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Christmas is a very busy time for everyone; we have some helpful tips to ensure that you and your pets have a fun, safe and healthy holiday season.

Here’s a run down of 12 common Christmas pet hazards that we feel belong on Santa’s “naughty” list.

1st Day of Christmas — Tinsel

Tinsel is a common cause of digestive obstruction, especially in cats. If your cat (or dog) enjoys eating decorations it might just be safer not to put tinsel on the tree.

2nd Day of Christmas — Fruitcake

Between the nuts and dried fruit, and the alcohol, this seasonal treat can prove dangerous for your cats and dogs.  At the very least they will have a very upset stomach.

3rd Day of Christmas — Mistletoe

Eating small quantities can lead to dribbling and stomach upset, while larger quantities can lead to heart rate and rhythm problems (arrhythmias) or neurologic issues. Hang it high and remove the berries to improve safety.

dog at christmas

4th Day of Christmas — Batteries

Batteries are everywhere at Christmas time – from the presents to Christmas lights and much more. While alkaline batteries can cause burns (if chewed) and obstruction even if swallowed whole, it’s the smaller “button” or “disc” type batteries that easily cause more severe, more-likely-to-be-fatal burns in a cat’s or dog’s throat.

5th Day of Christmas — Lilies

Lilies are a big concern for cats as they can cause kidney failure— and it’s not just the flower, but also it’s the pollen and the vase water that are dangerous.

6th Day of Christmas — Ornaments

Broken glass, swallowed ornaments, and the ornament “hangers” can all wreak havoc for a cat or dog’s digestive tract. Broken glass isn’t fun for their delicate paws, either.

7th Day of Christmas — Fairy Lights

Not only can a pet’s bite into a strand of lights cause a nasty burn in their mouth, it can also cause seizures and a dangerous build-up of fluid in their lungs.

cat with christmas lights

8th Day of Christmas — Chocolate

The higher the percentage of cocoa solids in chocolate, the more dangerous it is for dogs.  Don’t let your pet beat you to the Christmas tree chocolates!

9th Day of Christmas — Wrapping Bows & Ribbons

Like tinsel, wrapping bows and ribbons are a very common and dangerous cause of digestive obstruction in pets this time of year. Given their natural curiosity, cats are typically at higher risk, so be sure to dispose of all wrapping carefully.

dog with christmas presents

10th Day of Christmas — Holly

Christmas means Holly, but those red berries and shiny leaves can cause upset stomachs or worse in pets.  Pine needles can also cause vomiting and diarrhoea if your pet hoovers them up before you do

11th Day of Christmas — Cyclamen

A favourite festive plant  which can cause excessive dribbling, stomach upset, and heart problems for pets that decide to take a taste. Poinsettias can also irritate your pet’s mouth and stomach and cause vomiting.

12th Day of Christmas — Festive Friends

Because of all the things they bring into your home during holidays, visitors can also be a pet hazard.  You can lessen the danger by ensuring that people hang all their coats and bags well out of reach of the pets, keep their bedroom and bathroom doors closed, and asking them not to feed your pets anything from the table. The change in routine can also greatly upset some pets.

We hope these 12 top tips will raise awareness and help ensure that your pets receive the greatest present you can give them… a happy, healthy, safe time with you and your family.