Make sure it’s a Merry Christmas for you and your pets

As the festive season approaches, a leading Newmarket vets is warning pet owners to be aware of the many household hazards which could result in an emergency trip to surgery for their animals.

The Christmas period can present a number of potential issues for pets as homes are decorated and a range of food and drink is often accessible so Lida Vets wants pet owners to stay alert.

Ilan Lay, clinical director at Lida vets, which is in High Street, said: “Among the items which present risks to pets at Christmas are ribbons on presents, tinsel, sharp tree needles, low-lying fairy lights, chestnuts and chocolates.

“Drink, too, can be dangerous and a traditional Christmas favourite, Baileys Irish Cream, can prove particularly dispiriting for animals.

“Christmas and the associated festivities can present a bit of a minefield for pet owners. For example, dogs will drink most forms of alcohol left in glasses at Christmas parties, so people need to be wary of leaving glasses where their animals can get them.”

The signs of ethanol intoxication are similar to those in humans – vomiting, depression, a lack of co-ordination, disorientation and drowsiness. Dogs in these conditions need warmth, rehydration and immediate nursing care.

Other festive items which could cause harm to animals include plants such as mistletoe, poinsettia, holly and ivy which can all cause upset stomachs, while lilies can be very harmful to cats.

Other food items which should be on pet owners’ radars include grapes, raisins, currants and sultanas, which can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats, along with macadamia nuts, onions and mouldy foods such as walnuts, bread and cheese, which can all be harmful.

Ilan added: “In terms of household hazards, while tinsel and wrapping paper might be tempting for your pet to play with, you must make sure they don’t eat it.

“We want everyone to have a happy Christmas so we recommend keeping an eye on what your pet is up to during the festivities to keep them safe and well.”

Lida Vets is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, during the holiday season. For out-of-hours emergencies, call 01638 600120.