Christmas Hazards

20th Dec 2016


Christmas, always a busy and chaotic time of year, has the potential for large quantities of food and presents to be left unattended. Curious pets, particularly dogs, may investigate and eat gifts, including non-edible ones left under the tree, food in the kitchen or chew on plants decorating the house.

 

TOXIC FOODS

Contact your vet for advice if your pet has eaten any of these foods:

  • Chocolate – never leave chocolate on or under the tree if there are pets in the home. This would include boxes of chocolates, chocolate advent calendars and chocolate yule logs.
  • Grapes and dried fruits (currants, sultanas, raisins) including Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies.
  • Onions (and garlic, leeks, shallots and chives) including sage and onion stuffing.
  • Alcohol.
  • Macadamia nuts.
  • Leftovers, particularly mouldy foodstuffs.

 

CHRISTMAS PLANTS

The following are generally considered of low toxicity and may cause mild gastrointestinal upset:

  • Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima).
  • Holly (Ilex species).
  • Mistletoe (Viscum album).
  • Christmas trees: pine needles are also a mechanical irritant.
  • Ivy (Hedera species).

Contact your vet if you are concerned about your pet after eating these plants.

The following is extremely hazardous and can cause severe kidney effects in cats:

  • Lilies (Lilium species) – all parts of the plant are toxic to cats, including the pollen. Contact your vet immediately
    for advice.

 

CHRISTMAS GIFTS

The following are generally considered of low toxicity and may cause mild gastrointestinal upset:

  • Silica gel.
  • Christmas decorations.
  • Wrapping or crepe paper.
  • Candles.

Contact your vet if you are concerned about your pet after eating these substances.

The following is more hazardous and can cause significant gastrointestinal effects:

  • Pot pourri – contact your vet for advice.

 

This information has been sourced from the Veterinary Poisons Information Service. More information can be found at www.vpisglobal.com