A broken Christmas bauble, new garlands, an overturned tree… Christmas is not only dangerous for us but also and especially for dogs. we give you some tips to spend Christmas safely with your dog.
5 things that can be dangerous for your dog at Christmas
1. Lighted candles
Candles are an integral part of the Christmas atmosphere. Although most dogs usually keep a certain distance from the wick, candles should never be left unattended.
If you don’t want to give up real candles during the Christmas season, place them where your dog can’t get close to them. Also, candles should never be lit if your dog is alone in the room. You can also use artificial LED candles to replace your candles for peace of mind.
However, if your dog gets burned despite all the precautions you’ve taken, run the burned area under warm water. Burn ointments should not be used on dogs. The actual extent of the burn often doesn’t become apparent until much later in the dog. Therefore, you should always have your dog examined by a veterinarian, even when the burn looks minimal. Write down the phone number of your regular veterinarian or veterinary emergency so that you don’t have to look for him at the last minute in case of an emergency.
2. Under the Christmas tree
As beautiful as a decorated fir tree is, it represents for our dog dangers that should not be underestimated. Especially young and curious dogs often venture into dangerous experiences near the fir tree. A dog can cut himself because of a broken ball, and the wound can quickly catch fire.
Even an electric light string is not without danger. Out of curiosity or boredom, the dog may bite it, and as a result suffer an electric shock, sometimes very severe.
Be sure to install the foot of the tree, so that it is firmly held on the ground. In addition, if the tree stand contains water, it must be inaccessible to the dog, as it may contain dangerous substances.
Here are a few tips to keep your Christmas tree safe:
Place the tree in a safe place, where the dog will not bump into it all the time.
Make sure the tree is stable and secure
Attach candles, tinsel, and decorations as high as possible on the tree so your dog can’t reach them.
If your dog has cut himself, you must treat the wound. Stop the bleeding with a bandage and clean the wound with water. Use a disinfectant spray to disinfect the cut.
When should I take my dog to the vet?
Bandage your dog’s leg and, if possible, take him to the vet as soon as possible. Even with minor cuts, the risk of infection is very high, and your dog should be examined.
Most veterinarians close their offices during the Christmas vacations, so keep the number of the nearest veterinary clinic handy.
3. No chocolate for the dog
It’s not only humans who have a weakness for chocolate; dogs do too. But unlike us, eating chocolate can endanger a dog’s life. The theobromine contained in whole milk and dark chocolate is toxic to animals and can have devastating consequences on our dogs’ bodies. It can lead to cramps, increased blood pressure, or heart problems. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning range from diarrhea and vomiting to cramps, tremors, or loss of consciousness (depending on the amount and cocoa content of the chocolate ingested).
To reduce the risk of poisoning, never leave chocolate near the dog.
The darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is for your pet, and the smaller your dog, the more dangerous the consequences can be. If you notice that your dog has eaten a large quantity of chocolate, take him to the veterinarian.
4. Toxic plants and essential oils to avoid
A poinsettia on the table, a mistletoe on the door, or an arrangement of Christmas roses; these plants are an integral part of the Christmas season. Unfortunately, many Christmas plants are poisonous to dogs.
If your pet swallows a fallen mistletoe branch or part of the poinsettia, he or she may suffer severe symptoms of poisoning, such as diarrhea and severe convulsions. The simple contact with the leaves of the Christmas star can cause unpleasant skin irritation in our dogs. Essential oils can also trigger painful gastrointestinal pain in dogs.
What should I do if my dog has eaten a poisonous plant?
If your dog has eaten a plant, you can give him charcoal tablets. The sooner the activated charcoal comes into contact with the poison of the plant in the stomach, the more effectively he will be able to fight it. If some time has elapsed since the ingestion of the poisonous plant, and the first symptoms of intoxication, such as convulsions, circulatory insufficiency, or panting appear, the dog should be taken to the nearest veterinarian immediately.
5. No Christmas turkey
At Christmas dinner, your dog can make eyes at you to beg for a small piece of turkey. However, it’s not a good idea to give him some. Most of our foods, especially Christmas turkey, are too spicy and fatty for dogs and can lead to serious gastrointestinal problems.
If you want to please your little companion, you can opt for dog treats or a dog bone that he will be able to chew to his heart’s content.
This is the recipe for the perfect Christmas!
Christmas and the Advent season can be a challenge, especially if your dog is young and curious. But don’t worry: if you take your precautions, everything will go smoothly. You’ll be able to fully enjoy this special time with your four-legged friend.