Christmas Pet Tips!


Many of the good things about Christmas that people look forward to; good food, drink, presents, wrapping, festive trees and ornaments, are a minefield for our pets. Think about if from their point of view: suddenly and unaccountably their house is full of interesting liquids, fatty food and treats, strange plants, shiny balls, silvered wire, wrapping paper and string. Best of all, the humans of the house seem to be very distracted and aren’t paying as much attention as normal for a couple of days.

So, if you have pets, here is a brief tour of what to look out for this Christmas in terms of food and drink:

  • Alcohol: often left lying around or spilled, even more dangerous to pets than people.
  • Leftover Xmas food: any fatty, spicy or ‘unusual’ foods can cause gastroenteritis.
  • Stuffing/gravy: those that contains onions are particularly poisonous to animals.
  • Xmas pudding: sultanas, currents and raisins are toxic.
  • Cakes: artificial sweeteners (especially Xylitol) are poisonous.
  • Cooked bones: can get stuck in teeth or intestines.
  • Chocolate: safe for humans, poison for animals.
  • Nuts: all nuts can be dangerous, macadamias particularly so.
  • Cheese: all can cause gastroenteritis; blue cheese is toxic.

And even these things require consideration when you have chewing puppies or inquisitive pets around:

  • Xmas Trees: sharp pine needles can damage mouths and perforate intestines.
  • Xmas Ornaments: if eaten tinsel can cause a blockage, fairy lights electrocution.
  • Toys: to a dog a toy soldier or a Lego piece is a tempting morsel.
  • Wrapping Paper/String: dogs play with and eat paper. Cats do the same with string.
  • Silica Gel Packs: often packed with presents, if eaten can cause intestinal blockage.
  • Batteries: just as dangerous to you pets as to babies.
  • Wreaths/Xmas plants: Lilies, mistletoe and poinsettia are all highly toxic if eaten.
  • Potpourri: the aromatic oils that make this smell nice are toxic for days if eaten.

It’s important you and your family and pets enjoy the festive season, just be mindful of the above pitfalls. Most can be either substituted (for example, non-toxic roses in your Wreath) or just kept out of reach. And remember too that while humans are safe from most of the list, this can change with over-indulgence!