Keep your pets safe this Christmas

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PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN THE CURE

Please take a few minutes to learn about potentially hazardous objects and how you can prevent illness or injury to your pets.

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The festive season for most of us means the Christmas decorations come out of the loft and are delicately placed throughout our homes to provide that festive environment we all love. Those same shiny, pretty, fragile objects that we enjoy looking at also catch the attention of our pets. Cats love to climb up the Christmas tree and start batting at the tree ornaments. While some dogs may think all their Christmas’ and birthday have come at once with all those baubles!

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The Christmas Tree

The best place to put a Christmas tree is in a room that is off limits to your pets. The entire Christmas tree can be knocked over by a dog running through the room or tugging at the pretty strings of lights. A cat climbing up the Christmas tree can cause the entire tree to come crashing down.

Decorations, like tinsel, light and ornaments, are often too much for a cat or dog to resist. Wooden plastic and glass decorations can easily be ingested or smashed, either way potentially very dangerous to your pet.

Some pets find the flashing lights of great interest and chewing on these presents a danger of electrical shock, cutting their mouths and ingesting glass.

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String

Whether it is used to hang cards, decorations or wrapped around your turkey, String is a serious hazard to pets. We have removed several lengths from the intestines of dogs and cats over the years. Cats love to play with string and dogs particularly love the meaty flavoured variety taken from your turkey.

Ensure you dispose of all string especially those from your meat or turkey immediately after removal and keep out of reach of pets.

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Turkey

Whilst lean turkey may cause nothing more than a tummy upset in some pets the carcass can cause serious problems. Bones from your choice of poultry or indeed meat can become lodged in the mouth throat or tummy. Cooked bones often shatter leaving sharp edges to penetrate through stomach and gut walls. Do not feed bones and if your pet happens to eat a bone contact your local vet.

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Christmas Dining

An abundance of food on our dining tables presents a danger not only to our waist lines but to the health of our pets. Fat-ladened scraps of food fed to dogs and cats can cause vomiting and diarrhoea but more importantly pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, causing leakage of digestive enzymes and the pancreas to “digest itself”. Pancreatitis is a very painful disease which is difficult to treat and can prove to be fatal. Please avoid feeding your pet scraps of food they are not used to eating.

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Chocolate

Chocolate contains Theobromine a chemical very toxic to pets. Milk and white chocolate tend to contact less Theobromine whereas a very small amount of dark chocolate can be fatal. One small bar (50g) of milk chocolate can be poisonous to a small dog but less than half a bar of dark chocolate could cause serious problems. Cats are even more sensitive to Theobromine poisoning than dogs!

If your dog happens to steal one or two milk buttons don’t panic but please be aware than even a small bar of chocolate can be toxic. If you pet ingests chocolate you must contact your vet as soon as possible. Speedy treatment can be the difference between life and death.

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Antifreeze

The sweet taste of antifreeze attracts dogs and cats to drinking it. Unfortunately it is very toxic and ingestion is often fatal. If you suspect your pet may have swallowed antifreeze please contact your vet immediately. Clean up any spillages and keep out of reach of your pet.

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Grapes and Raisins

A common toxicity in dogs, grapes and raisins cause severe kidney disease and may even result in death if eaten. There is much individual variation to the sensitivity, so consult the vet even if a very small number have been consumed.

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Sweets and Liquorice

Sweets and liquorice tend to have a laxative effect, especially in dogs. Keep your sweet treats away from your pets.

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Fireworks and busy homes

Firework displays are becoming increasingly common around Christmas and New Year. Most homes transform at Christmas time with extra guests or visitors, excited children and new objects making their way into the home, some pets can find this really stressful. Try and keep your pet calm, there are lots of helpful tips and treatments, ask your vet for more information.

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Gift wrap & bows

Remember what we said about string? Bows and gift wrapping can be ingested and cause a blockage requiring surgery. Keep out of reach of pets.

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Alcohol

Keep your half empty tins or glasses out of reach as some pets love the taste. Alcohol in pets can result in tragedy, as heart arrhythmias, seizures, tremors and death are a very real possibility in a pet that is untreated after consuming alcohol.

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Plants

Festive plants such as Poinsettia, Mistletoe and Holly all look very pretty and bring the festive feel to any home. However, all of these plants are toxic to pets and although small amounts are not usually fatal they tend to cause hypersalivation, vomiting and diarrhoea.

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From everybody at Fitzcharles Traning, we wish you and all your lovely pets a wonderful, but safe Christmas.

Why not treat yourself to a Pet First Aid course next year, and learn more, how to prevent, but also how to do first aid on our pets. Fitzcharles Training are very proud to offer Pet and for the first time Canine Pet First courses.

Merry Christmas

David xx

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