Christmas is over but the festive risks are still around! This can often be the most dangerous time as we can be less on guard. As we pack up our Christmas decorations and look ahead to a new year it is useful to know what to be most aware of to ensure our pets’ safety this festive period.
Leftovers are often on the menu in the lull between Christmas and New Year! Mischievous paws can make it onto the kitchen side, table and into the bin. Moulds can grow on leftovers and produce toxins which can make our pets sick. Keep foods covered as much as possible and store them out of reach to reduce this risk. Perhaps take any food headed for the bin directly outside so even if they manage to get into the bin there will be very little to eat.
The festive foods you need to be particularly careful of are chocolate, sugar free sweets and raisins/grapes. These are often around at this time as they have been unwrapped or will be leftover (such as Christmas cake or pudding!). It is easy to put down the chocolate bowl or forget to cover the Christmas pudding but be extra mindful to ensure your pets cannot get access to these. If your furry friend manages to eat something they shouldn’t then ring us straight away and we can give you advice and see your pet if needed.
Christmas plants such as Holly and Mistletoe often lose their berries in our warm houses. These berries are toxic to our pets. Picking the berries before they fall off is the best way to reduce the risk to your furry friends. If not, you need to keep a close eye on them and when berries or leaves fall off pick them up as soon as possible. When taking these plants down at the end of the festive period, ensure you have taken all of it and not dropped any where your pet can munch on it.
It has been a mild winter so far but as it begins to get colder the risks of antifreeze become much higher. It contains a very poisonous substance called ethylene glycol, and even a tiny amount can cause kidney failure and be fatal. This is sweet tasting so your pet will often lick at it if given the chance. Stopping your pets having access to this can be more difficult in practice but making sure the bottle is properly sealed and stored away from where your pet can get to is a good first step. Mopping up spillages as soon as they happen is vital to keeping your pets safe, and finally, keeping your pet inside when you are using it reduces the risks as much as possible.
As New Year fast approaches, again we all start thinking about firework frights! A few quick pointers on this subject: bring your pet indoors, make sure they have somewhere to hide and shut the curtains and windows to reduce the noise and flashes. Additionally you can also use pheromone adaptors like Feliway or Adaptil- this should make your furry friend more relaxed. There are also sprays you can put on their bed, for example Pet Remedy. Try to stay calm, it is distressing seeing your pet scared but they will be more at ease if you are. Always remember you can ring us anytime for more specific advice for your pet.
As you think about taking down the Christmas trimmings, know that these are another risk for your pet. They can be very tempted to chew on things and can end up swallowing something they shouldn’t which could damage their guts. Edible decorations can also be unsuspectingly mopped up by our ‘helpful’ little friends. Top tops for when you are taking down the decorations are: shutting them out of the room (this means you don’t need to be on guard!), sealing boxes properly so your pet cannot get into them whilst they wait to go back into the attic and hoovering up fully to remove any bits of decorations or stray pine needles from the tree.
We wish you a great festive period and a happy New Year from all the team.