Doyalson Animal Hospital | Client Jovi

Christmas Safety for Your Pet

Christmas is a fun time of year and as part of the family you want your furry friend to be included in all the celebrations going on. By following the steps below you can help to insure that your pet’s Christmas is a safe and happy one.

  1. Don’t hang tree decorations too low, these will look like an invitation for your pet to play and could cause problems if chewed or caught around their necks.
  2. If you have cats make sure your Christmas tree is securely in place, they may decide to give it a climb.
  3. Beware of your pet and chocolate, even a small amount can cause toxicity. If your pet does eat some chocolate call us immediately.
  4. We’re all hoping for a sunny holiday season but the heat brings its own dangers for your pet, make sure they always have access to plenty of fresh water.
  5. Be careful of extra cables around the house with Christmas lights, pets love to have a chew on these which can give them an electric shock.
  6. Make sure your pet can’t reach any tinsel or long decorations, these could get stuck around them or even eaten.
  7. Its best not to leave Christmas presents under the tree as these can be very tempting for your pet to rip open.
  8. It may be tempting to give your pet lots of left over human food but this can cause an upset tummy, vomiting, diarrhoea and in extreme cases lead to pancreatitis.
  9. Never leave your pet in a hot car, even in a warm day a car can heat up quickly.

Heat stroke
Heatstroke is when the body core temperature rises too high and can be very dangerous for your pet.

Your pet should always have access to fresh water and shade and never ever be left in the car.

Signs your pet may show if they have heatstroke

  • they will be distressed
  • excessive panting
  • become unsteady on their feet
  • drooling
  • their gums may turn bluish/purple or bright red

Cool your pet immediately either in a cold shower or with the garden hose. If you are out and about get to your nearest vet immediately.

Once you have cooled your pet either bring them into see us or call us ASAP as they may need medical attention.

Chocolate Toxicity
Chocolate is yummy all year round but there seems to be more about at Christmas, from boxes opened in front of the TV to chocolate ornaments that hang on the tree, temptation for your pet is everywhere. Be extra vigilant and don’t leave chocolate where your pet can reach.

The darker the chocolate the more toxic it is to your pet and your pet can start to show signs of toxicity from 30mins to 3 hours. If your pet does eat chocolate call us immediately as the quicker we see them the better.

If your pet eats a piece of chocolate don’t panic but do call us and watch for the signs below.

  • vomiting
  • diarrhoea
  • increased urination
  • restlessness
  • hyperactivity
  • muscle twitching
  • in severe cases or where left untreated seizures.

Fireworks & loud noises
If possible make sure your pet is not alone during the stressful event.

Create a safe & secure environment for your pet. This might be a darkened room where the fireworks and/or noise will not be noted or ideally a windowless room where sound is muted.

Distracting them with their favourite toy or treat can help.

Try playing loud but soothing music or white noise.

Never punish your pet for being scared as it will only increase their distress.

Make sure you are not fostering or encouraging the behaviour.