Top tips for your pets at Christmas

Christmas and the New Year is a fun time for many of us but it also brings a number of problems for our pets.  Follow these top tips and you can all have a great time.

  • High fat, festive foods can easily cause diarrhoea or vomiting by irritating the lining of your pets’ stomach and intestines and make them quite poorly·
  • Human chocolate can be particularly dangerous in dogs as it contains Theobromine which dogs cannot get rid of so it can build up in their bodies and cause neurological problems.
  • Turkey bones need to be cleared away properly.  Cooked bones, especially poultry, tend to splinter so they could puncture your pets’ stomach and lead to a serious infection.  Pets can also choke on these small bones.
  • Christmas decorations present themselves as tempting toys and need to be kept out of the way.  Glass baubles can break and lead to splinters that can stick into paws or mouths so better to use plastic ones!
  • Alcohol – pets have a low tolerance of alcohol which can damage their liver if consumed so don’t leave your glass unattended.
  • Tinsel can be chewed and swallowed and get stuck in the intestines causing a blockage.
  • Be wary of playful pets chewing through fairy lights as they could get electrocuted.
  • Don’t forget to be careful of children’s toys as small parts left around can be swallowed.
  • Take care with floral arrangements and plants especially if you have cats; all Lillies are toxic to cats and the pollen can easily get on their coats if they brush past an arrangement, they can then ingest the toxins when they groom themselves. Ponsiettas are also a common addition to the home at Christmas they are toxic to your pet if ingested.
  • The “bang” from crackers may scare pets so make sure they are in another room.
  • Don't leave your pets at home alone if you are going away for a couple of days- ensure you have arranged for someone responsible to feed them whilst you are away.
  • If you are going away on holiday over Christmas, make sure you make arrangements with the local kennel/cattery well in advance.
  • Be aware that a noisy party at home may unsettle your pets so make sure they are in a quiet room away from the noise and check them regularly.  Also make sure that doors are not left open inviting pets to slip out unnoticed.
  • Don’t let your pets’ waistlines extend as much as ours do over the Festive period!  Overweight pets can suffer from a number of other health problems so keep treats to a minimum.

Most importantly of all, remember – a pet is for life not just for Christmas – it is very sad when the new arrival ends up in a rescue shelter.  Don’t buy a pet just as a Christmas present.