Christmas is a time for celebration and a chance to spoil our loved ones, which includes our pets. But, what’s good for us, isn’t necessarily good for them and some things can be deadly. Avoid spending Christmas at the vets by looking out for these 12 hazards of Christmas.
OK, so not strictly Christmassy, but common around this cold time of year, antifreeze. It is extremely toxic to cats and dogs and can be fatal, so lock it away and take pets to the vets if they manage to sniff some out and drink it.
While it may be tempting to hang chocolate on your tree or even place it in decorative tins around the house, if you have a dog, avoid doing so. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and even small amounts can give them an upset stomach and cause vomiting or diarrhoea.
Mince Pies, fruit cake and other festive food
Like chocolate, grapes, raisins and sultanas are all poisonous to dogs, so keep them all to yourself and don’t be tempted to share with your animals.
Sticking with the food theme, turkey is next on the list. A tasty snack for some humans and all dogs and cats. But, while the cooked meat may be a treat, bones are a choking hazard, so don’t be tempted to share them with your animals.
Tinsel & decorations
Bauble or fun toy? While Christmas decorations look beautiful to us, to animals they look like toys and food. Watch out for glass ornaments that can get broken and injure tiny paws or for things like tinsel that can wind up in the stomachs of greedy dogs and cats and make them ill.
Beautiful twinkling lights are a sign of Christmas, but they can be dangerous too. With all the extra wires around, the risk of pets electrocuting themselves by chewing through wires is increased. Keep all wires out the way and turn plugs off at the wall if pets are left alone.
Candles add a warm glow to the house and maybe even the smell of Christmas, but be careful where you put them as they can be mistaken for toys and burn unsuspecting pets or even get knocked over and cause a fire hazard.
Poinsettia, mistletoe, ivy… while they all add a fresh touch to Christmas, they are poisonous to both cats and dogs, so keep your pets safe and place them out of the way.
While Christmas is a time to be merry for us, alcohol is bad for pets that are more sensitive to the effects than we are. It can be tempting for hungry pets though so keep half full glasses out the way. You could also get some pawsecco or pet-friendly beer if you want to ensure your pets are included in your celebrations.
Wrapping paper can be multipurpose at Christmas, first concealing presents and then providing entertainment for excitable pets that want to play. A fun game perhaps, but it can become a problem if they eat too much. So make sure the majority makes its way into the recycling and not your pet’s stomach.
With celebrations, come fireworks. But, while they are fun for us, they can be stressful for animals that don’t like the bright lights and loud bangs. Ensure your animals have a cosy place to hide, shut the windows and curtains and bring small outside animals in, if possible.
Christmas is a time to get together, but having so many people around can be a stress for animals that are used to a bit of peace and quiet. Be sure not to overwhelm them and make sure they have a cosy place to hide from the chaos.