With the holiday season stepping on our “misle-” toes, don’t forget that your beloved pups need extra attention, too. And I don’t mean getting them presents and having fun unwrapping them together. As a self-proclaimed bore, I am talking about “health and safety” rules to keep your lovely curious spaniels happy and well this Christmas…
Put poinsettias out of your dogs reach (or better still, get a faux plant) The chemical compounds called diterpenoid euphorbol esters found in the plant can cause digestive upsets and skin irritation.
Same goes for the mistletoe. The berries contain polysaccharides, alkaloids, and lectins known to be toxic to dogs. The signs of poisoning include digestive issues, low blood pressure, lack of coordination and seizures. Large quantities can be fatal.
Holly contains saponins, methylxanthines and cyanogens that can cause drooling, digestive upsets. Sharp leaves can also cause physical injuries of the mouth and throat.
No Christmas goes without a tree. Be aware of the needles that can get stuck in pups paws. Also watch out for glass baubles (broken glass), vintage decorations (old paints were toxic to pets sometimes), and tinsel (can cause digestive blockages and injury if swallowed).
Christmas dinner is best to be left for humans. The meats and roasted vegetables can often be high in fat increasing risk of pancreatitis and digestive upsets. Most dinners will be made with garlic, onion, leeks or all of them increasing risk of poisoning & haemolytic anaemia.
Mince pies, Christmas puddings and cakes are made with raisins, sultanas, currants & alcohol, all extremely toxic to dogs.
Chocolate contains theobromine that can cause anything from digestive upsets to seizures. Some sweets are also made with xylitol that can cause liver failure and death due to fast drop in blood sugar.
Candles and room fragrances made with paraffin, cheap waxes & artificial fragrances may affect breathing, cause irritation and allergies. Be safe and use organic soy or beeswax based candies for short periods of time.
Photo source: Cooper with a Santa Clause photographed by me