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Christmas Dangers

Dangers to Beware of This Christmas

Christmas time is a very busy season with celebrating, exchanging of presents and indulging on festive foods.
But this time presents a lot of hidden dangers for our pets from toxic foods to dangerous plants.  
To ensure you pet keeps safe this Christmas, here is a list of dangers to keep them away from during this festive season!

Poinsetta, Mistletoe and Ivy:
All of these are mildly toxic and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, drooling and other symptoms. Over Christmas time make sure these are all out of reach of pets. 

Artificial sweeteners:
Xylitol, an artificial sweetener is often found in the sweet goodies we consume over Christmas, as well as chewing gums, mouthwashes and toothpastes. It is poisonous to pets and, although the amounts in different products vary, ingestion of xylitol can induce the release of insulin in the body, resulting in low blood sugar and sometimes liver damage.

Christmas leftovers:
If there is any food left over at Christmas, be careful to dispose of it well and keep it out of the reach of your pets. Not only may the food include ingredients toxic to them, mould in leftovers (including yoghurt, bread and cheese) can produce toxins that cause rapid onset convulsions in dogs

Alcohol can have a similar effect in pets as it does in their owners when drunk in excess. They can become wobbly and drowsy and in severe cases, there is a risk of low body temperature and low blood sugar. Pets may help themselves to any unattended alcohol left lying around over Christmas, so ensure it's always out of their reach. 

Onions can cause toxicity, whether uncooked or cooked. Ingestion can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but the main effect is damage to red blood cells, resulting in anaemia. This may not be apparent for several days after ingestion. Remember: Onions can be present in stuffing and gravy so make sure these are disposed of correctly. 

Macadamia Nuts:
These nuts can cause weakness, tremors, vomiting and hyperthermia and these symptoms can occur within 12 hours on ingestion. Be extra safe not to leave any Macadamia nuts lying around.

Christmas pudding and mince pies:
Grapes and their dried products (currants, sultanas and raisins) are toxic to pets. Ingestion of even a small quantity can cause severe kidney failure. Don’t forget this will include food items that contain dried fruits such as Christmas pudding and mince pies.

Chocolate contains a stimulant called Theobromine, a bit like caffeine, that is poisonous to animals. Even small amounts can cause agitation, hyperexcitability, tremors and problems with the heart. The darker the chocolate the more potent levels of theobromine become. 
Avoid putting any chocolate on or under the Christmas tree, as the temptation might be too great for our pets!

Tinsel and ribbon:
These can be very tempting for our pets but they can also be dangerous if ingested. 
If they are swallowed, they can cause blockages in the intestines which can lead to vomiting, diarrhoea and the possibility of your pet needing surgery. 

Ingestion of batteries is more common at Christmas time and if ingested can cause chemical burns and heavy metal poisoning. Be extra careful at Christmas and ensure no batteries or toys with batteries are left around the house as they may become very tempting!