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Twelve Dangers of Christmas for Your Dog


All facts in this blog were provided by experts in The Vet Connection  who operate the An Post Insurance 24-hour vet helpline.

Christmas is a time for happiness, spending time with family, enjoying festive activities, and indulging in lots of treats. The twelve days of Christmas brings lots of fun, but it's also important to be aware of potential risks to our furry friends. Here’s twelve things we should keep away from our dogs at Christmas.

Pet safety at Christmas | An Post Insurance

  1. Chocolate - Christmas without chocolate is hard to imagine, but even wrapped gifts can be discovered by our canine friend. Curious noses can sniff them out and tear into the packaging which also brings its own risks.
  2. Wrapping & packaging - Dogs may be drawn to presents with appealing smells. Bright, shiny paper, bows, and ribbons can be extremely risky if eaten by our fur babies.
  3. Grapes, raisins, sultanas & currants - Mince pies and Christmas pudding are festive staples, but these treats contain dried fruits which can be incredibly harmful to dogs, potentially even causing kidney damage.
  4. Onions - Onions, chives, leeks, and garlic are more dangers to avoid for our pets. Eating even small amounts can lead to serious blood problems in dogs.
  5. Bones – Lots of people enjoy roasts and turkey during the Christmas period. The bones and carcass might smell very tempting to our four-legged friends, however, these bones can be sharp and cause internal damage if swallowed.
  6. Sweets & treats - Some sugar-free options contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol. It's crucial to check labels, as even small amounts can be harmful to dogs.
  7. Christmas trees & decorations - Shattered baubles, entangling lights and cables, and consuming tinsel or ribbon can pose risks. Pine needles should also be cleared to prevent paw injuries and stomach upsets. NEVER leave your dog alone with the Christmas tree.
  8. Festive plants - Poinsettia, holly, and mistletoe are all toxic if eaten by your dog.
  9. Grit/rock salt - Winter de-icing substances can irritate paws and become toxic if licked off. Clear it from your dog's paws to prevent harm.
  10. Candles, fires, & lanterns - Keep dogs away from open flames to prevent burns and injuries. Ensure good ventilation in rooms with scented items.
  11. Batteries – Lots of new toys and gadgets can include batteries. If batteries are chewed or swallowed, they can cause life-threatening burns, poisoning and obstructions so should be kept away from pets.
  12. Kids toys - Unwrapped toys left around can be entertaining for dogs but be cautious with plastic pieces. Toys with elastic, strings, or tassels may pose obstruction risks.

Christmas is an enjoyable time for family and friends. With a few precautions, it is possible for your dog to enjoy it as much as you do.

An Post Insurance Pet Insurance includes a 24-hour helpline, which is operated by The Vet Connection 365 days a year. It gives policy holders access to their national network of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons-registered veterinary nurses. Policy holders can call one of their registered veterinary nurses on 01 913 1067 for advice at any time.

If you’re in the market for Pet Insurance, why not get a quote today by clicking on the link below.

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An Post Insurance Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by Cover-More Blue Insurance Services Limited and underwritten by H.W. Kaufman Group Europe BV, trading as Cranbrook, on behalf of the insurer, Sava Insurance Company. 

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