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Tips to keep your pets safe this Christmas

3 minute read
Tips to keep your pets safe this Christmas

Published at 12:49pm 21st December 2018.

Christmas is a time where even furry family members get to indulge, but pet owners are being warned to take care with the treats they give their four-legged friends.

New research has shown that 46% of pets join the family for Christmas dinner.

While many owners are tempted to treat their dog or cat to festive food, over half were unaware that mince pies are dangerous for pets and over a third didn't know chocolate is also harmful to animals.

Many don’t realise that turkey can pose a risk to animals, with swallowed bones a choking risk that can potentially kill.

The research by Pets at Home also showed that owners are keen to give their four-legged companions Christmas presents.

pets at Christmas

The research showed 14% of pet owners will need to bring their animal to visit the vet over the festive season because they have eaten something they shouldn’t have.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has urged owners to 'pet proof' their Christmas.

Last year 84% of vets treated an animal that had eaten something toxic over the holiday period, with chocolate causing the problem in the majority of cases.

BVA Junior Vice President, Daniella Dos Santos said;

“It’s good to be aware of what you have wrapped up underneath the tree such as chocolate treats, as the smells can prove irresistible to curious dogs."

With half of pet owners allowing their animal to join in with present opening on Christmas Day, they are being reminded that many don’t confine themselves to eating food.

"Decorations such as tinsel and baubles can result in the need for surgery to remove them from the gastrointestinal tract."

Swallowed batteries and children’s toys can harm pets, and traditional festive plants like poinsettia, mistletoe, holly and ivy are poisonous for many pets if eaten.

The BVA recommends owners keep presents, decorations and festive treats out of reach and consult a vet straight away if their animal may have eaten something they shouldn’t.

They also recommend giving toys rather than treats to pets, to reduce the risk of pet obesity.

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