7 Top Dangers for Your Pet at Christmas and How to Avoid Them!

We all love to have fun at Christmas Time. And this year with less visitors and parties, our pets will be more important to us than ever.  However, while we enjoy twinkling lights and over indulge with tins of chocolate and puddings ,these innocent items can of serious danger to our loved pets.

1. Chocolate & Sweets

Keep chocolate and sweets out of your pets reach. Chocolate contains the toxin Theobromine and sweets may contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Both dogs and cats cannot break down these ingredients like humans can and so they cause a toxic build up in their system which can lead to severe poisoning. So if you suspect your pet has eaten any amount of chocolate or xylitol contact Your Local Vets immediately.

2.Grapes and Raisins

Mince pies, Christmas puddings and fruit cakes contain raisins, grapes, currants and sultanas which are toxic to your dog and cat. Even a small amount can lead to kidney failure so keep them stored away.

3.Hidden Onions!

Sausages, stuffing and gravies can contain onions, chives, shallots, leaks, scallions and garlic which are also toxic to your dog and cat. These ingredients can cause damage to the red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Do not be tempted to let your pet lick your plate clean.


Tinsel and wrapping paper can be a new tempting toy for your dog and cat. Dogs tend to chew and ingest these items which can lead to a gut blockage requiring emergency vet intervention. In addition cats see tinsel and Chrismtas trees as something to investigate or a fun play area and this is a strangulation hazard! . Dogs and cats and rabbits are very curious and can chew electrical cords . So never place fairy lights in or around the area where you pet sleeps, eats or plays and never on your cats scratching post. Rabbits especially love to chew fairy lights! Keep them separate from your house rabbit over the festive period.

5.Christmas Plants

Poinsettia, mistletoe, holly and ivy are gut  irritants that range in severity for your pet. . Mistletoe, holly and ivy are gut irritants that range from mild to moderate in severity depending on the amount ingested and whether or not red berries are ingested. Signs of gastrointestinal upset are vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling, appetite loss and lethargy. Contact Your Local Vets if concerned. Keep these plants out of your pets reach and do not assume your pet will know that these plants are not edible.

6.Christmas Tree Water

Real Christmas trees often have a water reservoir at the base that contains the natural sap from the tree itself or can have an additive to extend the life of the tree. The sap can be a mild irritant that causes gastrointestinal upset and depending on the additive it may be a mild irritant to highly toxic. Place a netting over the reservoir so you can still water the tree but your pet can’t take a sneaky drink.

7. Candles

Candles are a fire hazard as they can easily be knocked over by a wagging tail or a jumping cat. Make sure they are out of your pets reach. Artificial candles are battery operated and have a flickering flame that can give your home that cosy warm feeling without any of the worry.

Wishing You and Your Pets the very best Christmas together, from all the staff at Petcare Vets

Maria Reidy RVN

By- Maria Reidy RVN Maria is A Registered Veterinary Nurse working at Petcare Vets Charlesland. For more great advice and services 1 on 1 Nurse Clinics are available with Maria by calling  012870321 or using our Book an Appointment Online Button. For more information see  http://www.petcarevets.ie/nurse-clinics/

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