Pet Christmas Safety

Pet Christmas Safety

pet christmas

Pet Christmas safety is an important topic for all pet owners.  Christmas is a special time that brings family and friends together.  Unfortunately, it can also carry some hazards for your pets.

Christmas food your pet should avoid

Overindulging in the lovely food can be unhealthy for humans.  That food can also be unhealthy for your pets:  Fatty foods are hard for them to digest.  Cooked chicken, duck and goose bones can damage your pet’s digestive tract.  Another issue is that sweet products can contain ingredients that are poisonous to pets.

pet christmas
Photo by RDNE Stock project:

Five tips for your pet’s safety at Christmas

  1. Keep the food on the table or bench or in the fridge or cupboard.  Just make sure that it is out of reach of pets.  Also make sure that they can’t use chairs as a stepping stone onto the table or bench.  Turkey or turkey skin – even a small amount – can cause a potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis.  Fatty foods can be difficult for animals to digest.  Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets.  These include onions, raisins and grapes.  If you want to share your Christmas feast with your pet it is best to make or buy a treat that is made just for pets.
  2. Chocolate can be harmful for pets depending on the amount eaten and the level of chocolate – white, milk or dark.  Many dogs find it tempting.  They will sniff it out, put their nose in places you least expect, and then eat it.  Another item to watch out for in sweet products is the artificial sweetener called xylitol.  This can be deadly if consumed by dogs or cats.
  3. Put the leftovers away where your pets can’t reach them.  Cooked poultry bones left sitting on plates or in a rubbish bin that is open or easily opened could be deadly for your family pet.  Be safe and dispose of poultry bones in a place where your pets can’t possibly reach them.
  4. Be careful with decorative plants. Don’t forget that some flowers and festive plants can be toxic to pets. These include amaryllis, Baby’s Breath, Sweet William, some ferns, hydrangeas and more.  See here for more information on toxic plants.
  5. Christmas tree decorations – some pets just can’t help themselves and have to remove those decorations from your Christmas tree.  These can be dangerous for your pets if they are swallowed.  They can cause intestinal blockages or even perforate an animal’s intestine so make sure your pets aren’t left alone with them.  Also, remember to never leave a pet alone in an area with a lit candle as it could result in a fire.
pet christmas

Take quick action

Quick action can save your pet’s life.  Add the phone number for both your vet and the nearest vet emergency clinic to your phone so that it is always handy.

If you believe your pet has been poisoned or eaten something it shouldn’t have, call your vet or the local vet emergency clinic immediately.  Signs of pet distress include pain, vomiting, diarrhea and sudden changes in behaviour.

If you can’t get to a vet you could try the 24 hour vet hotline.


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