Make sure you look after your pets over the holidays

Whilst we’re all enjoying the festivities, be aware it can bring a few dangers for our pets.  Try to think ahead as our homes are packed with festive goodies at this time.  This way the whole family, including your pets, can enjoy this time of year.   So here goes:

Tip 1 – As humans, we love sparkles, baubles and tinsel.  Pets can also find these very attractive, including the threads by which they’re hung, but they can cause injury or illness if eaten.  Best to keep them out your pet’s reach.

Tip 2 – Mince pies, Christmas cake, stollen, Christmas pudding, biscuits contain sultanas and raisins.  Us humans love feasting on these but even eating a few sultanas or raisins can cause acute kidney failure in our pets.

Tip 3 – As many of you will be aware, chocolate can be dangerous for pets.  Keep chocolate gifts, coins, advent calendars and tree chocolates etc out of reach.  We very strongly recommend you seek veterinary advice should your pet accidentally consume chocolate as theobromine can be very toxic for pets.

Tip 4 – Travelling during this cold weather for the festivities?  If topping up your car’s anti-freeze take care of spillages and mop up any if you do.  Anti-freeze consumption can cause kidney failure for cats and dogs.

Tip 5 – Friends and family staying with you for Christmas?  Ask them to ensure any of their medication is out of reach from your pets.  Pets often find packaging really interesting and can easily consume tablets when everybody is occupied elsewhere.  Just because it’s suitable for humans doesn’t always mean the same for cats and dogs, and dosages can vary massively.

puppy & kitten at christmas

Tip 6 – Even a traditional Poinsettia can be a hazard.  Eating leaves, stems or sap can cause abdominal upset inc diarrhoea and cramps.  Rubbing up against the plant’s sap may cause eye irritation.

Tip 7 – Pine needles if consumed in large quantities may cause haemorrhagic diarrhoea.

Tip 8 – Take care with all those new toys requiring batteries.  Pets have been reported to consume button type batteries as well as AA or AAAs!  Ingestion can cause internal burns or blockages.

Tip 9 – We all love a roast dinner!  Whilst it’s tempting to feed your pets the bones from a roast, it’s best to avoid them.  They can easily splinter or get lodged in the throat or intestines causing multiple problems.

Tip 10 – Food is often in abundance at this time of year.   Everyday fruit and vegetables can pose a threat to pets, these include grapes, onions, apple seeds, avocado, apricot stones, kale.  Problems range from diarrhoea to breathing issues.

If your pets are staying at Kennels or a Cattery, remember to take any medication that they might need during their stay.

Should you have concerns during the Christmas and New Year celebrations, the fully trained teams at Vets Now are on hand to support you and your pets when we are closed.  If in doubt, give them a call for veterinary advice and/or treatment.  Another useful link is the Animal Poisons Line (01202) 509000

Please see here for our Riverside Veterinary Centre’s opening hours.