Look out for these hazards to dogs and cats over Christmas
Christmas is a time for fun and family but the season can hold some horrible hazards for our furry friends.
The RSPCA has listed seven unexpected things that could put your pet in the vets over the holiday.
1: Chocolate tree decorations: Most owners know chocolate is toxic to animals, so when decorating your tree, avoid hanging chocolate decorations, instead, pop the family’s sweet treats out of your pets’ reach;
2: Tinsel and wrapping paper: While it might be tempting for your pet to play with - but make sure they don’t eat it! Cardboard boxes however can be great fun for our pets;
3: Festive bakes: Some of the popular ingredients in traditional Christmas puds and cakes can be incredibly dangerous. Raisins, currants and sultanas - commonly added to festive bakes - are poisonous along with additive xylitol;
4: Plants : Festive plants such as poinsettias, holly, ivy and mistletoe can be toxic to pets. Lilies can be very dangerous for cats;
5: Cooked bones and leftovers: Never feed dogs or cats cooked bones as these can splinter and cause internal injuries. Onions, leeks and garlic can also be toxic to pets. Leftover pigs in blankets, gravy and stuffing shouldn’t be fed to pets due to high salt content but other parts of the Christmas dinner can be fed as treats, small amounts of cooked turkey and carrots (dogs) are okay;
6: Alcohol: Never give your pet alcohol as this could make them sick;
7: Silica gel: small sachets of silica gel are found in packaging and may be inside Christmas presents. The gel can cause your pet stomach upset if ingested.
RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Keep your pets safe this Christmas by swotting up on what can be dangerous.
“Other tips include making sure your pet doesn’t feel stressed during the chaotic Christmas holidays, keep their routine as normal as possible and provide them with somewhere quiet and cosy to retreat to if the way.
"Always ensure you have plenty of food and medication for the holiday season - when shops may be shut - and know contact details for your nearest emergency vets.
The RSPCA works over Christmas to help in emergencies. Call 0300 1234 999 or to find out about its Christmas Rescue see rspca.org.uk/rescuexmas