Keep pets safe at Christmas, says vet

FATTY foods are a festive no-no for our four-legged friends, according to Ballarat vet Dr Rebecca Jennings.

She also lists heatstroke, sunburn and even Christmas trees as potential pet hazards.

Dr Jennings, of Greencross Vets, said pets could be overwhelmed and stressed by a large number of visitors or loud noise.

“It’s a very exciting time of year, with a lot going on,” she said. “It’s easy to get swept up in the festivities, but it’s important to be mindful of our pets’ safety.”

Dr Jennings said the first rule was not to stuff them like a turkey, especially with fatty foods such as cooked poultry, ham bones, steak or sausages.

“These can potentially cause tummy upsets, gastric obstructions or even pancreatitis, which can be a very serious problem. Instead, reward them with treats specifically for pets if needed.”

She said avoid long walks during the hottest part of the day to help prevent heatstroke and white dogs or cats would need sunscreen to stop sunburn.

Dr Jennings said it was also important not to feed pets chocolate, which could potentially cause seizures and heart problems.

Also, ensure your Christmas tree is secure to make sure it doesn’t fall on a curious or climbing pet, while Christmas tree pine needles, power leads and decorations can also be tempting to chew, so unplug tree lights when not at home.

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