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December 13, 2012

Dr Chris Brown tells how to keep your dog safe this Christmas

A leading Australian veterinarian says that Christmas is one of the most dangerous times of the year for our pets.

A combination of too many people, too much excitement, not enough routine and not enough of the right kind of attention could leave your dog not only dazed and confused, it might actually lead to an accident or something worse.

Dr Chris Brown, veterinarian and Medibank's Pet Insurance Ambassador, says that pets add so much to our lives but we need to be considerate about their needs.

"Look at the world through your dog's eyes this Christmas and see it from their perspective," he says.

"Like any relationship, we need to consider our end of the deal and this includes keeping them safe, secure and comfortable over the holidays," he adds.

Here are some of Dr Chris's hints so that you and your dog can enjoy the silly season without dramas or expensive bills.

  • Routine is king. Christmas means lots of people coming and going which can be confusing to your dog, so walking and feeding them at regular times as you normally do will keep them happy!
  • Exercise makes for a model dog. To ensure your Christmas visitors and dog get along, try to tire him out with a good walk so he's not overly excited and leaving paw prints all over your guests.
  • Avoid leaving a child and dog together. No matter how friendly the dog or how old the child, if you cannot supervise your dog, keep him safe in his own area where no one can bother him.
  • Watch what your dog eats. Low hanging decorations on a Christmas tree can look very tempting to your canine friend! Also, be careful not to leave treats around that aren't dog friendly. Theobromine or chocolate can be fatal.
  • Left-overs are great but not for dogs. Rich food may upset his stomach and things like cooked bones could splinter or puncture his digestive system.
  • Have an escape plan. The pop of a champagne bottle or Christmas cracker can startle the best of us so keep in mind that a dog's amazing hearing capabilities mean that these sounds are intensified through their ears. Ensure there is a place where your dog can escape from the party.
  • Consider pet insurance. Not only could it save you on vet bills, Medibank Pet Insurance customers also have access to great information, tips and contacts to help keep their pets healthy.

"Dogs are wonderful companions but are almost entirely unpredictable and are completely reliant on us. We all want to have a safe and happy Christmas," adds Dr Chris, "and that includes our pets!"

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