Remember 12 dog rules of Christmas

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RSPCA staff in Sheffield are reminding local animal lovers to follow the Twelve Dog Rules of Christmas.

Workers are urging pet owners not to forget about their animals as the festive rush begins.

Animal Care manager Tony Benham said: “Christmas is a fantastic time but it’s also a hectic one when our pets can get easily overlooked.

“Here are 12 things you can do to make sure things go smoothly for your family and dog.”

■ Always supervise interactions between dogs and children and never leave them alone together. A scared dog could bite if they feel threatened.

■ Make sure your dog has a quiet, cosy spot to retreat if they become scared or just want to be alone.

■ Teach your children not to approach your dog when the dog is sleeping, eating, has a toy or looks worried.

■ Watch out for guests leaving doors to the outside open. If your dog escapes they could be hit by a car or get lost.

■ Chocolate, raisins and grapes are toxic to dogs – never feed them these foods.

■ If you are having turkey don’t feed your dog the bones as they can cause choking.

■ Fireworks frighten many animals. Close curtains, put on some low, calming music and ensure your dog has a safe place to seek comfort away from noise.

■ Keep the number of an emergency vet to hand.

■ If your dog is on medication, remember to stock up before the holidays.

■ Yes, puppies are cute but they’re also very demanding and the reality of owning a dog bought as ‘a gift’ can kick in very quickly. Every year, rescue centres are inundated with animals bought as presents, then abandoned.

■ If you are considering getting a dog, do your research first.

■ Lastly, don’t forget to buy your beloved pooch a present from RSPCA Sheffield Branch at 2 Stadium Way, off Woodbourn Road, Attercliffe.