Christmas Cautions- How to Keep Your Pet Safe
We all love Christmas, even our pets! They notice all the excitement, the extra visitors and the new toys and treats. But it is important to realise not all aspects of the festive season are enjoyable for our pets, and we have to be extra cautious at this time of year, as there are many things that can be dangerous for our furry friends that we may not even be aware of.
Here are a few things your pet should steer clear from
Chocolate, onions, nuts, blue cheese, fruit cakes and mince pies can all be toxic to dogs and cats and should be out of reach from your pet at all times. If you are to give your pet some turkey as a Christmas treat, be sure to remove any bones as although they can usually eat around them, they can sometimes get stuck in your pet’s throat and cause chocking or damage to the intestines.
Although we will not be able to tell what’s inside once they are all wrapped up; our pets can! They will use their sense of smell to sniff out all the tasty treats which could actually be poisonous to them. Be conscious to place these kinds of presents somewhere that your pet cannot reach them, or keep your pets out of the room where the presents are.
Lovely as they look Christmas trees can cause mild vomiting and diarrhoea if chewed or ingested and pine needles can also get stuck in paws. Make sure the area is vacuumed regularly and the tree is watered to reduce the number of fallen pine needles.
Ethylene glycol – what we use to de-frost our car windows in the morning is extremely dangerous for pets, especially cats. Due to its sweet taste, pets find it very palatable but even the smallest amount can cause serious kidney damage and can be fatal. Remember to keep this in a safe place, preferably in a secure or locked cupboard where it is impossible for your pet to get hold of.
These can cause significant problems if ingested. Baubles can splinter or smash inside your pet which can cause damage to the stomach and intestines. Try to supervise your pets around all baubles, tinsel, Christmas lights or any other decorations which would be ingested.
Holly and mistletoe are also mildly toxic and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea if ingested so should be kept well out of reach of animals.
Ingestion of batteries is more common at this time of year. If the battery is chewed by your pet or pierced it can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning. If they are swallowed whole they could cause an obstruction, so be sure to throw old batteries away safely and store new ones away from your pets reach.
Have a safe Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Student Veterinary Nurse