We all know the bog standard things which can be harmful to our pets, but do you know the seasonal dangers this times of year?

Before we begin, please ensure that your vet or an emergency vet or even the pet poison helpline are your first point of call if you suspect that your pet has become ill due to any of the following…

Let’s start off with a well known one, that’s a favourite of many pet owners all year round – chocolate! Did you know, that the darker chocolate, the more toxic it is to your dog? This is because off the higher percentage of theobromine dark chocolate contains.

Theobromine is the chemical in chocolate which is toxic to dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, small furries, livestock… Just think of this as a ‘no-go’ for your pet(s), whatever their species!

Vomiting, restlessness, hyperthermia, tachycardia, seizures and even death are all possible results of theobromine poisoning.

Grapes, raisins and other friends vine fruits – found in Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, mince pies and more – toxic to dogs and cats, these can cause kidney failure!

Vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, anorexia, dehydration, kidney failure, and more are possible results of poisoning from these types of food.

Combing these two – chocolate coated raisins are a double ‘no-go’!

Allium – onions, garlic, leeks and more are all in the plant family Allium. Again, toxic to both dogs and cats, these can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Worse than this, these can cause hemolytic anemia due to the red blood cells being damaged!

Xylitol – a sweet additive to lots of tasty human treats, this is very toxic to cats and dogs! Xylitol poisoning can cause hypoglycemia, vomiting, weakness, seizures, coma, and more – with some pets being left with severe liver injury. Check the labels of your sweet treats and ensure to keep xylitol containing foodstuffs out of reach!

Salt, pepper and other seasonings should be avoided when feeding your pet(s). In particular, salt poisoning in cats and dogs can result in vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, lethargy, excessive thirst or urination, seizures, coma, and more – even death.

Christmas plants – poinsettia, holly, mistletoe, Christmas tree, ivy, amaryllis, lilies, Christmas rose and daffodils are some festive plants which can cause poisoning and ill health in your pets.

Another one, which should be obvious, is alcohol. Alcohol poisoning in pets can cause a decreased respiratory rate, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, hypotension, vomiting, lethargy and more. So keep your booze off the floor and out of reach of any pets!

If you have any curious pets (like my 5mo German Shepherd pup) who likes to take a bite out of everything, just to see what it’s like, keep a keen eye on them and keep foodstuffs and plants out of their reach, so you can all enjoy a Happy Christmas!

Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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