Tis the Season to be Careful . . .

December 22, 2023

As we embrace the festive season, it’s essential to ensure that our furry friends enjoy a safe and joyful Christmas too. At Larkmead, we want to keep you informed about potential hazards that can affect your pets.

1. Festive Decorations: Deck the Halls with Care

The allure of shiny ornaments, twinkling lights, and fragrant greenery can be irresistible to pets. However, these festive decorations can pose various risks:

  • Decorations: Glass ornaments, tinsel, and small decorations can be choking hazards or cause intestinal blockages if ingested. Opt for pet-friendly decorations and place delicate items out of your pet’s reach.
  • Christmas Trees: Secure your tree to prevent it from toppling over. Pine needles, if ingested, can be harmful to your pet’s digestive system. Regularly sweep up fallen needles and discourage your pet from drinking water from the tree stand.
  • Lights and Cords: Pets may be tempted to chew on electrical cords, leading to electric shocks or burns. Keep cords out of reach or use protective covers. Supervise pets around festive lights to prevent accidental entanglements.

2. Seasonal Foods: Share Safely

While indulging in holiday feasts, be cautious about sharing table scraps with your pets. Some common festive foods can be harmful:

  • Chocolate: A holiday favourite, but it contains theobromine, which is toxic to pets. Keep chocolate treats well out of reach.
  • Sweets: Often contain Xylitol (a sugar substitute) which is toxic to pets – keep well out of your pet’s reach.
  • Christmas Cake/Mince Pies: Contain currants and raisins which whilst we don’t conclusively know what is toxic to cats and dogs in grapes (in any form – including raisins), we do know that sometimes digesting just one can be fatal and cause kidney failure. For this reason, our first course of action is to remove the toxin – the quicker we can make your pet sick, the better.
  • Fatty Foods: Rich holiday dishes can lead to pancreatitis in pets. Avoid sharing fatty meats, gravy, and other high-fat foods. Onion and garlic (often present in stuffing and gravy) causes damage to red blood cells and should be avoided, even in small quantities.
  • Bones: Poultry bones can splinter and cause serious injuries. Keep bones and other leftovers securely disposed of.

3. Gift Wrapping and Packaging: Hidden Dangers

The excitement of unwrapping presents can be contagious, but the materials can pose risks to curious pets:

  • Ribbons and Bows: Cats especially are drawn to these items, which can cause choking or intestinal blockages if ingested. Keep gift-wrapping supplies away from pets.
  • Plastic and Packaging Materials: Discard packaging promptly, as plastic, Styrofoam, and other materials can be hazardous if chewed or swallowed.

4. Noisy Celebrations: Mind the Volume

Fireworks, loud music, and enthusiastic celebrations can be distressing to pets. Create a safe and quiet space for them to retreat to if the festivities become overwhelming – never force your pet to participate or dress them up if they clearly feel uncomfortable.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure that the holiday season remains a time of joy and festivities for both you and your pets. If you suspect your pet has ingested something harmful or is experiencing distress, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01235 814991 – we’re here 24/7.

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