A-Z of Christmas Hazards

A  Alcohol: this is even more toxic to dogs than it is to humans. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing problems and even death. Please never leave drinks around and clean up after any spills.


B  Blue Cheese: a delicacy at Christmas time but toxic to dogs, so keep it out of reach!


C  Chocolate: This contains Theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. Levels of toxicity depend on type of chocolate, weight of dog and how much has been consumed. Please keep it out of reach or hidden!


D  Dough: Salt Dough decorations are poisonous to animals and can cause salt toxicosis. Symptoms of this are vomiting, diarrhoea and seizures. Please keep these decorations high or not at all!



a-z of christmas hazards

E  Eating batteries: Sounds silly but it does happen! Ingestion of batteries can cause chemical burns and metal poisoning. Please keep batteries and toys containing batteries away from nibblers!


F  Fairy lights: Eating these can cause electric shock and dangling ropes can cause strangulation so best to keep them high and away from pets.


G  Glass Baubles: If these drop and shatter, they are a glass risk causing wounds. If eaten they can cause blockages or even perforation. Better to get shatter proof ones or pet friendly ones.


H  Holly: Toxic to cats and dogs if eaten. Can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and depression.


I  Ivy, Mistletoe and Poinsettia: All toxic if eaten and can cause vomiting, hypersalivation and diarrhoea.

Holly wreath

J  Joint string from meats: The string around meat if eaten can cause blockages, so be careful how it is disposed of!


K  Kids toys: anything small enough to fit in a dog or cats mouth can be a foreign body hazard. So, try and keep toys away from those pets that like to chew.


L  Lilies: These are extremely toxic to cats and dogs and can cause convulsions and death when eaten in large quantities. Maybe look for different flowers for your Christmas decorating.


M  Mouldy food: Mouldy bread and dairy products can be toxic to your pets. It can cause vomiting and seizures. Keep your food recycling bin sealed up outside.


N  Nuts: All Nuts, particularly Macadamia Nuts are toxic and can cause vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia. Don’t leave them around for your pet to eat.


O  Onions and Garlic: Both are poisonous and can cause red cell damage and anaemia. Dosage of toxicity is varied, so keep these out of reach.


P  Pies: Mince and Christmas Puddings: Grapes, Currants, Sultanas and any food that contains these, are toxic to dogs. Dosage of toxicity is varied, in some dogs one sultana can cause renal failure, so please keep these out of reach.

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Q  Quiet: whilst this is not hazardous, all pets will appreciate some quiet time amongst the madness!


R  Raisins: As with Mince Pies and Christmas puddings, Raisins are toxic to dogs and the dosage of toxicity can vary with each individual dog. If you suspect a raisin/s have been eaten, seek veterinary attention immediately.


S  Silica Gel sachets: These are quite often found in some present packaging and although they are non-toxic, they can cause a blockage in the intestines. Please dispose of them before your pet does!


T  Trees and Tinsel: Both, if eaten can cause a blockage in the intestines. Also, the pine needles of real trees, can in extreme cases, perforate the gut and intestines if digested. They can also get stuck in paws and cause lameness and abscesses. Vacuum regularly with real trees where the needles drop and if your dog likes to eat the tree and decorations, consider alternatives.


U  Unwrapped tissue paper and ribbons: These are not known to be toxic but if eaten in large quantities, can cause a blockage. So please dispose of this carefully.


V  Vixen – Reindeer antlers and Cooked bones: When bones are cooked they become brittle and splinter, so if eaten can cause a foreign body risk as well as the risk of them piercing the gut or intestines. Please keep cooked bones well out of reach and dispose of carefully.


W  Wrapping paper: As with tissue paper, if large amounts are eaten, this can cause a blockage, so please don’t let your dog eat the paper!


X  Xylitol: This artificial sweetener is found in many foods, including sweets and cakes. If eaten it can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), acute liver disease and blood clotting disorders. If you suspect that your pet has eaten food containing xylitol, seek veterinary attention immediately.


Y  Yule logs: These traditional Christmas cakes contain chocolate which is poisonous to dogs. Please keep these out of reach.


Z – ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ: Before you go to sleep, just double check anything hazardous is out of the way from nosy and inquisitive dogs and cats!



Merry Christmas from Natures Menu

 christmas, pets, cats, dogs, vet, tips

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