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Top 10 Christmas Pet Hazards

 

Christmas holidays are a busy time for your vets. That's because holiday pet hazards overlooked by busy owners can spell disaster for your dog, cat or other pets.

Even if you're the ultra-careful type, keep the contact number for your vet handy (click here for Cheltenham Vet Clinic details).

Next, check how savvy you are about the top 10 holiday pet hazards -- and how to reduce the risks.

dog chocolate toxicity  cat lily toxicity  dog xmas tree trouble

 

Christmas hazard #1: Chocolate

 

Any chocolate is off-limits for pets.  The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous it is to pets. Theobromine and caffeine are the toxic ingredients. Sometimes boxes of chocolates may be wrapped and placed under your Christmas tree without your knowledge and well within reach of your snooping dog. So ensure your guests are aware that any chocolate gifts should be kept off the floor and out of reach.

Christmas hazard # 2: The tree

Curious dogs may sniff and paw the tree and pull it over on themselves; cats like to explore and climb such an inviting strange indoor tree.  One solution is to anchor it - you can use wire to secure the top of the tree, then run the wire up to the ceiling or the wall and secure it.

Watch out, too, for the tree preservative often put around the tree trunk. Ensure your dog or cat doesn't lap the tree water. It can cause gastrointestinal problems.

Christmas hazard #3: Seasonal plants

All portions of the lilly plant are poisonous to cats when ingested.  Just a nibble of the leaf, petal or stem can cause irreversible kidney failure despite extensive medical treatment.

Other problematic plants top keep out of reach: mistletoe, holly, cedar, balsam and pine.

Christmas hazard #4: Table scraps

Rich, fatty foods are often holiday favorites, but they can result in life-threatening pancreatitis.  Anything salty, spicy or greasy qualifies. Cooked bones from chicken or turkey can splinter in the stomach. Keep table scraps out of reach, and be sure the garbage isn't accessible to your pet.

Christmas hazard #5: Ornaments

Tinsel can be too fascinating for a cat to pass up as a snack. Small decorations hanging low on the tree can be gobbled by both dogs and cats, and intestinal blockage can result.

Christmas hazard #6: Holiday cheer

Slipping a dog, cat or other pet alcoholic beverages to see how they act when inebriated isn't funny, and could be very dangerous. It can make them very sick, with vomiting and diarrhoea.

Christmas hazard #7: Dangerous foods

Certain foods on the dangerous list all year may be more plentiful around the holidays – or your guard may be down. Be sure your pet has no access to coffee grounds, grapes, raisins, onions, chewing gum or mints with Xylitol. This sweetener, also used in baked goods and candy, has been associated with liver failure and death in dogs.

Christmas hazard #8: Socially shy pets

Some pets simply aren't comfortable around a lot of people. Some get scared, others get hostile.

Whatever way your pet's party-shy personality tends to turn, put it in a spare bedroom with food and water, out of the way of guests.

Christmas hazard #9: Escape artists

Potentially with many guests visiting your house, your pet will have ample opportunity to escape through an opened door or window.

So alert guests to your furry escape artists and make sure you have a way of finding your pet. Ideally, your pet should have a microchip and ID tag with your contact information and the vet's contact information)

Christmas hazard #10: Aluminium foil

Crumpled up, with food sticking to it, aluminium foil can be irresistible to a pet. If swallowed , it can cause severe internal injuries such as puncture wounds or obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract.

The holidays can be a busy and stressful time, but it's also a time to reconnect with your family, friends, and of course, pets. So be sure to take the proper precautions to ensure everyone has a safe and happy holiday season.

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