Keeping your pet safe this Christmas

To help you and your pets enjoy a safe Christmas together here’s a few tips to avoid common problems and a trip to the emergency vet:

• Supervise pets in rooms containing trees, keeping doors to these rooms closed when you’re not there.
• Keep all decorations & toys out of reach and not trail on the floor, making sure you’ve fixed them securely to prevent them falling off while you’re out, especially fairy lights with house rabbits and tinsel/ribbon/string with dogs & cats (especially puppies & kittens).
• Make sure anything containing chocolate is kept secure & don’t forget this includes gifts wrapped up under your tree, as dogs often find ripping open presents, especially ones smelling of chocolate, irresistible!
• In addition to chocolate, human foods such as raisins, sultanas, fruit cake, Christmas pudding, onions, leeks, spring onions, bones, xylitol (artificial sweetener) & macadamia nuts can all be extremely dangerous to pets and cause life-threatening illnesses including pancreatitis, gut perforation, poisoning, fatal anaemia, constipation, kidney failure.
• Festive greenery such as holly, ivy, mistletoe, yew & poinsettia can also cause your pets to become seriously ill.
• Cat owners must keep lilies out the house entirely, due to danger of cats brushing against them then licking highly poisonous pollen off fur.
• Make sure any antifreeze is kept well out of reach of any pet as ingestion of a tiny amount can kill.
• Take care with unfamiliar visitors or children as sleeping or nervous dogs may react aggressively if disturbed or badly handled.
• Make a donation to your local shelter, sponsor a rescue dog, or even donate some old blankets, food, toys or newspapers.
• Don’t forget local wildlife; use pre-prepared foodballs, make sure any drinking water is available too by cracking iced-over birdbaths, adding a floating tennis ball to any ponds preventing them freezing over.
Never give a puppy or kitten (or any animal) as a present.
• Make sure you know your emergency vet’s out of hours number should you suspect anything abnormal with your pet.
• Finally have a healthy happy Christmas – you & your pet!

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