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Get your pet through Christmas without going Crackers

Canine Therapy Centre

Giving your pet special food treats at Christmas might seem like a nice way to include him in the festivities, but you could be harming his health. Pet owners often like to give their dog or cat a little bit of the Christmas lunch, a bit of turkey, some stuffing, a roast potato or two, and even some trifle or Christmas pudding. Unfortunately, these foods are some of the ones that can trigger a food intolerance reaction in your pet. Symptoms can be itching and scratching, or upset stomach, with sickness and diarrhoea.
Very fatty foods can also lead to problems such as pancreatitis, which is a very painful
inflammatory condition.

If your pet shows signs of an allergic skin condition, itching and scratching, a special detoxifying diet should be followed to cleanse the system. To treat the condition, give Garlic and Fenugreek tablets to deal with any minor infections on the skin. Mixed Vegetable tablets will help to relieve the irritation and cool the skin. Comfrey and Calendula Skin Balm can be used to soothe dry, sore, scaly or damaged skin.

Some pets have a more a delicate digestive system than others; so over indulgence can cause these pets to develop an upset tummy. Tree Barks Powder is a herbal remedy used to help the digestive system get back to normal. It is ideal to give during periods of, and recovery from acute diarrhoea. It is important however, to consult your veterinary surgeon if diarrhoea persists for more than a few days. Tree Barks Powder added to the feed is effective in soothing the digestive system of animals with exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. It is also very good for convalescents recovering from illness.

Digestive Supplement tablets can be used to soothe and settle windy tummies, and reduce flatulence along with its unpleasant odours!

These are all useful remedies to keep in your pet’s first aid box. If you are using herbal
remedies for your pets, please make sure they are manufactured and licensed for animals, and not for human use. The dosages can be very different.

Top Tips

  • Make sure all your leftover chicken or turkey is put away, somewhere safe, where your
    dog or cat cannot reach. Your pet can easily choke on cooked chicken and turkey
    bones.
  • Do not feed your pet grapes or raisins as these can cause poisoning. Just a handful of
    grapes have been shown to cause kidney failure. The toxins may be due to a type of
    mould found on the skin of grapes and raisins
  • Be careful that children’s toys are not left lying around, especially if they have small parts
    that your pet, including kittens and puppies, could tear or chew off and choke on.
  • Children, playing with young animals, should always be supervised as one or the other
    could become over excited and end up being hurt.
  • Plastic bags, balloons, tinsel, string, Christmas tree decorations, or any sharp objects
    can be dangerous if your dog swallows them.
  • Keep houseplants out of your pet’s reach, as many of them are toxic. They include the
    ones we tend to have around at Christmas time, such as: Poinsettias, mistletoe, spider
    plants and ferns.
  • Death by chocolate. Be careful of those vast quantities of chocolate lying around
    at Christmas time. Human chocolate should not be fed to dogs, as it contains a
    substance called theobromine. This can cause poisoning and even be lethal if
    consumed by your dog. Plain dark chocolate is more dangerous, as it has more
    theobromine than milk chocolate. There have been cases of dogs dying after eating a
    box of dark chocolates. Drinking chocolate can also have the same effect. So far this
    year, 135 cases of chocolate poisoning have been reported to the Veterinary Poisons
    Information Service.
    Symptoms of chocolate poisoning are: excessive drinking, vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse,
    and heart failure. If you suspect your dog is suffering from chocolate poisoning, you
    must call your vet immediately.
  • Why not give your dog some raw or cooked vegetables instead of chocolate, as a
    healthy alternative. A great way to boost your dog’s immune system.

Stress Busters
It’s not only mum that gets stressed at Christmas. Changes in routine, lots of visitors, Christmas crackers, party poppers and the ever increasingly popular fireworks at New Year, can all take their toll on your dog’s nerves. Try plugging in a DAP, (Dog appeasing pheromone) unit at least one week before the Christmas events. This should help to keep your pet calm and stress free for over the festive period. An excellent early Christmas present for your dog. The herb Valerian also has calming effect. Mum could try this too.

Keep your dog amused, as well as the children, by purchasing him an interactive toy, such as a Kong or activity ball. Stuffed with his favourite food these will keep your dog entertained all through the Christmas period.

If you are considering buying a puppy or kitten for Christmas, please remember they will need constant attention in the first few weeks of settling in. Young animals do not know the household rules, and will find anything a game. In a puppy or kitten’s mind, a draped tablecloth is great for pulling at. A heavy falling dish could injure your pet if he tries this game. A Christmas tree is a wonderful source of entertainment. It is fun to climb, to find coloured baubles to paw at, and may even have chocolate decorations to eat. Trailing wires from the Christmas tree lights or the television are just waiting to be chewed. Puppies and kittens are not safe to be left unsupervised in this type of environment, with so many tempting things to do.

Why not wait until after the festivities before bringing your new pet home. Then all the family will have the time to enjoy the new addition to the family, keeping him safe and healthy.

Don’t forget the older pet. As dogs and cats become elderly they tend to feel the cold more. So at this cold, damp time of year. make sure they have a warm snug bed, away from draughts and doors. An older pet appreciates a soft and warm bed to lie on, with high sides, or something like a beanbag that he can snuggle in to.

Canine Therapy Centre would like to wish all pets a safe, healthy and happy Christmas.

For further information on any of the products, or advice on behavioural problems call
Carol at The Canine Therapy Centre (01875 813213), or e-mail
carol@caninetherapycentre.co.uk