Christmas is a time of fun and celebration, but gifts, treats, and decorations can often prove dangerous to pets if owners are not careful.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) urges pet owners to keep common dangers like chocolates, tarts, Christmas puddings, and festive decorations out of the reach of their pets in order to avoid animal travel. emergency to the vet during the holidays.
The warning comes on a year when many homeowners are celebrating their first Christmas with dogs or cats who joined the family during the pandemic and may not be fully aware of the dangers posed by certain holiday foods and decorative items.
Dangerous items for pets
Chocolate, raisins and other dried fruits, xylitol in sugar-free products, onion, garlic, and seasonal decorations like mistletoe and holly can all be harmful to dogs and cats if they are. consumed.
Chocolate is typically the primary edible hazard that requires a trip to the vet over the holiday season, while cats are more likely to need veterinary treatment to ingest inedible items such as seasonal plants and plants. antifreeze.
A BVA survey last year showed that more than eight in ten pet vets (82%) in the UK saw at least one case of toxic ingestion during the Christmas holidays in 2019.
94% of vets had seen at least one case of chocolate poisoning in dogs that year, followed by cases involving raisins or raisins and xylitol.
Seasonal plants like lilies, mistletoe, poinsettias and holly were the main culprits for cats, followed closely by cases of antifreeze poisoning.
Veterinarians dealing with pets have also seen cases of ingestion of foreign bodies, a quarter of which were Christmas decorations and a fifth were gifts that were not intended for humans (such as small parts of toys).
BVA President Justine Shotton said:
“I have worked a lot in the field of emergencies and have seen many preventable cases involving toxic festive risks over the years, especially those involving dogs having chocolates and puddings or pies containing raisins.
An owner once brought a Labrador in to be sick after eating tarts, to come home after the treatment, to return to the office immediately because his other dog had eaten the rest of the box in between. -time.
“It really doesn’t take very long for our curious animals to sniff chocolates left under the tree or in advent calendars, swallow a chopped pie when their heads are turned or polish puddings left unattended on the counter. food.
“This can have serious consequences for the health of our pets and can lead to expensive emergency care, including surgery if they have ingested items like Christmas baubles or garlands.
“My advice to owners is to keep all edibles and decorations out of the reach of nosy noses and keep pets on their normal diet, avoiding giving them human food treats.
“If you are concerned that they have eaten something that they should not, see your vet immediately as this will dramatically improve the prognosis.”