Christmas and New Year is one of the busiest times for Animal Emergency Service hospitals, with many pets visiting the emergency hospital for illnesses and injuries that can be avoided.
Dr Alex Hynes shares her top tips for keeping pets safe from danger during the festive season in her video here, and below.
- Dog fights: Family gatherings are a popular way to celebrate the festive season, and pets are an extension of our family too. Giving pets the time and space to get to know each other (particularly if they are not familiar with each other) is very important. Avoid situations that might lead to an argument, such as fighting over food, toys, or even attention.
- Christmas ornaments: Cats and puppies in particular may be attracted to those shiny objects, and often end up being accidentally swallowed! Keep ornaments out of reach to keep your pet safe from unintentional ingestion.
- Family BBQ’s: Christmas wouldn’t be complete without the traditional Aussie BBQ, but unbelievably there are some hazards to be on the lookout for. Animal Emergency Service sees a number of patients per year who have swallowed BBQ skewers, which has the potential to perforate the gastrointestinal tracts and must be surgically removed. Onions are also something to be aware of, as large amounts of onions are toxic for dogs, destroying their red blood cells causing anaemia.
- Christmas treats: We all know that chocolate isn’t good for dogs, but neither is fruit cake! Fruit cake is full of raisins, which causes kidney failure in dogs. Macadamia nuts also cause gastroenteritis and severe joint pain.
- Christmas leftovers: Everyone loves to treat their pets over the festive season – however, avoid giving your furry friends leftover fat and table scraps as it can lead to gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. Instead, opt for a low-fat dog or cat treat.
- Beach and park outings: The dangers of heat stroke are eminent with the hot Australian climate – it is best to leave your pet at home with adequate shade and water while you take a trip to the beach or the park. Heat stroke can be fatal for pets, winding them up spending the holidays recovering in hospital.
From everyone at Animal Emergency Service, we wish you a very merry and safe Christmas, and a happy New Year!