Love Dogs... Love Nature

Love your pet.. love your vet... Hillside's December health news

Love winter but be aware of potential pet hazards…!

The colder wintery nights are now well and truly with us, but as always it’s important to ensure our pets’ changing needs are taken care of and considered during this season.

Please see below some helpful tips that we hope you find useful:

Outdoor pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs will need extra warm bedding and food ­ hutches should be moved to more sheltered positons and covered over for frost protection.  You should check their water daily to ensure it hasn’t frozen over.  Where possible, we would encourage you to bring your bunnies/guinea pigs indoors overnight as temperatures can drop quite dramatically.

Whilst many dogs love the cold and the fun of the snow (should we be lucky enough to get some here in Dorset), slim, fine coated breeds such as whippets and grey hounds find it hard to conserve their body heat and would definitely benefit from a dog coat during the very cold weather.


Turning to the home environment, ensure your pets have warm comfortable sleeping areas, but it’s important to remember that fleas also love their creature comforts ­ don’t drop your guard!  You should ensure flea protection is continued all year round.  Speak to your vet about the best protection.

Christmas decorations

The Christmas festive season can unfortunately bring with it lots of hazards for our pets.  Items such as ribbon and tinsel are very attractive to playful, mischievous pets and if swallowed could lead to a serious intestinal blockage. 

Festive food

Chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs ­ in general, the higher the cocoa content the more toxic the chocolate!  Also, grapes, raisins and sultanas (found in Christmas puddings, cakes and mince pies) are also toxic to dogs.

..& festive flowers

Lilies are a particular hazard to cats that may take an interest in them, so please be aware of this and place vases out of reach.

Electronic cigarettes

Something else to bear in mind these days is electronic cigarettes ­ these pose a serious risk to dogs should they chew them.  This is due to the high concentration of nicotine within them.

Have a wonderful & safe Christmas!

Taking all of the above into consideration, we do hope that you and your pets have a wonderful and safe Christmas time.  However, if you are concerned about your pets you should contact your vet immediately for advice.



Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.  w:

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