Make sure it’s a merry Christmas for you and your pets

There are many hazards worth being aware of at Christmas which could require emergency treatment for pets over the festive period. Christmas can present a number of potential issues for pets as homes are decorated for the season and a range of food and drink is often left lying around.

Items which present risks to pets at Christmas include ribbons on presents, tinsel, sharp tree needles, low-lying fairy lights and a number of food items.

Dogs will drink most forms of alcohol left in glasses, so people need to also be wary of leaving drinks where their animals can easily access them.

Other festive items which could cause harm to animals include plants such as mistletoe, poinsettia, holly and ivy which can all cause upset stomachs, while lilies can cause kidney failure in cats.

Some food items which are commonly eaten by people over the Christmas period are surprisingly associated with toxicity in dogs and cats.  These include grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas, including Christmas cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding, which can cause kidney failure in dogs, along with onions, dark chocolate and mouldy foods, which can all be harmful.  Keep an eye out for the sugar substitute xylitol which is extremely poisonous to dogs.

Meanwhile, the general business of the festive season can also cause some anxiety for pets, whose usual routines are thrown by large crowds, noise and celebrations.

Keeping to a normal routine can help a pet cope, while those spending Christmas Day with family and taking a dog should take something which smells familiar to help the dog feel secure.

Sophie Adamantos, Clinical Director at Paragon, said: “We recommend that pet owners keep an eye on what their pet is up to during the festivities to keep them safe and well, so everyone can have a merry Christmas.”