Christmas Hazards

Christmas is a joyous occasion for all, but can bring serious hazards for our fur-friends. We've listed some of the main hazards to keep an eye out for over this Christmas period. 

Seasonal foods

Pets love to find new food around Christmas time like Christmas ham, Christmas pudding or even a chocolate bar. Below is a list of food which can be toxic:

  • Grapes, raisins, cherries, onions, garlic
  • Raw dairy; milk, fresh cheese and ice cream
  • Breads
  • Christmas cake or pudding
  • Mince pies
  • Chocolate
  • Peanuts and macadamia nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Peach and nectarine stones
  • Sugar
  • Cooked bones
  • Fatty food - high fat may cause stomach upset and in some cases pancreatitis (similar to a human appendicitis)

Seasonal Decorations

Our pets love to explore the decorations or even a present under the tree as they're new and exciting items. Here are some items to be aware of over this holiday season:

Christmas trees

There are other dangers to consider with the Christmas tree other than lights and ornaments. The oils produced by fir and pine trees can be irritating to a pet's mouth and stomach, causing excessive vomiting or drooling. The tree needles, may also cause gastrointestinal irritation, obstruction and puncture.

Additionally, the water used to nourish Christmas trees can be toxic if it has had Panadol or Aspirin added. The water should be changed regularly to avoid bacteria and moulds developing. 

Seasonal plants

  • Poinsettias - commonly used as decoration around the holiday season can irritate your pet's mouth and stomach and can cause vomiting.
  • Lilies - popular gifts around Christmas time. Lilium and Hemerocallis genera lilies are the most dangerous. Eating even a small amount of the plant or cleaning the pollen off fur will have a severe impact on a cat's system causing severe symptoms such as gastrointestinal issues, irregular heartbeats and convulsions.
  • Daffodils - another popular gift around Christmas but unfortunately toxic for both cats and dogs, especially the bulbs. 

Wraping and Decorations

Baubles, lights, tinsel, wrapping and cracker toys are their best on the tree, or outside a present. But, are often found at their worst inside our pets. Shimmering and bright tinsel, toys and baubles will draw our pets interest and they will often end up accidentally ingesting them. Nothing takes the joy out of Christmas faster than a loved pet undergoing emergency surgery.

You can help by preventing access to the tree prior to Christmas with a play pen fence or preventing your pet access to the room with the tree in it. On Christmas morning be extra careful with your wrapping and small toys and perhaps set your dog up outside with a meal or chew treat once your Christmas lunch gets underway and all the bad cracker jokes and small cracker toys are unleashed!