be frantically decking out our halls with all sorts of colourful decorations and
buying lovely pressies for all our friends and loved ones.
But it’s so important – like the rest of the year – to consider the happiness
and safety of our four-legged family members too because this time of year is
FULL of potential hazards.
Shiny, sparkly, harmless-looking dangers include tinsel that playful pups and
curious kittens can ingest and get tangled up in their guts requiring serious
(and expensive) surgery to fix. Fairy-light wires may also be seen as fun toys
and can cause shocks and burns to any inquisitive pet – especially house
Fragile glass baubles should also be kept safely out of reach of all pets as
any broken fragments may get stuck in paws and pads causing pain and requiring a trip to the emergency vet.
Foodwise, please NEVER offer your dog any chocolate and keep it well out of
his/her reach as it contains poisonous theobromine which may kill your dog if
ingested in sufficient quantities – especially with dark chocolate.
Grapes and raisins (including fruit cake) should also be kept well-off your
pet’s festive menu as they can cause kidney problems. The same goes for onions
(or anything containing them) and unwanted turkey carcasses should be bagged-up and disposed of efficiently – and certainly not fed to your dog as they can
cause both life-threatening intestinal perforation and painful constipation.
poinsettia, lily pollen and mistletoe will also cause serious toxicity to your
pets; as will unsupervised – and extremely palatable – antifreeze which can
cause irreversible kidney failure in cats that have walked through a puddle of
the stuff just once and then lick their paws clean.
During the cold weather please make sure cats that aren’t keen to venture
outside don’t get bored, by providing them with toys and scratching posts – and
use your time off work to play with them even more!
Veterinarian's aren't usually big fans of novelty clothes for dogs but there are practical items available to purchase that can help keep hairless breeds, older arthritic dogs and poorly patients undergoing medical issues, toasty warm during these chilly winter months.
When out walking near frozen lakes, ponds, etc please keep dogs on leads as
fatal accidents occur every year to both dogs and owners falling through thin
Make sure when your pet comes in from outside you wash any rock salt grit off
its paws immediately as it can cause painful blisters and even contain
traces of antifreeze leading to poisoning and even death if licked off and
Respect your pets when unfamiliar guests come to visit during the holidays as
their normal routine will be upset; in particular warning strangers (especially
young children) about approaching your pets correctly to prevent any bites.
Never let your dog off the lead in a heavy snowstorm or blizzard as they can
lose sight of you, become disorientated and get lost easily.
And when spoiling your pet rotten this Christmas – always spare a thought for
lonely rescue dogs spending (another?) Christmas behind bars and with no happy
warm family fussing over them.
Perhaps make a donation to your local shelter, sponsor a rescue dog, or even
donate some old blankets, food, toys or newspapers. We are selling Christmas baskets this year at both clinic locations with $5.00 from every basket sold going to the OSPCA.
Please don’t forget your local wildlife either. Pre-prepared foodballs from
your local garden centre may be the only source of energy available to your
garden guests for miles around and make sure any drinking water is available too
by cracking iced-over birdbaths and adding a floating tennis ball to your pond
to prevent it freezing over.
NEVER give a pet as a present and if considering buying a puppy or kitten,
always consider adopting a rescue pet or contacting a responsible breeder first;
and of course you should be careful when purchasing dog or cat from a pet shop, website, or free newspaper advert and may want to avoid that all together.