It may be the most wonderful time of the year for many families across the UK, but Christmas can pose some serious dangers to the nation’s pets.
According to veterinary experts, Christmas is one of the busiest times for emergencies such as accidental poisonings.
Vets4Pets has come up with these ten tips for keeping animals out of harm’s way over the festive period.
1. Do not feed your pet any festive food. Chocolate, raisins, nuts, fruit cakes and mince pies are some examples of food that can be toxic to pets
2. Although most species of Christmas tree have low toxicity, do not let your pet eat any part of your tree, as it may cause mild vomiting and diarrhoea
3. Make sure to vacuum up any fallen pine needles, as they can get stuck in your pet’s paws and cause irritation, as well as potentially irritating the intestines if ingested
4. Make sure your tree is well anchored so your pet can’t pull it over
5. Keep decorations like holly, mistletoe and poinsettia well out of reach, as they are mildly toxic if eaten and can result in vomiting, drooling or diarrhoea
6. Keep baubles, tinsel, toys and Christmas light wires well out of reach, as pets may be tempted to try and eat them. You could even put fencing around your tree as an extra precaution
7. Make sure your pet has a quiet place where they can relax and feel safe
8. Loud noises can scare pets, so be considerate when pulling Christmas crackers, party poppers or letting off any fireworks
9. Don’t leave lit candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock them over
10. Keep all alcoholic beverages well out of reach as alcohol is toxic to pets