15 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
Our team here at Wallington's WRG have come up with a handy list of 15 food and gift items to keep away from your pets this Christmas season while also giving a few helpful tips from the team at our Pet Desk.
1. Raisins, Grapes and Sultana's
Christmas cake, Christmas fruit platter and Christmas mince pies are all potential sources of grapes, raisins or sultana's that can cause kidney failure in your cat or dog. The exact mechanism behind this is still not understood so it's impossible to know what a toxic dose would be for pets but if you do accidentally feed these foods to your pet, take them to the vet immediately.
2. Christmas Decorations & Trees
Christmas decorations can be a big source of Christmas cheer for us humans but they are also the cause of many injuries and accidents in our pets. Christmas tree needles, Christmas tinsel and Christmas lights all pose a threat to your pet's safety so it is important that you make sure these items cannot get into their reach this Christmas. If you have a pesky dog, invest in a pet cage to keep them from gaining access to the Tree. Always make sure your Christmas decorations are also too big to be swallowed by your animal.
3. Christmas Ham or Fatty Meats
Christmas ham, Christmas turkey and Christmas sausages are all potential food sources for pancreatitis in dogs. These types of meat have a very high level of fat in them which can often cause an overload on the pancreas when consumed all at once. Dogs that suffer from pancreatitis will not be able to digest these meats properly causing their blood sugar levels to drop, their stomachs to bloat and sometimes even seizures.
As many pet owners know already, chocolate is a big no-no for Christmas. It contains theobromine and caffeine which is very toxic to both cats and dogs. Chocolate can cause stomach upsets, vomiting, diarrhoea and even seizures. If you do suspect your pet has consumed chocolate, take them to the vet immediately. Christmas chocolates are even more dangerous because they contain sugar and fat which can exacerbate these symptoms making it harder for your pet to recover.
5. Christmas Lights
Christmas lights, whether hanging on the tree or decorating the house can be enticing playthings for cats and dogs. Lights that are plugged into an outlet can cause electrocution if chewed by your pet, and if ingested these objects can get stuck in your pet and require life-saving but expensive surgery. It is important that if you are going to decorate with Christmas lights, that you keep all lights out of reach of curious pets.
WALLINGTON'S WRG TIPS & TRICKS #1
Wallington's WRG Pet Team suggests making the day a little easier with a new toy. Not only will it keep their attention focused but it will also keep them out of trouble during your family Christmas party. You can even get some Tasty Bone Toys that taste like a delicious Christmas dinner. Share all the joy without any of the risks.
6. House Plants and Lilies
Many people give and receive flowers and plants as gifts during the holidays. Lilies are a common addition to flower arrangements but can also be found in gardens. Daylily (Hemerocallis) or True Lily (Lilium) families are the most dangerous to animals. The consumption of any part of the plant, including the leaves, stem, flower, pollen or even the water from a vase can result in fatal kidney failure in cats. If you have a cat at home it is best to avoid lilies completely!. If you want to give flowers as a gift to a friend with cats, ensure it does not contain lilies or other poisonous flowers. Check out this handy list from Pet Poison Helpline
7. Macadamia Nuts
Whether they're part of a fruit cake, within a delicious slab of boutique chocolate, or just as a tasty treat on their own, macadamia nuts are highly poisonous to dogs and cats. Ingesting as few as six nuts can cause severe tremors, vomiting and fever in dogs, while cats usually show symptoms like incoordination, weakness and paralysis after eating just one or two. If you suspect your pet has eaten macadamia nuts, take them to the emergency vet immediately.
8 . Batteries
Christmas day for most families involves a lot of present giving, with many gifts from toys to mobile phones containing batteries of all shapes and sizes. Many batteries are small and can easily be picked up by curious pets. If ingested, button batteries can cause severe internal burns in a very short amount of time. If you think your pet may have swallowed a battery, take it to the emergency vet immediately.
9 . Bones
While bones can be beneficial for your pet's dental health, feeding them is not without risk and can be associated with issues such as bacterial contamination, fractured teeth, intestinal blockage and pancreatitis. Pork bones are the most dangerous as they tend to splinter when chewed, but any type of bone can cause problems so it is best not to give them to your pet at all. Cooked bones are especially dangerous and should NEVER be given to your pet. It's easier to save yourself the massive vet bill.
10 . Alcohol
Just like small children, cats and dogs are much more sensitive to alcohol than adult humans and can become poisoned very quickly. Christmas is a time when many people indulge in festive drinks, so it's important to make sure your pet can't get into any opened bottles or cans of alcohol. Symptoms of alcohol poisoning in pets include vomiting, diarrhoea, central nervous system depression and even coma. If you think your pet has ingested alcohol, take it to the emergency vet immediately.
TIPS & TRICKS #2
It's important for your pet to have a quiet space in the home to get away from the noise and the craziness of Christmas day. Why not treat them to a nice fluffy new bed where they can sleep the day away.
11. Christmas Carols
We all love Christmas carols, but the loud noises associated with these festive songs can be extremely frightening and confusing for pets. Dogs and cats may become agitated, anxious or even destructive when subjected to too much Christmas cheer. If you're planning on having a Christmas party this year, make sure you keep your pets safe by keeping them in another room where they won't be disturbed by the noise.
12 . Christmas Crackers
As festive as they may look, Christmas crackers aren't good news for animals - especially cats. The small plastic toys found inside each cracker often have springs attached to them which can get caught around an animal's tongue or mouth causing significant pain and even damage in some cases. If you use Christmas crackers on your table this year, be sure to collect all the items and rubbish in a container and don't leave any small toys on the table after dinner.
13 . Roaring Fire Places
While a warm and cosy fireplace may be the perfect Christmas setting for humans, it can be extremely dangerous for pets. Pets can easily become overheated near a fireplace and can also get injured or burned by hot embers that may fall out of the fireplace. If you're planning to have a roaring fire this Christmas, make sure your pet is kept well away from the flames.
14 . Artificial Sweeteners (Xylitol)
Many people enjoy chewing gum or using sweeteners in their coffee during the Christmas period. However, xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs and can cause liver failure and even death within just a few hours of ingestion. If you think your pet has ingested any products containing xylitol, take it to the emergency vet immediately.
15 . Onion & Garlic
Garlic and onion are common ingredients in Christmas food, but both can cause haemolytic anaemia (a form of poisoning) if consumed by your pets. Symptoms include weakness and lethargy as well as pale gums or mucus membranes. If you think your pet has ingested garlic or onion, take it to the emergency vet immediately.
TIPS & TRICKS #3
When all else fails, why not treat your pet to their very own Christmas day meal. Wallington's WRG hosts a wide range of treats, meals, dog-friendly biscuits and even a dog-friendly cake mix. Come on down to Wallington's WRG and browse the range, or shop online and have it delivered to your door.