Christmas should be as much fun for our pets as for the rest of the family, but every year some end up with an unwanted trip to the vets. During this period we need to make sure that our furry friends are able to cope with the festivities and that they stay healthy and happy.

Matt of Island VetCare advises “Take care with tinsel and other decorations, which may look like toys but can shatter if chewed or cause obstruction if swallowed. If you have decorated your home with holly berries and mistletoe, make sure these are well out of reach for your pet as they can cause stomach upsets.

“Some popular Christmas foods can be toxic to dogs: for instance, chocolate, fruit cakes and mince pies (or anything that contains sultanas and raisins) should definitely be kept out of reach as they can cause kidney failure.  Also be aware that the stones in avocados, peaches and nectarines can cause intestinal blockages.

“Over-indulging in any rich or fatty food can cause tummy upsets and even pancreatitis which may require hospitalisation to treat. Cooked turkey bones can splinter and puncture or block the intestines. Dogs and cats have been known to raid bins to steal carcasses or even help themselves to freshly cooked turkeys left to rest, so make sure everything is kept out of their reach.

“Finally, if your pet is not used to lots of people in the house, give them a quiet place to be alone. With all the excitement (and stress) of Christmas, remember to give your dog the same amount of love, attention and grooming that you usually do!”

Season’s Greetings from all the team at Island VetCare and Island Referrals.

If you need any advice for helping your pet cope during the Christmas period, Island VetCare’s experienced staff are happy to help 24/7 on (01983) 214747.