Probably the most wonderful time of the 12 months can also be certainly one of the busiest for vets (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)
Christmas is a superb time to chill out with family and friends, each two and 4 legged.
But it will possibly be a scary and dangerous time for pets. Food, presents, decorations and even visitors to our homes can all turn into hazards.
Vets typically report the festive season as being certainly one of their busiest times of 12 months.
Knowing the risks is vital. It is usually essential to let everyone in the home know what’s secure and what isn’t for family pets. Prevention is all the time higher than cure.
Visitors may be advised on pet etiquette, too. Some pets can get distressed by changes to their routine and anxious within the presence of unfamiliar people.
Unfortunately, this has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Be especially aware of leaving dogs unsupervised around excited or unknown children as bites are an actual risk. Providing your pet with a secure, quiet space is perhaps essential to guard each your visitors and your pet.
Festive foods are a selected problem. A tasty treat for us may be fatal for some pets, so watch out for sharing your festive meals together with your pets. Some animals will likely be sensitive even to slight dietary changes, perhaps showing signs of digestive upset and discomfort.
Dogs are inclined to be less discriminating of their food selections than cats. Which means our dogs is perhaps more more likely to eat things they shouldn’t, but care must be taken with cats, too.
Be careful for distressing situations for dogs (Picture: Getty Images)
Pancreatitis is a painful and distressing condition often seen in dogs who’ve consumed fatty foods. Avoid giving leftovers to your pets to scale back this risk. Cooked bones also can cause significant injury, so be sure they’ll’t get into the bins to steal scraps.
Mince pies, Christmas cake and puddings are filled with raisins — that are toxic to dogs. Grapes, currants and sultanas are also dangerous for dogs and are hidden in lots of festive recipes. And macadamia nuts are a health hazard, causing a spread of symptoms including weakness, vomiting, stiffness and depression. Other nuts and seeds can pose a choking risk.
Alcohol must be strictly limited to human-only consumption. Rotting apples have even caused alcohol poisoning in dogs, so keep food waste and leftovers out of harm’s way, too. Access to raw bread dough, blue cheese and salt-dough ornaments also needs to be avoided as they contain compounds that may cause significant illness.
Similarly, onions, garlic and chives contain chemicals which can be toxic to cats and dogs — and cooking doesn’t make them safer. As little as a single spoonful of sage and onion stuffing may cause harm.
Sweet treats are not any safer. Chocolate is a big concern, and holidays are related to an increased risk of chocolate toxicity. Even artificial sweeteners, comparable to xylitol — which is often utilized in chewing gum — must be avoided.
Keep a detailed eye on what pets are eating and doing (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Not only food
Wrappers from sweets and chocolates can pose a risk if consumed. Indeed, digestive foreign bodies are a typical problem for dogs and cats, often requiring emergency surgery. If consumed, toys, gifts and decorations may cause intestinal blockage and damage.
Pay attention to plant hazards, too. Needles from Christmas trees can penetrate paws, causing pain and infection. Other festive plants comparable to poinsettia, mistletoe and holly berries are toxic if consumed. The leaves, petals and pollen of lilies are especially dangerous for cats.
Antifreeze is one other hazard for cats with the ingestion of small amounts potentially fatal. Colder temperatures mean antifreeze is often used on our vehicles and spillages can occur. Occasionally it is usually present in some decorations, comparable to snow globes, so care must be taken to stop inadvertent access by our pets.
In any case, where you think that your pet has eaten or otherwise been exposed to something potentially nasty, it’s best to hunt veterinary advice as soon as possible. By taking a little bit of care over the festive season, we will all be sure it’s a secure and restful time for us, our pets and our pets’ vets.
By Jacqueline Boyd, senior lecturer in animal science, Nottingham Trent University.
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