Pug with it's head in a gift box, next to a Christmas tree with baubles

A seasonal sherry, pretty poinsettia and chocolates galore may be a few of the images that Christmas conjures up for you. But each one is a potential problem for your pet at this time of year.

If you want to relax and enjoy the festive season with your favourite feline or fido, here are a few tips to make sure your Christmas goes with a bang, and not a whimper!

  • Twinkling fairy lights turn any home into a winter wonderland but the wires are a gift to any animal that likes a good chew. Make sure your pet – particularly a teething puppy – isn’t left alone in a room with wires they can reach.
  • Christmas trees are tempting treat for cats and dogs to play with, to eat or to climb! With their fascinating baubles, tinsel, candy canes, chocolate and piles of presents underneath, they pose a multitude of dangers to your pet. Leave adding presents until the last minute and perhaps forgo the sweet treats.
  • Glass baubles could be a problem for an inquisitive pet, especially if they bite into one! And if you have a real tree, make sure you vacuum regularly as a pine needle in the paw will be a right pain.
  • We all like to indulge over Christmas but several of the tasty treats we will like are deadly to pets. That includes chocolate, Macadamia nuts, grapes, onions, and the sultanas and raisins that you’ll find in Christmas pudding and cake.
  • Most of us like a tipple or two during the festive season and so, it seems, can our dogs. Vets have reported having to treat drunk dogs at Christmas so keep your glass well out of reach.
  • If the leftover turkey, goose or chicken is destined for the dog or cat bowl, make sure there are no bones left as they can splinter and cause serious injury.
  • It may be time to deck the halls with boughs of holly, poinsettias and mistletoe but they’re all toxic to our domestic pets. Make sure your pet steers well clear.
  • And finally, Christmas can be a busy time with family and friends visiting. This can stress animals so make sure they have a quiet place to retreat to.

It’s much better all round to have a quiet Christmas without emergency trips to the vet, so take a few precautions and warn the rest of the family about the key dangers and you should be able to put your feet up in front of Her Majesty in peace – as long as the washing up is done…

Christmas – keep it fun, keep it safe for pets
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