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The hazards of Christmas for your pets and how to avoid them

The festive period is almost upon us!  A time to get together with family and friends and fill our faces full of foody delights before collapsing on the sofa to watch whatever is on the TV with one eye closed.  The last thing you need when you’re settling in to watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ for the tenth time is an emergency dash to the vets with a poorly pet!  I used to be a Veterinary Nurse and Christmas Day was always busy and here is a list of reasons why:

The Christmas Tree:  A thing of beauty with all it’s lights and shiny baubles.  Chances are your pet is thinking the same thing and that all his Christmases have come at once!  Some lights can cause burns if a pet were to become entangled, strands of fine tinsel can be chewed and cause intestinal obstructions, glass ornaments can be knocked down and broken – causing cuts to paws and mouth and then there is the foil covered chocolate treats!  Remember, theobromine contained within chocolates can be be toxic to dogs.
We are not saying if you have pets don’t get a tree, but just be mindful of the points above, be extra observant and don’t leave tree and pet unattended.

Holiday food – yum, yum: It’s always tempting to slip your pet some leftovers when he or she is staring longingly at your plate with those big, sad eyes.  The odd treat never harmed anyone they say, but think safety and well as waist lines.  Chicken and turkey bones are a particular no-no as they can easily splinter and become lodged in mouths, throats and intestines.  Visit your vet or a pet shop to pick up a suitable and safe treat.

Big blow-out binges on roast dinner are not a good idea for our furry friends.  A sudden intake of fatty, rich food can result in anything ranging from mild diarrhoea to full on gastroenteritis and life threatening pancreatitis.
Festive plants: It’s not just our tree that can be hazardous to pets – popular plants such as poinsettia, lillies, mistletoe, holly and Christmas roses can all be toxic to varying degrees.  Best to keep them out of reach of curious noses.

Antifreeze & Rock Salt: It can be essential for us during the very cold weather, but can be deadly to pets even in very small quantities.  Keep it stored securely and your pets out of harms way.  Check your vehicle for leaks regularly and if you have a spillage make sure it is cleaned up thoroughly.
Rock salt (which is used to melt ice on driveways and pavements) can be irritating to your dogs paws.  Rinse and dry after walks to reduce the risk of this happening.

Wishing you and your pets a very happy, healthy and safe festive period from everyone at Vetsure!

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