Prevent a Pet Christmas Crisis

“Tis the season to be jolly”. At Petcare Vets we love to have fun at Christmastime.  But also is important to be mindful of the dangers to our pets in our own homes.  We over indulge with tins of chocolate and puddings light candles for that festive feeling. However we mustn’t forget that these innocent items can be a cause of serious threat to our loved pets.

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.

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.

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 will see tinsel as a toy to scratch and pull which could be a strangulation hazard. . Dogs and cats are very curious and can chew electrical cords. Never place fairy lights in or around the area where you pet sleeps, eats or plays and never on your cats scratching post. Rabbits love to chew fairy lights! Keep them separate from your house rabbit over the festive period.

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.

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.


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.


Have a cheerful, contented and crisis free Christmas from all the staff at Petcare Vets


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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


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