We have put together a few helpful tips to assist you in keeping your pets safe and well over the Christmas and New Year Season. With all of the decorations and different foods around at this time of year, the following are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure that your pets don’t get themselves into harms way.
The only way to keep pets totally safe with regard to the Christmas tree is to keep them out of that room. If your pets are indoors this may not be possible. Try the following:
- Make sure that there are no electrical wires hanging from the branches and tape down wires that are on the floor. These can be dangerous to everyone if they are chewed on!
- Try to place the tree in a corner if possible as there is less chance of it being knocked over.
- Dont hang delicate or glass ornaments or tinsel on the bottom part of the tree.
- Try to avoid using edible ornaments on the tree – too tempting.
- If you have a real Christmas tree, try to keep the pines swept up as they can damage pets intestines if they are eaten.
Unfortunately, as beautiful as they are, a lot of the popular Christmas plants are harmful to dogs and cats if ingested. Try to keep them off the floor and out of the way.
The following are dangerous for pets when eaten:
- Lillies – (these are very poisonous to cats if they rub off the pollen and then clean themselves)
Food Glorious Food
At this time of year, there is always more food around than normal, this is great for us, not our waistlines however! As much as we love to spoil our pets with food, sometimes it is better to give a dog a dog treat and a cat a cat treat as these foods are specifically for them. A lot of human food is not suitable for pets, and some of it is harmful and/or toxic for them.
- Chocolate – we may have mentioned this before as it is one of those topics that comes up quite regularly, chocolate is not something that a dog or cat should ever eat. It contains Theobromine which is a toxin that they cannot break down. It can in a high enough quantity do damage to the dogs kidneys. We would not even encourage an ‘in moderation’ take on this as it is harmful even in small amounts.
- Turkey/Chicken bones – another popular treat, however another possible danger. Turkey and chicken bones are inclined to be very sharp when broken, they can cut mouths, throats and intestines and are best avoided at all times, if you are giving your cats or dogs leftover meat after dinner, please carefully remove any bones and when disposing of the bones, remember – they can easily be sniffed out and taken from the bin.
- Christmas Pudding/Cake & Mince Pies. Any food that contains raisins or grapes should be kept away from dogs as even in small amounts have proven to be toxic.
- Alcohol -this probably goes without saying, please do not give alcohol to dogs as it will make them sick, this is also true of foods that contain alcohol.
- Dairy Products -Dogs do not produce enough lactase to break down the lactose in dairy products, this does not cause them much harm but can cause tummy upsets and diarrhea.
- Other foods to avoid include; onions, garlic, chives, nuts, salty foods, chewing gum, yeast dough, coconut and citrus peel. These can all cause gastrointestinal problems.
General Pet Safety
Please keep pets away from open fires and burning candles, fireguards should be used when pets are inclined to lie near the fire and candles can be placed in vessels to minimise damage if they are knocked over.
Provide a safe place for your pet to retreat to if they are nervous of visitors or children or if they just need a break from all of the exitement.
Make sure they have water and food so that they are less inclined to beg and ask vistors not to feed them human food.
Although we have gone through a large list of things that are harmful to pets, our intention is just to make you aware of them to avoid any unnecessary illnesses or accidents.
We wish you and your pets a very happy Christmas and New Year and if you need us at any time, please call, we reopen on 27th December for normal surgery hours but we are available for emergencies over the Christmas period. You can reach us on 053 9142891.