10 hazards to be aware of during the winter

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Autumn’s done and dusted for another year and the festive season is right around the corner. Whilst it is the most wonderful time of the year, there are a few things to be aware of to ensure your dog’s safe and sound and having a good time too. The last thing you want is an emergency vet visit on Christmas Eve!

Food

Chocolate

Chocolate is highly toxic to dogs and can affect the heart, kidneys and nervous system which can lead to serious illness. Make sure to keep those Quality Streets/Roses/Heroes (whichever your family’s preference is) tins out of reach.

Alcohol

This is also toxic to dogs and there tends to be a lot of this around during the Christmas period! By all means, enjoy yourself but be conscious to keep away from dogs as it can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys.

Mince Pies and Christmas Fruit Cakeswinter_hazards_1-4

Our office dogs are always on the hunt for food they can scavenge from our desks, so if your dogs are anything like ours, take care to keep those mince pies and fruit cakes away as they contain raisins and alcohol, which are both toxic to dogs.

Salty Snacks

Excess salt can cause kidney problems, so be careful of feeding your dog too many tasty meat scraps from your Christmas dinner.

Objects

Tinsel, ribbons and string

We know it’s pretty and we know that dogs can look adorably festive when it’s draped over their collar, but it can be highly problematic if chewed or swallowed, causing the intestine to bunch up on itself. This can potentially cut off the blood supply and cause a blockage which will usually require surgery.

Tacks and pins

When hanging decorations, take care not to drop any tacks or pins on the floor as dogs can swallow them and damage their insides, which can require an operation. Be wary of other small objects on the floor and make sure to pick them up.

winter_hazards_5-8Mistletoe and Cyclamen plants

Mistletoe is just for kissing under, so keep it out of your dog’s reach as if eaten, it can cause digestive upsets or even cardiac failure if consumed in large quantities.


Fairy lights

These are an essential part of Christmas decoration every year, but make sure to be careful of the wires trailing off, as your dog could get a nasty electric shock if they decide to chew through them.

Road Salt

At some point the UK will most likely prepare itself for the promise of snow and spread grit along the roads. If eaten or licked, it can cause vomiting and upset stomachs. Road salt can be irritant to the skin and pads of the feet too, so if you and your dog have been walking where the salt has been spread, it’s a good idea to rinse or wipe your dog’s paws afterwards.

Anti-freeze

This can spill or leak from vehicles and to dogs (and cats too) this can be very sweet to taste. If licked up, the chemical it’s made from (ethylene glycol) can cause kidney inflammation and lead to kidney failure.

So amidst all the fun you’ll be having this Christmas, make sure to keep an eye out for these winter hazards.

 

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