Safety first at Christmas….

Safety first at Christmas….

It is such a joyous time of year for most people and their pets but Christmas doesn’t come without a few things to watch out for. None of us want to be rushing to the Emergency Vet over the holiday so here are some things to watch out for.

The Christmas Tree is the centre piece in many homes at this time of year. If you favour the real tree be aware that the needles will drop and can get stuck in paws, fur, eyes, throats and snouts much like grass seed. Watering the tree is one way to help keep the needles in place but this can also bring a hazard of its own and the water can quickly become toxic to our pets as it absorbs the sap, which in itself causes upset tums, but add to that the pesticides and Asprin (!) added to trees by the growers and you have a potentially deadly mix that has an attractive smell for our pets, much like anti-freeze. Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettias are also a source of tummy upsets.

Decorating the tree is great fun but make sure the decorations are not going to be dislodged by playful kittens and puppies or the wires to the lights chewed. Fake snow is spectacularly bad for cats – if they rub round it and get it on their fur they will ingest it when they wash themselves.

This is the time of year when the diet gets ditched and we have lots of fabulous food. Entertaining guests also means that food maybe left on display and be tempting to a furry thief! Anything made with lots of dried fruits such as the cakes, puddings and mince pies are dangerous for the thief, as is chocolate and then there are the meaty treats such as a turkey or rib of beef. Cooked bones are an absolute no, no as they are choking hazards and all the extra trimmings will cause a real upset….you don’t need that extra clearing up in amongst the festivities. By all means let pets have their own safe version of a few tasty Christmas treats but don’t overdo it and make them poorly, it’s bad enough when Auntie Flo over does the Advocaat and the kids eat a whole tin of chocs each!

As ever if you need more information check online, the PDSA has a really helpful guide.

Have a great time – stay warm, safe and happy.