The countdown to Christmas has begun.

We’ve decked the halls, stocked up on festive goodies and begun opening the windows on our advent calendars as we wait to find out if we’ve been naughty or nice. But as excitement for the big day grows, assistance dog charity Canine Partners is reminding people of seasonal dangers that could cost their furry companion a trip to the vet.

Some of the biggest dangers include some of our favourite treats including chocolate, mince pies, Christmas pudding, nuts, berries, tea, coffee and alcohol which are all toxic to dogs. While chicken or turkey bones and food wrappings including foil, cling film and meat strings could also be harmful if eaten.

Even the Christmas tree and popular decorations could be hazardous to our pets. Not only can our four-legged friends injure themselves by knocking over the tree, they can become tangled in ribbons, tinsel or stringed ornaments and could even burn or shock themselves on fairy lights.

Meanwhile, many of our best-loved seasonal plants can be deadly to a pet including poinsettia, holly and mistletoe.

Kara Carver, one of the charity’s dog welfare officers, said, “We advise all of our puppy parents, partners and foster parents to keep an extra-close eye on their canine partners over the holidays so that everyone can enjoy a safe and merry Christmas.

“It’s particularly crucial that dogs are not left unattended with food, presents or even the Christmas tree as many of these could lead to them injuring themselves or falling ill.

“Be aware that some aspects of the festivities can be frightening to dogs and other animals including the bangs or snaps of Christmas crackers, large singing Santa Clauses and other decorations.

“It’s important not to pressure a pet to go near anything they are frightened of and never force a pet to dress up. If they are happy to wear a costume, make sure garments are flame resistant and don’t restrict movement.

“We hope that everyone on both four legs and two has a safe and merry Christmas and a happy New Year.”

Canine Partners provides amazing assistance dogs that transform the lives of disabled people.
For more information call 08456 580 480 or visit


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