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Christmas Feeding Dangers

As part of our series of Christmas tips we asked our vet Andrew for his top tips to keep your pet safe during the festivities.

"We often have flowers and plants in our house, especially over Christmas and it is important to remember some of these can be poisonous to our pets. You really need to be wary of plans such as mistletoe, holly, poinsettia and lilies. If you do have these in the house then make sure you keep them out of reach of your pet:

Please don’t hang chocolates on low branches on the tree. Many of you will already know but it’s important to remind you chocolate is extremely poisonous to dogs. The shiny foil chocolate is often wrapped in can be quite appealing to dogs and cats. Sugar free gum, diabetic cakes and associated diet foods are other items to keep an eye on. The products often contain an artificial sweetener called Xylitol; harmless to humans but extremely poisonous to dogs. This chemical can cause a massive insulin release leading to potentially fatal hypoglycaemia.

Proper disposal of meat carcasses is a must, as chicken and turkey bones are hollow and can easily splinter if chewed. There are also a number of poisonous foods to watch out for including: onions, avocado, yeast dough, corn on the cob, salt, raisins, garlic, dates, macadamia nuts and sultanas. It goes without saying not to feed your pet any alcohol or coffee.

With the weather getting much colder you may well start to use anti-freeze. This contains Ethylene glycol which is highly toxic. Make sure your keep it out of reach and check under your car for radiator or hose leaks.

Lastly do not forget batteries, there can be plenty of them around at Christmas time. Please try not to leave these laying around.

If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these foods then speak to your veterinarian immediately. They will be in the best position to diagnose and treat your pet if need be."