Christmas Advice

Christmas: It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s also one of the busiest times of year for vets up and down the country as our pets find new ways to test us! Unfortunately, Christmas can be fraught with hazards for your pet… Luckily many of these are easily avoidable with a little guidance.

Below is some advice on keeping your pets safe and happy this Christmas.

1. Be aware of toxic food items.

We all love to over-indulge at Christmas time. Sometimes it can be easy to forget that many of the things we safely enjoy can be harmful to our animals!

Highly toxic items include:
Chocolate (advent calendars are commonly forgotten about and often raided given the opportunity!)
Grapes
Raisins (keep items such as mince pies and Christmas puds out of reach)
Onions
Garlic
Alcohol
Sweeteners.

If you suspect your pet has consumed any of these, contact your vet immediately for advice – delaying treatment can potentially be fatal.

If your pet is lucky enough to enjoy a Christmas dinner, it is safer to stick with low-fat and low-salt food items to avoid the risk of pancreatitis or upset tummies.

2. Toxic non-food items found at this time of year include:-

Poinsettias
Lilies
Anti-freeze

Again, do not delay treatment if you suspect your pet has come into contact with or consumed these items.

3. Decorations:

Christmas trees, lights and decorations such as baubles and tinsel can be endlessly fascinating for our pets, who may mistake them for toys. It is important to supervise your pets when they are in decorated rooms to avoid accidents such as cutting themselves on broken baubles or accidentally ingesting items such as tinsel which may cause internal damage. Presents under the tree may also contain harmful items and should not be accessible to pets.

4. Anxiety:

Whilst many pets love the extra attention at Christmas, this time of year can also be quite stressful for our more introverted furry friends. Some pets may be quite anxious to find there are suddenly lots of strange visitors in the house, or that their familiar surroundings have been rearranged to make room for decorations.

Make sure your pet has a safe space to retreat to that has been kept familiar. A radio switched on in an otherwise quiet area can calm a pet when there are parties going on in elsewhere in the house. The use of a Feliway or Adaptil Plug-ins may be beneficial at this time of year. Bear in mind that fireworks on New Years Eve can be frightening – it may be a good idea to keep small mammals and cats indoors, and walk dogs earlier on in the evening.

If you have any concerns with your pet over Christmas, remember your vet is always available to help!

Wishing you all a safe and very happy Christmas!