Keeping your pets safe and healthy during the festive season

Celebrate safely: Christmas is a time for celebrating. That includes your two, four or no legged friends, but you do have to be aware of possible festive dangers which can cause issues for your pets. Photo: Shutterstock.

Celebrate safely: Christmas is a time for celebrating. That includes your two, four or no legged friends, but you do have to be aware of possible festive dangers which can cause issues for your pets. Photo: Shutterstock.

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The festive season is one to be enjoyed by all the family and includes spending quality time with your pets.

But, be warned, there are a few hidden dangers for your pets around Christmas time. 

Christmas Ham

Large amounts of fatty ham meat can lead to tummy upsets and pancreatitis in dogs. Nitrate, which can be used to preserve hams, can also be poisonous.

Chocolate

Theobromine in chocolate (particularly dark chocolate) is dangerous to pets. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness and seizures.

Heat stroke

Always ensure your pets have access to plenty of cool, clean water and shade during our hot summer months.

Storms

During summer storms many dogs suffer from anxiety and can run away from home to try and escape the storm.

A safe hiding spot will help, but some dogs may require medications to ease this anxiety.

Paralysis, ticks and heartworm

If your pet is lucky enough to go on holidays with you, ensure they are covered for parasites which may not be in our region.

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Snakes 

Hot weather brings out these venomous reptiles. Signs include, but aren’t limited to, vomiting, weakness, trembling and collapse.

Christmas decorations

Tinsel and other decorations are fun for our pets to play with but could lead to a gastrointestinal foreign body and obstruction. This may require surgery to fix.

Fireworks

Like storms, fireworks can be very frightening for our furry friends.

Pools

Summer pool parties are a great way to cool off, but be aware dogs can get disorientated and find it difficult to find the edge to get out.

Food

Lots of our delicious Christmas food is actually dangerous to our pets including grapes, onions, macadamia nuts, alcohol and cooked bones. It’s best to avoid Christmas leftovers being fed to your pets.

Fires

Summer time can unfortunately mean bushfire season. Remember to have an evacuation plan for your animals.

Pets aren’t presents

Last but not least, pets don’t make good presents! Pets last more than the silly season and sadly we see a lot of unwanted pets abandoned after Christmas. Think long and hard before welcoming a new addition to the family.