Christmas is a wonderful time of year – Here are some tips for keeping your pets out of danger and enjoying the festive season.
We hope you are getting your house filled up with tasty treats for Christmas but did you know many of these can be poisonous to your pets? For example, chocolate is very toxic to dogs and should never be given as a treat and all chocolate should be put well out of your pooch’s reach, unless you have proper ‘dog chocolate’.
Coffee, Alcohol, Raisins, Grapes, Sultanas and Sweets are tasty for us but can cause liver failure and other problems in our pets. Remember that mince pies and Christmas puddings contain raisins and can be toxic to dogs. This list also includes certain sweeteners which can be toxic in even small amounts can be highly toxic. Also, human food, treats and scraps that are a change to your pets normal diet can cause stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhoea and even more serious conditions such as Pancreatitis which can be fatal. Try to keep your pets diet constant through the festive period and give them their normal amount of cat or dog food. This includes cats on special diets for problems such as renal disease or cystitis.
Some plants also cause problems. Mistletoe, Holly, Potpourri and Poinsettias can all cause problems and should be avoided. As always, extreme caution is needed with lilies as the pollen can cause renal failure in cats. Needles from the tree should be hoovered at least daily, and tinsel and similar decorations can be a very tempting toy which must not be eaten. Also make sure your tree is secure and won’t fall over onto an inquisitive furry friend. Similarly, make sure electric cables for light and other decorations are well protected or out the way – these can often be chewed, especially by house rabbits!
Remember dogs and cats will know what is beneath all that wrapping paper using the power of their nose, so be very careful with presents under the tree and treats hanging from it!
There are often still fireworks at this time of year so keep your pets inside and stock up on DAP and Feliway to calm them, and use a noise de-sensitization CD if you have one. Ask at the surgery if you pet needs more help in the form of natural calming therapies or sedatives. Pets may try to run out of the door with guests coming and going and the noises of parties so ensure they are micro-chipped.
There are a few other winter hazards to be aware of – the salt and grit on the roads can be irritant to dog’s feet so ensure to wipe their feet when coming back from walks. Be very careful of anti-freeze, as the taste can be attractive especially to cats and can cause severe kidney failure.
Also, remember to keep up with your flea medication. As the central heating comes on and people stop using the flea medications, we always see lots of flea cases over Christmas. Remember your Stronghold or Advocate!
Finally, if your pet is looking unwell over the festive period then don’t be tempted to give any human medications. It is much better to call us and use our emergency service for further advice.
We hope you have a fantastic Christmas and that all of this doesn’t scare you – just try to keep an eye out for any potential problems and let guests know to avoid giving your pets any human treats – why not try having a few carrot sticks or a couple of new toys to hand to give instead! If you have any queries then let us know.
We wish all our furry friends a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year!
p.s Remember pets feel the cold too especially thin coated breeds, so ensure they are wrapped up warm.