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Keep Your Dogs Safe This Christmas

on 17 December 2014

With Christmas only a week away the shops are really busy and people are filling their cupboards with Christmas goodies. 

Having dogs who love their food we have many memories of Harvey eating something he shouldn’t …

Eat Drink and be Merry!

When the house is full of visitors indulging in Christmas goodies it’s so easy to leave chocolates and mince pies within reach of our dogs.  We were lucky with Harvey, and only had to make one phone call to the emergency vet, but we now make sure that anyone entering the house knows not to leave anything within his reach.




How do I stop my dog from ‘stealing’ food?’

Looking at it from a human perspective, many people feel that we should teach our dogs not to ‘steal’ our food.  I remember a friend telling me that her dog never steals food and that she could always leave her food on the coffee table.  One Christmas however, she became unstuck … her dog ate all the chocolates and mince pies that had been left out for Santa and his helpers and was very poorly on Christmas day.

If your dog thinks he is ‘Top Dog’ and the head of the family, then he will also think that he should be in charge of the food.  This could lead to him pestering you for food when you are eating, or he might to snatch food from your plate!  Dogs are naturally opportunist eaters so if something is left out within their reach and there is no one around they will think it is theirs and most likely eat it!  Once you communicate with your dog in a way it understand, you can assume the Leadership role and your dog will respect you and leave you and your food alone!

Foods and Plants that are toxic to dogs

Whilst most people are aware that chocolate, grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs, there are many foods and plants that could make your dog ill if consumed.

Below is a list of some common toxic foods:

  • Chocolate
  • Caffeine
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chives
  • Alcohol
  • Avocado
  • Grapes & Raisins
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Yeast Dough
  • Corn on the cob
  • Xylitol
  • Milk


There are also many house plants that are toxic to dogs including:

  • Holly
  • Poinsettia
  • Mistletoe
  • Amaryllis bulbs
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Azalea
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Day lilies

If you suspect that your dog has consumed any of these, or are unsure if something he has eaten will harm him, call your vet immediately, and make sure you have the emergency vets number to hand.

Keep your dog safe at Christmas

We all want to keep our dogs safe over Christmas, so ask guests not to give your dog ‘treats’ from the table.  Just like humans, dogs can be ill from over-indulging, especially if it is food that they don’t normally eat.  When we first had Harvey one of our visitors felt sorry for him and gave him a bowl full of turkey curry … needless to say he gobbled it all up, but paid for it the next day! 

If your visitors can’t resist those puppy dog eyes, then lead your dog to another room while you are eating, so that he is out of harm’s way.

Similarly, if your dog can’t resist the sparkly baubles and tinsel on your Christmas tree, then either have your tree in a room that your dog doesn’t have access to or just decorate the parts of the tree that are out of his reach.  Baubles, tinsel, candles and most decorations we place on our trees could all harm your dog, either through choking or blocking their intestines.

I hope you all enjoy the Christmas festivities and wish you and your canine companions a happy, healthy and safe Christmas!  If your dog’s behaviour concerns you over the holiday period, and you wish to know more about Canine Communication and how it can help you and your dog live happier relaxed lives, give me a call on 07889 343383 or send me an email.


Due to the coronavirus outbreak I am unable to offer home consultations at the moment.  I can however offer you a 2 hour Skype consultation at a reduced cost of £125.  This price includes a 2 hour Skype consultation plus lifetime back-up by phone or email.  If you want to learn more about how I can help you and your dog(s), please get in touch