Monday, 23 December 2013

Deck the halls ...

Picture: Didier Olmstead
In case you hadn't noticed, it's Christmas - and that time of year when the outdoors comes indoors in the shape of Christmas trees, holly, ivy and mistletoe. Very jolly and festive it may look, but do remember that they can cause problems to your dog if he decides to take a nibble. Fir tree oils can irritate, dropped needles can get stuck in paws and fur, chemicals used to prolong or decorate the tree may be toxic, while holly berries can make your dog very ill if he samples a few and those from mistletoe can kill. Hanging them high out of his reach doesn't mean they are safe, as the berries often drop off and fall to the floor, unnoticed by everyone except your dog who may think a few unexpected treats have come his way and will promptly hoover them up.
Some plants traditionally given at Christmas can be equally dangerous: Poinsettia is now off the 'fatal' list - apparently it was only there originally due to a misreported case of poisoning. However it can cause nausea and vomiting if it gets nibbled, so make sure it is out of reach. Amaryllis (Hippeastrums) and Hyacinths are also often given but can be toxic. You could of course, always drop a few hints that if anyone is thinking of buying you a plant or flowers this Christmas, you would rather they donated the money to a charity instead ...

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