Avoiding Christmas calamities!
‘tis the season to be jolly, but we want our pets to be happy too and Christmas time brings rich foods, yummy chocolate, pretty ribbons and wrapped presents; not to mention the decorations, tinsel and the piece de resistance – your tree!
Here’s how to keep your pets out of trouble.
Festive food alert: with so much extra food in the house it’s essential to keep it well away from pets. Rich foods can lead to upset tums, but especially be aware of raisins in puddings, pies and cakes as they can be very toxic to the kidneys. Chocolate is another festive favourite, but as little as 50g of plain chocolate can be fatal for a small dog! Turkey meat is fine, but if your pet gets hold of the turkey bones there is potential for a dangerous gut blockage – not what you want! Dogs will be able to suss out the presents under the tree that are of the edible sort, so it’s a good idea to keep these elsewhere.
Dastardly decorations! It’s a difficult one, but try to make sure your decorations, particularly those on the tree, are out of reach or securely fastened. Cats will find the twinkly lights appealing, and the tinsel and baubles irresistible to give a good bat. But they could also swallow or harm themselves on broken decorations. Be vigilant and keep an eye out.
Toxic plant alert! It’s lovely to have lilies in the home over the Christmas period, but these are extremely toxic to cats. All parts of the plant, including the pollen, are toxic and can cause kidney failure. If you have these in the house, ensure they are out of reach of your cat.
E-Cigarette awareness: A hazard to dogs who like to chew everything! The high concentration of nicotine poses serious risks, so ensure these are kept well out of your pooch’s way.
Lots of us wish for a white Christmas, but if we are lucky enough to get snow this year, don’t forget that snow and ice can ball up between your pet’s toes and road grit can cause nasty sores if not washed off. Also, slim fine coated breeds like whippets find it more difficult to conserve heat, and benefit from a dog coat in the extreme weather.
It’s a wonderful time of year and with a bit of extra care where our pets are concerned there will be no need for poorly tums, injuries or emergency trips to the vets.
From all of us at Hillside Vets, we wish you a very Happy Christmas!
Chris Devlin BVSc MRCVS is a Vet and Partner at Hillside Veterinary Centre in Corfe Mullen.