Keeping the Pups 'Elfy' at Christmas

NO apology for the pun! For humans this is the season to be greedy and eat lots of stuff we shouldn't, while telling ourselves we'll embrace a health kick in the New Year. Yeah, right!

We should tame the urge to feed our dogs the same way, though. There's quite a few things we should be wary of or avoid giving them altogether if we want to avoid large vet bills and poorly pups through December. We also tend to be less careful when we are celebrating too, and maybe more risky titbits are left at floor level.

Our little infographic is handy to print out and pin up this month, making sure visitors see it too.

A few side-notes: 

 - If in doubt always call the vet. Better safe than sorry. Google can be handy too as some of these foods are more harmful than others. 

 - Chocolate: The darker it is, the worse it is for dogs. The theobromine in chocolate is greater the higher the percentage of cocoa solids. Attacking a cheap advent calendar is unlikely to harm your dog, whereas dark chocolate brownies could be serious. 

 - Sugar: Isn't great, but a little won't hurt. Xylitol, though, is potentially very dangerous so avoid all artificial sweeteners for dogs. Some unlikely products contain sweetener, such as certain peanut butters, so always check the packet.

 - Dried fruits: Grapes mean Grief, and we tend tohave a lot more of these around over Christmas, what with mince pies, grapes and Christmas cakes and pudding. 2 mini mince pies cost me £170 last year. I knew one of my pups had eaten them but didn't know which one. The vet had to inject them both with a vomiting drug. It turned out it was Milo. How did I know? because he sprayed the car with spectacular volumes of vomit on the way home. Don't say I didn't warn you! 

 - Cured meats: A little won't hurt but they're very high in salt/sodium. 

 - Cooked bones and fat: Bones splinter when cooked and fat causes pancreatitis. 

 - Macadamia: It's uncertain why, but they can cause fever, tremors, vomiting and diarrhoea. They're also fatty, so pancreatitis is a risk too. 

 - Caffeine: Don't leave your coffee on the floor when opening pressies. they're super sensitive to caffeine. Imagine the effect too much has on us - multiplied. 

 - Alcohol: Same applies - just BAD for them. 

 - Onion, avocado: A little probably won't hurt, a lot might make them poorly. 

Aside from Bad human foods for Good dogs, it's best to avoid those brightly coloured rawhide chews that are especially available at this time of year. Rawhide is never good; it's processed with bleach and other unpleasant chemicals, and shards can easily get stuck in dogs' throats. There are good alternatives. Mine enjoy a pigs' ear in their Christmas stocking. Not to be chewed up all at once, maybe or you'll be reaching for the PupRepublic "Tummy Tamer' diarrhoea syrup! Maybe get a bottle in for the festive season, just in case.