It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but advice released by Pets at Home reveals the numerous festive hazards that pet owners should watch out for in their own home.
A home full of decorations, food and presents offers an array of new toys, smells and tastes for our furry friends, but many popular Christmas items are unsafe and not suitable for pets – including poinsettias, mince pies and pine needles from the Christmas tree.
Swindon store manager, Craig Timbrell, said: “Christmas can be overwhelming at times for pets, with lots for them to take in – new people, different smells and a change in their routine. Add to this all the delicious food on offer and beautiful decorations, and Christmas can actually pose significant health and safety risks for dogs, cats and small animals.
“With a little extra care and attention, you can ensure you pet has as great a Christmas as you. After all, they’re counted as our loved ones too.”
Craig urged owners to keep fairy lights out of reach of animals so that they can’t chew through them, as well as keep tinsel out of reach of cats and kittens – it can cause serious internal damage. He further advised to vacuum regularly to reduce the risk of real or fake pine needles being ingested by your pet and to be careful with edible decorations and chocolate gifts under the tree – chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and other pets.
Mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding contain raisins, which are also toxic for dogs, while cooked turkey or chicken bones can splinter and cause serious issues for your pet.
Christmas plants like poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, ferns and pine sap are poisonous to cats and dogs.
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