Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, usually spent with friends and family, not forgetting the food and decorations! But during this busy time of the year we can easily forget about our four-legged friends' safety!

If you would like to know what kinds of things to keep away from your fur baby this Christmas, here is a list of foods and other items that can be dangerous for them.

Christmas food to avoid giving your pet

Chocolate: chocolate toxicity can occur within 24 hours and the effects can be very serious. Be sure to keep your Christmas chocolate boxes away from your pup!

Rich fatty foods: rich holiday foods can cause stomach problems and pancreatitis. Keep an eye on your pooch and make sure he/she doesn't get into the ham, turkey, the Christmas goose or whatever rich foods you are eating that day. Signs of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.

Grapes and raisins: make sure they’re not left where your dog can find them, like in a bowl on a coffee table. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Repeated vomiting and hyperactivity are early signs of poisoning.

Bones: even if it seems natural to give a dog a bone for a treat, they could choke on it. Bones (especially turkey and chicken ones that have been cooked) can splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations in the digestive system.

Nuts: walnuts and pistachios as well as macadamia nuts are toxic to pets and can cause serious health issues. Nuts can be present in cookies or sweets/candy and shouldn’t be given to your pets.

Alcohol: it should go without saying that all alcohol is very toxic for dogs. Even a dessert containing alcohol should not be given to a dog. It can cause, vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, tremors, central nervous system depression and in worse cases, pets can die from it.

Don’t forget to let any potential guests know not to give your pet any tidbits.

Christmas tree hazards for pets

The tree: make sure the Christmas tree is secure. Wagging tails and curious cats could knock it over and get hurt. Click here to have a look at some funny ways to keep your tree from getting destroyed by naughty pets!

Christmas tree needles:  if eaten, these needles can be toxic. They are also very sharp and could easily get stuck in your pet’s paws/throat. Remember to clean them up regularly.

Decorations: keep tinsel, ornaments and ribbons out of reach. Cats can be attracted to them and if eaten it can become lodged in their intestines. Try to use unbreakable decorations and nothing too small. Don’t forget, chocolate is highly toxic for your pets, so don’t hang it on your Christmas tree or your pets could be tempted to eat it.

Electric cords and lights: protect and hide them if you can so that pets can’t chew on them and potentially electrocute themselves.

Christmas tree water: if you have watered your tree, don’t let your pet drink from the tree stand. It may contain toxic bacteria or chemicals used during fabrication.

Other Christmas dangers

Candles: a wagging tail could knock down candles on a coffee table. Pets could burn themselves or worse still, set the house on fire. Put them in a safe place, preferably somewhere high!

Christmas plants: mistletoe, Lillies, Holly, Ivy, Amaryllis and Poinsettias are highly toxic for your pets and can cause severe stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Gift-wrap and ribbons: dogs, especially puppies, usually like to eat or chew on anything. So make sure you pick up wrapping paper as soon as the gifts are open to prevent your pooch from making short work of all the ribbon and tissue.

Merry Christmas to you and your fluff buddy!

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