The festive period can be a great time for all the family including our furry family but it is also the time when pets really do prove that they can get into anything.

Chocolate isn’t the only food hazard to be aware of.

When we think of pets eating things that cause harm, we often think of dogs eating chocolate. While this is the most common poisoning that vets see, and chocolate will be in plentiful supply over Christmas, there are lots of other hazards we also need to consider that are abundant in our homes over the festive period. For example, raisins and sultanas, which are plentiful in Christmas puddings, are toxic to dogs.

A gift of a beautiful bunch of Lilies can be toxic to cats and other festive plants around the house such as mistletoe and Ivy are mildly toxic to our pets. A bowl of macadamia nuts left out to snack on for the humans is a danger to your dog if ingested. And then there is the alcohol. An inquisitive (or greedy) pet will investigate the drink left on a low table or the spillage on the floor and pets are far more susceptible to adverse effects of alcohol.

Temptation can lead to paying the ultimate price.

Tinsel, baubles and wrapping paper can look like a fun toy to play with for pets, but this can lead to ingestion of bits or the whole lot of it which may cause a life-threatening blockage. In the excitement of presents, it is easy to leave new toys lying around which can also be a temptation to dogs to have a quick chew. Ingestion of batteries can cause serious life-threatening problems. While this is just a small list of potential hazards and there are many more we need to be aware of, it highlights the extra perils that the festive period can hold for inquisitive pets.

Overindulgence is a problem for pets as well as humans at this time of year.

Over 60% of vets (British Veterinary Association 2018) think that pet obesity is the biggest health and welfare concern for pets. Giving extra treats over the festive period could be doing your pet much more harm than good and serious overindulgence by pets can lead to digestive problems.

The best way to have a happy and safe festive period for the whole family is to prepare and keep hazards away from pets to avoid unexpected trips to the vets!