Christmas is a great time for pets – lots going on, lots of attention, games and treats and, for some, opportunities for mischief. Apparently 1 in 8 dog owners have had to seek veterinary help on Boxing Day! Much as we’re always happy to help, I’m sure you’d rather avoid seeing us over the festive season.
Much of our festive fare is surprisingly unsuitable for our pets: chocolate, Christmas cake, pudding, mince pies and grapes, macadamia nuts and dishes containing raw or cooked onions, and sweets and cakes containing xylitol. If your pet has eaten any of these, please don’t ‘wait and see’ as these foods contain toxins which can cause poisoning, and once your pet looks ill, it may be too late.
• Remember that our pets are ingenious scavengers and do not respect wrapping paper or bin bags.
• Explain to any guests that your pet has a ‘sensitive stomach’ and that you don’t feed titbits.
• Put all waste food, especially bones, straight into the outside bin or garage, secure from your own and your neighbour’s pets.
Decorations: it is amazing what some pets will swallow…salt dough ornaments and pot-pourri are poisonous, and tinsel may be eaten like spaghetti, leading to bowel blockages. Lilies are best avoided as all parts are poisonous, including the vase water. At very least, remove the stamens from the flowers so there is no pollen to contaminate fur.
And keep a close eye on that turkey… it’s every dog and cat’s dream dinner!
All the best for a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.
by Jacky Macqueen