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Take extra care of pets this Christmas – CVO

This press release was published under the 2011 - 2016 Welsh government

As we approach Christmas, the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales, Christianne Glossop, reminded pet owners to take extra care with their pets over the festive period.
Tuesday 22 December 2015

Professor Glossop said,

“Most dog and cat owners see their pets as part of the family and want to include them in the Christmas celebrations by giving them special treats and leftovers.

"Unfortunately, what they are doing by over-indulging the family pet is the opposite of kindness and could be paving the way to obesity or at worst be the direct cause of illness bad enough to require veterinary treatment.

"Their digestive systems are not suited to our diets, particularly at Christmas when so much of what we eat is rich. Vine fruit such as grapes and dried fruit such as raisins and currents are toxic to dogs and cats and can cause kidney failure so they should never be given left over Christmas pudding, mince pies or fruit cake. Onions and similar food including leeks, shallots and garlic are also toxic and damage red blood cells.

“Poultry bones, particularly once cooked, can easily splinter causing serious injury if fed to animals. It is okay to give them a little left-over meat, but do not give your dog the turkey carcass to chew on.”

Professor Glossop also spoke about the need to be vigilant with pets over Christmas and New Year as a change in routine at home creates extra risks for them.

“It can be tempting for pets to investigate and swallow any toys, batteries or Christmas decorations lying around. Real Christmas trees will shed sharp needles, which can stick into paws, or be eaten, so need to be vacuumed regularly.  Some Christmas plants such as holly, mistletoe, lilies and poinsettias are poisonous to cats so any plant needs to be chosen carefully and any decorative candles should be positioned out of reach of pets.

“Some pets might also get nervous if you are having lots of visitors over Christmas, so provide a safe quiet corner where they can escape if they need to.

“Throughout the festive period, it’s important to keep to your pet’s routine as much as possible. Dogs still need to be taken for regular walks and pets kept outside the house, such as rabbits, need to be looked after.”

Veterinary surgeons will still provide essential care, though normal surgeries may not be held, so if your pet has need for medication make sure you have appropriate supplies to last the festive season.



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Environment and countryside 22 December 2015 Animal welfare Farming and countryside Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales

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