Many of our favourite Christmas foods and decorations can be hazardous to dogs and cats. While enjoying all the fun and festivities that Christmas brings, consider that your furry friends will need lots of extra supervision at this time of year. We’ve put together a list of 12 potential Christmas dangers to watch out for.
1. Garlic and Onions
All of the plants in the allium family—which includes onion, chives, garlic, leek, and scallions—are poisonous to dogs and can damage red blood cells and can cause anaemia. Be extra careful when feeding food scraps, as these ingredients are very common in a lot of Christmas dishes.
Dogs and cats are very sensitive to the chemicals in chocolate and they can also cause a deadly anaemia. Chocolate should be stored in the fridge, or out of reach in a cupboard. If your pet should stumble across your Christmas supply, they are likely to eat an excessive amount and consume the wrappers at the same time.
This beautiful flower is quite popular during this time of year but the orange/brown pollen are highly toxic to cats and can be potentially fatal as they cause kidney failure.
Dogs are very sensitive to alcohol and even the smallest amount can cause alcohol toxicity and potential death. Never give your dog alcohol, or even deserts and puddings that contain rum or brandy.
5. Decorations and Tinsel
Everyone loves decorating their houses and trees, but consider that decorations looks equally attractive to pets. If swallowed, small pieces ingested can lead to intestinal obstructions and bunching in the intestines.
6. Macadamia Nuts
These Australian favourites are extremely toxic to dogs. They should never be fed to your dog, or left on in a bowl on a table where pets can help themselves.
7. Christmas Puddings, Mince Pies, Grapes and Sultanas
These can all cause a toxic reaction in dogs that may lead to acute kidney damage, or even kidney failure. Even the smallest amounts of dried fruit such as sultanas and raisins can prove to be fatal.
8. Blue Cheese
Blue cheese contains a substance called Roquefortine C which dogs to which dogs are extremely sensitive. Cheeses generally are also high in fat and this can lead to pancreatitis and diabetes.
9. BBQ Meats
BBQ meats and other fatty foods, such as sausages, Christmas Ham, turkey skin and pork crackling can cause gastrointestinal upsets and may lead to pancreatitis.
Candles a create great atmosphere, but if left unsupervised they can burn paws and noses of curious pets. They are also at risk of being knocked over by boisterous pets and causing a house fire.
11. Christmas Fairy Lights
Inquisitive pets chewing on Christmas lights can lead to electrocution. Broken pieces can be ingested and cause abdominal upsets.
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition caused by the elevation of a pet’s body temperature. Heatstroke can quickly cause damage to internal organs and be fatal.
Remember to keep your fur babies safe this festive season and if you suspect they may have ingested something toxic, contact an emergency vet as soon as possible.