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Dangers at Christmas for our pets

Thursday, 7 December 2017 01:10 AM

Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with our families both 2 and 4 legged to indulge and have lots of fun. Unfortunately at this time of year our homes turn into a potential death trap for our pets, from plants and food to fairy lights and candles their dangers are little known and if ignored the results can be devastating

A pets safety and welfare is paramount to any pet owner so familiarising yourself with the list below will help to ensure your pets stay safe at Christmas time


Food and drink

Chocolate contains a chemical called Theobromine, which is toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause reactions, tremors, raised blood pressure, hyper excitability, lethargy and seizures . The darker the chocolate, the more dangerous the levels of Theobromine become, therefore chocolate should be kept at a safe height away from dogs, importantly remember those chocolate tree decorations that generally go unsupervised. Veterinary advice should be sought should your dog ingest chocolate of any quantity. White chocolate does not contain enough Theobromine to cause toxicity, but it can be fatty and pose a potential risk of pancreatitis, an incredibly painful condition for dogs.

Grapes and dried vine fruits, currants, saltanas and rasins pose a toxic threat to dogs, making mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding another danger. Eating just a small quantity can cause kidney problems resulting in kidney failure making a chocolate raisin something to be avoided at all costs. Other food items that need to be avoided due to their poisonous nature are onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives all part of the Allium family along with Allium spices of plants ingestion of these items cause vomiting and diarrhoea leading to damage to red blood cells

Alcohol can have a similar effect in dogs as it does in their owners when drunk in excess. They can become wobbly and drowsy and in severe cases, there is a risk of low body temperature, low blood sugar and coma. Dogs may help themselves to any unattended alcohol left lying around over Christmas, so ensure it's always out of their reach.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts can cause lethargy, increased body temperature, tremor, lameness and stiffness in dogs. 

Artificial sweeteners

A sugar-free sweetener called xylitol is often found in the sweets we consume over Christmas, as well as chewing gums, mouthwashes, toothpastes and supplements. It is poisonous to dogs and, although the amounts in different products vary, even one to two pieces of chewing gum can cause toxic effects in a dog.

Plants that present a danger to pets at Christmas are


Holly and its berries



Christmas trees

A mild stomach upset can be caused if dogs eat pine needles, but the sharp tips can cause more damage internally.

Other things to keep away from your pets

Silica gel that comes in packaging to prevent dampness in products these tiny sachets are found in new shoes, purses and handbags to name a few and are easily misplaced while unwrapping  

We all love fragranced candles and potpourri at Christmas and the fragrance can be very appealing and tempting but unfortunately contain essential oils which also can be toxic to pets so keep these item up high where you pets cant reach them 


REMEMBER Keep your pets safe at Christmas and enjoy the fun  



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