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Christmas Care

Tips on keeping your pets safe at Christmas

Christmas is a busy and fun time for most of us, but remember those extra festivities can cause additional hazards for your pets. Here are a few tips on what to be aware of: 

  1. Harmless-looking, shiny, sparkly tinsel is easily ingested by playful pups and curious kittens. It then becomes tangled up in their guts - often requiring major (and expensive) surgery to fix.
  2. Fairy light wires may also be seen as fun toys, but can cause shocks and burns to inquisitive pets - especially house rabbits.
  3. Fragile glass baubles must be kept out of reach as any broken fragments may get stuck in paws and pads, causing pain and an unplanned trip to the emergency vet.
  4. Please never offer your dog chocolate; in fact, keep any chocolate well out of reach as it contains poisonous theobromine, which could kill your dog if ingested in sufficient quantities. Dark chocolate is especially dangerous.
  5. Any grapes or raisins (including fruit cake) must also be kept off your pet's festive menu as they can cause fatal kidney problems.
  6. Same goes for onions (or anything containing them), and turkey carcasses must be bagged-up and safely disposed of - not fed to pets as they may cause intestinal perforation and constipation.
  7. Accidental ingestion of Christmas plants (holly, ivy, poinsettia, mistletoe) can also cause toxicity to your pets. Antifreeze, which is extremely palatable, can kill even with tiny amounts swallowed.
  8. Respect pets when unfamiliar guests visit during the holidays as their normal routines will be upset. Please warn strangers (especially young children) about how to approach them correctly - this will prevent bites and other injuries.
  9. When spoiling your pet rotten this Christmas, always spare a thought for lonely rescue animals, spending perhaps another Christmas behind bars, with no happy, warm family fussing over them. Why not make a donation to your local shelter, sponsor, or even donate some old blankets, food, toys or newspapers?
  10. Finally, never give a pet as a Christmas present. Most puppies and kittens for sale at this time of year will have been irresponsibly bred; contact the Kennel Club or consider adopting a rescue pet in the New Year instead!