December 11, 2022

Tips to Keep your Pet Safe at Christmas

Kiwis love Christmas… sun, outdoor BBQs, family and fun.  It’s also a time that can be fraught with danger for family pets.  To make Christmas safe for your pets and one that won’t require unwanted vet bills, here are a few timely tips:

The Christmas tree

Trees are beautiful with their lights, tinsel and ornaments but a minefield of hazards for the family pet. Dogs seem to love tinsel, dragging it off the tree and eating it but those sharp glittery edges can cut or obstruct the gastro intestinal tract and could require surgery to repair and remove.

Ornaments are made up of glass, brittle plastic or wood. Cats love to play with them. Dogs enjoy eating them.  The dangers of broken glass are obvious – if it’s chewed or stood on it will cause cuts and bleeding, but if swallowed it may cause an obstruction and/or perforations. Wooden ornaments that are painted need to be checked for lead and hung high out of your pet’s reach.

Hooks used for hanging ornaments on the tree should not be left lying around either.

Christmas lights

They do look beautiful but animals seem to enjoy chewing on cords or bulbs, both of which can inflict serious burns or electrocution.  Please take care to hide or cover all electrical cords.


People food is not pet food. Christmas is is a time of indulgence – roast meat, BBQs, chocolate, fruit cake, pavlova, pudding and alcohol. Potentially threatening and dangerous for dogs are the dried fruit in fruit cake, chocolate, onions, cooked meat bones and unattended alcohol. Consuming these can cause a range of problems from gut obstruction to poisoning which can lead to kidney failure and seizures.

We hope you all have fun this Christmas but a few precautions will ensure your pet will enjoy theirs too.