Keep Your Pets Safe During Christmas Time
The Christmas period is traditionally a celebratory time spent with family and friends where festive treats are consumed. It’s important to remember that these festivities can present hidden dangers to cats and dogs. Read on to find out how you can keep your pets safe during Christmas time.
Make your Christmas tree pet-safe
- Ensure your tree has a sturdy base as cats will often climb on it.
- Arrange decorations towards the top of the tree, out of reach.
- Avoid glass baubles or anything that could easily break, shatter and cause injury.
Be mindful of using tinsel, if ingested, it can be harmful to your pet.
- Edible decorations will likely be sniffed out by dogs and eaten. Remember, chocolate is toxic to dogs.
- Vacuum regularly so pine needles are not ingested or stood on with your pet’s paws.
- Poinsettia, holly berries, ivy, lilies, and daffodils are some of the Christmas plants that can cause severe poisoning to animals.
If you think your pet has been poisoned, then contact your vet immediately.
Watch Out for Toxic Foods
Whilst certain foods may sound like a treat, it is important to remember that some are toxic to dogs.
- Chocolate should be avoided at all costs as the chemical theobromine is toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. The darker the chocolate, the more potent the levels of theobromine. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, restlessness, excessive urination, and a racing heart. In severe cases, muscle tremors, seizures, and heart failure can be seen.
- Artificial sweeteners found in sweet treats are also thought to be even more dangerous than chocolate for dogs. Only a very small amount of Xylitol is needed to stimulate the release of insulin, leading to dangerously low blood sugar levels. Toxicity can lead to seizures, comas, and fatal liver failure.
- Grapes and their dried forms such as sultanas and raisins are also toxic, as even small quantities can cause severe kidney failure. Foods such as mince pies and Christmas puddings will include these ingredients.
Avoid Meat on the Bone
- Turkey and Chicken bones can be extremely dangerous to pets. It may seem like a good idea to let your pets have left-overs but the bones can easily splinter when cooked.
These can cause obstructions, gut irritation, or may penetrate the stomach or intestinal wall. If you do want to give your pet some leftover meat, be sure to take it off the bone and check that it’s safe and easily digestible.
For more information on keeping your dog safe at Christmas, the RSPCA have some useful advice.
While it is ok to feed your dog occasional human superfoods like fruits and vegetables, it is recommended by the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association that you give your cats and dogs an approved animal recipe. These will contain the correct amount of nutrients, so your pet’s health is not put at risk by excess amounts of fat and salt that could be present in human food and snacks.
But Most Of All, Have A Fantastic Pet Friendly Christmas
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