs are far more sensitive.  So watch the puppies, or older dogs that like to chew things, if you have a tree at home as they could well chew on the bark, leaves and seeds of the tree, where persin is also found.
    • Onions and Garlic: Although garlic is fed in moderation to help with the control of worms, and excess of both onions and garlic can cause a disruption in the red blood cells leading to possible anemia
    • Macadamia nuts: As few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death
    • Cakes and other sweet items:  Anything that contains high sugar and fat can cause a large number of issues with your dog.
  • Alcohol is not a good idea to feed your dog.  Although they would love the opportunity to join you as you toast the queen at the end of her speech the affect on the dog is the same as in humans, only faster, with possible disastrous consequences.  It could case a loss of mobility, and increase unwanted behavoural issues
  • Tea and coffee contain the stimulant caffeine, which gives dogs the same side effects as humans, but with disastrous results. Put tea and coffee cups out of reach of dogs and cats to prevent them accessing the remnants in the bottom of your cups
Trees and Decorations

  • Ornaments on the tree can be very attractive to both cats and dogs.  Put the expensive or breakable ornaments away from both their paws…and whipping tails
  • If you have a Pine tree, remember to clean up the fallen pine needles everyday so they don’t get caught in your dog or cats paws
  • If you are given a kitten for Christmas, remember they like to climb trees.  The Christmas tree may be its first great tree adventure…as well as the curtains!
Looking after your dog:
  • Make sure your dogs will be safe when family and friends are visiting you.
  • If you want to separate them when visitors come, put them safely in their crate or kennel and run with a bone or stuffed Squirrel Dude away from guest and then bring them out later when everyone has settled into your home
  • If your dog is anxious or has behavioural issues, place them in a safe secluded area with the radio playing away from the guest, with a bone or stuffed Squirrel Dude

Wrap up your dogs favourite toy in wrapping paper and let them open it on Christmas day whilst everyone else is doing the same with their own pressies.  But most of all more than anything else, have fun with your pets these Christmas holidays, enjoy your time with them.

Merry Christmas, and we look forward to talking to, and meeting, you again in 2013.