Leeds puppy scaled baby-gate to get his paws on chocolate presents under the Christmas tree

A naughty puppy from Leeds managed to scale a baby-gate in order to get his hands on the presents under the Christmas tree.

By Rebecca Marano
Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 11:04 am
Naughty George the Greyhound tucked into his family's Christmas presents at his home in Roundhay. Photo provided by owner.
Naughty George the Greyhound tucked into his family's Christmas presents at his home in Roundhay. Photo provided by owner.

Cheeky Greyhound George had been locked away in the kitchen but the temptation of the tree proved too much for him.

The eight-month-old dog managed to break free from the kitchen by scaling the gate and ended up eating a 100g bar of dark chilli chocolate and also some Chai teabags.

Owner Hannah McVittie, who lives in Roundhay, said: "We have a baby gate that keeps George in the kitchen area but the temptation of the tree and presents meant that he had somehow scaled it to tear open a number of presents.

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"He made his way through a whole bar of 80% dark chilli chocolate and then went onto the Chai tea spiced bags, but he obviously didn’t like those as much as he left half of them!

"When I returned home from work I realised what had happened and rushed him straight to White Cross Vets where they gave him an injection to make him sick.

Mrs McVittie added: "Unfortunately, he was only bringing up bile, which meant that the chocolate had probably made its way into his intestine, so we headed to the emergency overnight care vets where they gave him the charcoal substance and monitored him overnight for 24 hours.

"Luckily he has made a full recovery and even though his heart rate was elevated, he didn’t go into a seizure.

"We are all so relieved he is OK and hope that our story will act as a warning to other dog owners, as we just didn’t expect George would be able to get to the tree. We won’t ever leave edible gifts under the tree again!"

Vet Luke Green, who helped treat naughty George, has given a warning for dog owners to vigilant this Christmas.

He said: "Christmas is a time to celebrate and enjoy a whole host of treats for humans and dogs alike – in fact most of the major supermarkets now all stock a huge range of pet-friendly Christmas treats and toys, with everything from mince pies for dogs through to a range of macarons for small breed dogs, filled with mutt-friendly yoghurt and even Pawsecco for cats!

“However, at Christmas time it’s likely that there will be more potentially dangerous foods around the house, like chocolate and Christmas cake, so it’s essential dog owners in particular make sure their pets can’t reach them.

“Every year we see a marked increase in emergency calls around Christmas time. Some are due to owners unwittingly feeding dogs harmful food, but the majority are because a dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have, with chocolate being the most common.

“Chocolate is poisonous to dogs, but it depends on how much they have consumed and what type they have eaten – the darker the chocolate the more at risk the dog is due to the levels of theobromine.

"Any type of chocolate has the potential to be toxic, but dogs that eat large volumes and dark chocolate in particular will be seriously ill.

"The age and general health of a dog will also affect how they deal with the toxicity of the chocolate, and the speed at which they are treated will also have an impact. If they are treated within half an hour to an hour, they will usually make a quick recovery, but owners should always seek professional help rather than trying to make their dog sick themselves, as this can be extremely dangerous.”

White Cross Vets has compiled a list of the 10 most common hazards for pet owners to be aware of at Christmas. They are:

Bones – Once they’ve been cooked, bones become brittle and splinter easily, which can cause all types of problems to pets. Plus turkey bones are hollow so they splinter easily regardless of whether they are cooked or raw, and should never be given to pets.

Christmas Cake, Christmas Pudding and Mince Pies – As well as being full of fat, and possibly alcohol, these usually contain raisins and sultanas, which are similar to grapes and can make certain pets seriously ill.

Chocolate – This is particularly dangerous to pets because as well as upsetting the intestinal system, it can also affect the heart and neurological systems. Don’t forget about chocolate decorations on trees which lots of pets will soon sniff out.

Nuts – Although they become very common at this time of year, pets should avoid eating them. Almonds and pistachios can cause an upset stomach or a sever throat obstruction and some nuts, such as macadamias and certain walnuts can be toxic, causing seizures or neurological signs.

Christmas trees – Should stand in a sturdy base so it’s unlikely to fall over if it’s climbed by a cat or knocked by a dog, which could injure the pet as well as anyone else that’s close by.

Pine needles – Ideally should be cleaned up as soon as they drop because they can become embedded in paws.

Seasonal plants - Holly, mistletoe and poinsettias can all cause intestinal problems if they are eaten so keep them well away from pets.

Tinsel and ribbons – These are often attractive to pets, and particularly cats, but if they are swallowed they will block the intestines and surgery could be required to remove them.

Alcohol – Should never be given to pets and it’s also important to think about whether it’s been used in a recipe, before feeding a pet titbits.

Guests – Finally, don’t be afraid to ask guests not to feed your pets, especially because many non-pet owners might not understand the risks associated with certain food types.