Tips for a Happy and Healthy Christmas for Your Pet

Tips for a Happy and Healthy Christmas for Your Pet

Happy Christmas to everyone!

It may feel only fair given you have treated yourself, to also allow your pet to have some bonus nibbles. This is of course fine, but, must be with suitable treats, otherwise you could potentially make them unwell and in some cases, may even be endangering their life. Below is a list of some potentially toxic treats which should not be given to pets and also not left out for animals to be able to get at:

Chocolate

Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to cats and dogs. It can cause diarrhoea, vomiting, changes within the heart, seizures and ultimately can be fatal.
The level of theobromine varies between chocolate types, but, in general is greatest in dark types and the least in white types. There can however, be great variation so if your pet has ingested any chocolate, you should always contact your vet for advice and make sure you take the packaging with you to the appointment.

Grapes/raisins/sultanas

It is unknown exactly the mechanism by which these fruits are toxic and some animals can tolerate some without problem whereas in others, just a small amount of them have proven to be fatal causing kidney failure.

Flowers/Plants

There are lots of plants and flowers which can be dangerous to cats and dogs with varying levels of toxicity. Mistletoe and holly tend to be mildly toxic, whereas lilies in cats can be fatal when only a tiny amount is eaten.

Anti-freeze

Not a treat as such, but, certainly feels that way on a freezing, dark early morning. Anti-freeze solutions can contain ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic for dogs and cats. It is a sweet tasting liquid and so animals will readily drink it, so do be careful and if spillages do occur, make sure to clean them up.

The roast

We have all had it, our lovable pets persistently getting under our feet whilst we are cooking enticed by the smell of Christmas dinner. A small amount of turkey will do no harm, but, do avoid letting your pet have anything with onion in such as gravy as these can cause anaemia. Furthermore, high fat foods such as drippings should not be given as these can cause tummy upsets and in some cases pancreatic problems.

Keep Christmas decorations and small toys out of reach – These can be swallowed and if they obstruct the intestines can result in emergency surgery in order to remove them! Without treatment this can be fatal! Tinsel and ribbons are especially dangerous as they concertina the intestines and require multiple incisions to remove them.

Hangover medication

Finally if you are feeling a little worse for wear and reach for the paracetamol or ibruprofen, keep in mind that this can be toxic for dogs and is highly toxic for cats. Keep safely locked away from your investigative furry family members!

Enjoy your Christmas and New Year with your family, both human and animal, and if you are ever unsure whether something your pet might have been given or stolen is safe or not, contact a vet for advice straight away.