Keep your pet safe at Christmas

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DIY and how-to

Keep your pet safe at Christmas

We’re all getting into the festive spirit at Stodels. The Christmas tree has pride of place in the office and the tinsel is up. But as we all enjoy the Christmas season, we should remind ourselves of the hazards that can be around for our animal friends.

Food

Did you know that chocolate is poisonous to your pet? Chocolate contains a powerful stimulant which is similar to caffeine, called theobromine. This is a potent toxin which can cause many problems for your pet. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, high temperature and an abnormal heart rhythm. If you think that your pet has been given, or in most cases, stolen chocolate, take them to the vet. Other foods such as raisins, sultanas, currants and grapes are all toxic to pets, and they are all common ingredients in festive cakes and pies.

We eat a lot of rich food during the festive season, but do not give any to your pets as it is usually too rich for cats and dogs to eat. Foods which are out of the ordinary can cause a serious condition called pancreatitis. This is caused by the pancreas becoming inflamed, usually following a fatty meal. It causes severe stomach pains, vomiting, lethargy diarrhoea, and in severe cases, can even cause death.

Also watch out for bones, as these can splinter and cause internal damage. If your pet shows any adverse signs of health, then do not hesitate to take them to the vet.

Plants

Mistletoe and holly, both seasonal plants, are both poisonous to animals if their berries are consumed in large quantities. Symptoms of poisoning include excess salivating, vomiting, diarrhoea, and increased frequency of urination.

Other hazards

In addition to food and plants, there are many other hazards around the house, especially if you have a cheeky puppy or an inquisitive cat.

  • Lights and tree decorations are commonly chewed or eaten by pets.  These can leave cuts and scratches in the mouth if they are chewed. If they are swallowed, they require surgical removal.
  • Ribbons and tinsel can also cause problems, particularly with cats as they love to play with them. Be aware that they are easily ingested. If this happens, then you must take your pet to the vet immediately.
  • Loud noises such as crackers, party poppers and champagne corks can also alarm your pet.

Stodels top pet safety tips

  • Keep all foods out of reach of pets.
  • Alcoholic beverages are poisonous to pets, so keep them well out of their reach.
  • Make sure the Christmas tree is well anchored, so that your pet cannot pull it over.
  • When opening presents, make sure that pets do not eat any wrapping paper.
  • Remember that elderly and nervous pets may require a quiet sanctuary to retreat from all the hustle and bustle.
  • For peace of mind, check your local vet’s opening hours over the holiday period and have their phone number to hand just in case you need it.

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