People in Rotherham are being urged to think about the dangers their dogs face this winter as they are out and about on walks in the colder weather and being fed Christmas treats.

Some foods like mince pies and plants like holly and mistletoe are toxic to dogs when ingested in large quantities and Dog First Aid South Yorkshire are keen to inform people how to look after their dogs and keep them safe.

Jane Chapman, who runs the South Yorkshire franchise, said: “Coming into the winter months you have older dogs who may be vulnerable to the cold.”

Older dogs also don’t feel the heat like younger dogs do and so Mrs Chapman has urged owners to ensure older dogs laying near radiators and other heat sources didn’t accidentally burn themselves.

Other dangers to dogs, both old and young, appear at Christmas time when owners buy certain seasonal goods.

Mrs Chapman said that whilst some seasonal goods are toxic to our pets, the most severe harm is done when large amounts of toxic things are ingested,  the amount of which needed to seriously affect our pets can vary from plant to plant, or food to food. 

Mince pies, chocolate and Christmas leftovers containing cooked bones, can all be incredibly damaging to dogs if ingested.

Eating such toxic or damaging foods can cause symptoms like abdominal pain, a loss of appetite and vomiting in dogs.

Common winter items like Rock Salt and Anti-freeze are also very toxic to dogs and being poisoned by one of them can cause your dog to appear drunk or wobbly and have a rapid heartbeat.

Dog First Aid South Yorkshire offers training courses on how to immediately react should someone’s beloved pet face health problems.

Mrs Chapman said: “I have seen what happens when people don’t know what to do in those first minutes.

“Knowing what to do in those first important minutes may save the dog.”

Mrs Chapman urged anyone who suspects their dog may be poisoned to not watch and wait and to call their vet immediately. 

For more information and regular tips on how to ensure your four-legged friends are safe this Christmas, you can follow Dog First Aid South Yorkshire on Facebook here.