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5 Hazards for your Pet to avoid this Christmas

Written by Liz Means



It is Christmas time again, which means time off to spend with friends and family and to relax in the sun. But Christmas time also means some specific dangers may be around for your pet.

Here are five hazards that can be easily avoided if you are aware of them.

1. Grapes and Raisins.

Christmas mince pies, Christmas cake, and fruit salad are a staple item in the Kiwi Christmas, but grapes and raisins can be extremely toxic to dogs. When eaten, grapes and raisins can cause significant kidney damage which is often irreversible and can lead to death. If your dog eats any grapes or raisins call your vet for advice immediately. There are treatments that can be given to minimise the chance of kidney damage, but they are much more effective started as close as possible to when the grapes or raisins were eaten.

2. Christmas wrapping paper, ribbons and string.

Both cats and dogs can have problems if they eat wrapping paper or the ribbons and string used to tie them. If these items get stuck they can cause a blockage in the intestines which may require surgery to remove. Prevention is easier than the cure so ensure that all rubbish from unwrapping presents is tidied up promptly and put out of reach of pets.

3. Pancreatitis.

Barbeques are great during the summer but keep a close eye on what scraps you are feeding your dog. Eating a large amount of food high in fat, especially if it is not a normal part of your dogs diet, can lead to inflammation in the pancreas causing pancreatitis. This causes vomiting and diarrhoea, and can lead to needing to be hospitalised for intensive treatment. Moderate any treats you share with your pets, and ensure they are not consuming large amounts of fat. Bones are also best avoided as these can cause intestinal blockages.

4. Chocolate.

Most people are aware that chocolate is toxic to dogs, however they can forget that dogs have very sharp noses and can smell out where it is hiding. Ensure that if you have any wrapped gifts containing chocolate (or other edible goods) that they are not left under the Christmas tree in reach of your pets.

5. Electrical cords.

Electrical cords for Christmas lights can be very tempting especially for young kittens and puppies looking for a toy. Biting through an electrical cord can cause burns in the mouth and can also cause severe injury from electric shock. Make sure your electrical cords are tidied out of reach of your pets so they do not become a temptation.


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The Animal Emergency Centre wishes you a safe and happy Christmas. Don’t forget we are open 24 hours a day over the weekends and public holidays this festive season if you need us.