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It would be fair to say that just about everyone enjoys the festive season whether they go all out or if they prefer a quieter more sedate time over the Christmas period. The one thing that most people do is over-indulge in more ways than one and it's when dogs often tuck into things they are not generally allowed to eat.
It's that much easier to be distracted when lots is going on around you which includes when Christmas presents are being exchanged and opened. It's when our canine pals take advantage of the situation and grab a bite of something to eat that may be lying about or left unattended. The result? An upset tummy or worse a blockage which ends up with you taking them to the vet.
There's no doubt that for a dog finding a plate of full of tasty morsels sitting on a side table with nobody watching over it, is a massive temptation to say the least. It's not only Labradors that might snatch a bite or two from an unattended plate full of food, because a few other breeds might not be able to resist the temptation either.
The rule of thumb is to always leave plates of food high enough so they out of reach of a dog (or other pet) so they can't get at them. If a dog gulps down food that is not good for them, they will end up with a serious tummy upset that might well see you spending a lot of time and money at the vet instead of enjoying things with your family and guests.
It goes without saying lots of small toys and other tiny objects may be left lying around on the floor, especially on Christmas day after all the presents have been opened. It could be a small strand of ribbon or tinsel, a little bit of cellotape, or a tiny toy out of a Christmas cracker that a dog decides to chew and swallow, but whatever it is, the object can cause a serious blockage in their digestive tract that would merit a trip to the vet as a matter of urgency.
Dogs and especially puppies and younger dogs have a habit of chewing on things and if the objects are small enough they end up swallowing them. The best way to avoid any sort of emergency is to always pick everything up from the floor once the presents have been opened and to always make sure there are no little toys left on the ground when your dog is around. With this said, dogs have been known to swallow some pretty extraordinary things over the Christmas period!
With Christmas comes the colder weather which brings much harder ground and although there may not be any snow around, the chances are it may be icy outside whether it's puddles that have frozen over or there's a heavy frost lying over the land. This always poses quite a problem for people who need to walk their dogs because not only might they slip over, but their canine companions might go flying too and they could end up injuring themselves quite badly.
The problem being the shorter days with darker mornings and evenings inevitably means walking your dog when it's dark outside. The first and most important thing is to make sure you and your dog can be seen by wearing something reflective and to always make sure the ground is not too slippery underfoot for both yourself and your dog to walk on safely. You should never try to venture along a new and unfamiliar path either, because it's far better to stick to a route you know and preferably one that's extremely well lit.
You might like to consider taking your dog along to the vet to have their teeth checked before the festive season really gets under way. The vet could give them a once over which includes checking their teeth, paw pads, claws and ears. Like this you have the peace of mind that your dog has passed their canine "MOT" and that over the Christmas period they will be as healthy as they can be.
Christmas is a time when family and friends get together to have a feast and open lots of presents. It's a time when your dog might just take advantage of the fact nobody is paying attention to a plate full of food that's sitting on a coffee table. It's when a dog might just decide to chew on a bit of tinsel or small toy and end up swallowing it. It's a time when the ground outside is frozen and a bit slippery so extra care needs to be taken when walking your dog. By being extra vigilant and making sure your dog stays safe and does not eat anything they shouldn't, means you won't have to spend any of the festive season visiting the vet!
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