Dog owners urgently warned festive foods could put pets in danger this Christmas

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Families across the nation are spending the last few days before Christmas stocking up on their festive treats as they unwind over the next week following a tough year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Festive treats can often include mince pies, hot chocolate and mulled wine. However, people are advised not to let their dogs tuck into any of their favourite snacks as they could be bad for their health.

Dogs Trust Manchester shared a list of foods and drinks that could be harmful in a warning to pet owners.

The trust said: “With less than a week to go until Christmas, here’s some useful info to keep your dog safe this festive season!”

The trust added other Christmas items such as decorations like mistletoe could have a bad reaction with pets.

They said: “Ensure human treats are out of sight, reach and smell.

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“Don’t let your dog eat: Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, mince pies or chocolate.

“Don’t let your dog drink: Drinking chocolate, mulled wine or any alcohol

“Avoid onions, leeks, garlic, shallots and chives.

“These cause diarrhoea, vomiting and damage to red blood cells.

“Watch out for holly berries and mistletoe. These cause vomiting, diarrhoea and lethargy.”

The Kennel Club and Agria Pet Insurance also recently shared data that showed dogs could be up to 86 percent more at risk of being poisoned in December.

Managing director of Agria Pet Insurance Simon Wheeler said: “Every December we see a sharp spike in instances of dogs being poisoned, and the culprit is often festive food.

“Innocuous things for us like chocolate, Christmas cake or mince pies can prove life-threatening – and for the most foodie or artful of dogs, it can just take seconds for them to eat something they shouldn’t.

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“We urge dog owners to be extremely careful at Christmas by keeping harmful food or other poisons out of reach, and to contact their vet urgently if their dog eats anything they know or suspect could be toxic.”

Mr Wheeler added Christmas can be overwhelming for dogs due to loud noises or having a disrupted routine.

He said: “Dogs can have a lot to deal with over the Christmas period – excited and noisy children, crackers banging, presents being unwrapped and unfamiliar people, voices and smells.

“It can be overwhelming so avoid forcing festive fun by making sure their routine isn’t disrupted – take them out on their usual walks and keep dinner time the same – and make sure they still have their normal space and bed so they can retreat and settle in their usual spot if and when they want to.

“Everyone is busy at Christmas with many spending more time away from home, but don’t forget about your four-legged friend or leave them alone for more than four hours.

“Remember too that many dogs will have got used to their owners being home more due the pandemic, so any transition to spending more time apart will need to be prepared for.

“While this Christmas might be more restrictive for us, our dogs may still be noticing quite a change.”

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