Christmas is a busy period in our practice and the team works especially hard to ensure that all of the animals and their owners have a safe and merry holiday.

To help, we’ve made a list of things to consider when decorating and celebrating, as well as some helpful tips to ensure a smooth, stress-free month.

The Food

There is an abundance of rich food around during the holidays and while it’s super tempting to want to share it with your dog, we really recommend that you avoid doing so, or treat them only in small quantities.

Garlic, onions, leeks, chocolate, xylitol (artificial sweetener), blue cheese, macadamia nuts, raisins, grapes and alcohol are all poisonous to your dog. We particularly suggest that you avoid feeding them stuffing, gravy or any carcass bones which can cause internal obstructions if consumed.

Instead, there are lots of pet-friendly festive treats on the market such as Lily’s Kitchen. You could also give your pup white meat such as chicken or turkey without the skin of bones.

Tip: Why not have a bash at making your own Christmas dog treats! Dog’s Trust have created some fun festive recipes here.

The Decorations

It’s not unusual for both dog and cat owners to come home to a toppled tree at this time of year. If you have a particularly excitable dog, we would recommend investing in a quality, heavy tree base which is structurally unlikely to collapse. It’s also worth considering keeping your dog out of the room with the tree when you are not home.

Occasionally dogs do try to play with tree decorations and tinsel, we suggest that you are careful about what your dog is allowed to play with, as swallowed baubles and tinsel can, and often do, cause severe internal obstructions.

If you are hanging any particularly delicate or edible tree decorations, be sure to place these high up, out of your dogs reach.

Though they aren’t necessarily life-threatening, plants like Poinesttas, Mistletoe, Ivy & Holly are all toxic to dogs and we would recommend keeping them out of reach of your dog if you are keeping them in the home.

Tip: For dogs with a tendency to chew, be sure to cover all wiring with plastic or cardboard coverings. Also, it’s worth considering LED battery powered lights as an alternative.

Presents

Christmas morning is wonderful and most dogs absolutely want to be in on the action. If you have presents that you know contain chocolate, we’de recommend waiting until Christmas morning before bringing them out. A nosey pup will surely want to open that one for you!

In the fray of present opening, keep an eye out for your dogs getting their paws on silica gel sachets, batteries or children’s toys which they are likely to swallow.

Tip: Distract your dog with a chew toy, or wrap up them up some special gifts to unwrap themselves!

Reducing Stress

There is a lot going on over the festive period and we tend to be pretty busy. Disruption to regular routine can be quite stressful for our dogs. To reduce this stress, try to keep to your dogs regular routine as much as possible.

If you have an older or nervous dog, keep their bed and some fresh water in an untouched, quiet part of the house. If the business of the festive period becomes too much, they will have somewhere familiar to hide away.

Final Tip: If your pet is especially anxious, especially with fireworks, consider plugging in a Adaptil diffuser in your home, or contact the practice for additional advice to help keep your pet calm and happy.

Final Considerations

  • If your pet is on medication, stock up before the holidays so you don’t get caught out. You can call the practice on 0141 339 1228, or order online here.

  • If you are going away for Christmas, make sure to organise a sitter or kennel in advance as they can be busy over the holiday period.