Top tips to help keep your pets safe during the festive period

The Scottish SPCA's animal behaviourist has shared lots of advice to help Scots prepare their pets for the festive season. 

Scottish SPCA issues warning on how to keep pets safe from food and decorations this Christmas Supplied

The Scottish SPCA have issued top tips to help animal lovers keep their pets safe this Christmas.

The agency’s animal behaviourist, Claire Haynes, has shared lots of advice to help Scots prepare their pets for the festive season. 

Many pet owners will be aware that their furry friends cannot have certain foods, but Claire said it can be difficult to say no to puppy eyes at Christmas.

She said ingesting foods which feature common ingredients such as onion and garlic can be harmful, as well as leftover turkey bones.

“Common ingredients like onion, garlic, and even dried fruit and raisins, often found in mince pies and Christmas puddings, can be potentially dangerous, and even fatal, to dogs and cats if eaten,” she said.

“Xylitol in sugar-free products can also be deadly.”

The animal behaviourist also warned that pet owners should be wary of certain decorations they may have around the home like tinsel and baubles as well as plants such as poinsettias, mistletoe, and holly, all of which can be toxic for pets.

Pet owners should also watch out for leftover turkey bones as they can puncture and splinter if ingested.

Claire says they should be kept out of reach and put into outside bins to keep pets safe.

“If you are worried about your pet this Christmas, or they have injured themselves or ingested something potentially toxic, please contact your vet immediately. Take any packaging with you to your vet so they can see exactly what they have eaten,” she said.

“Christmas can be the most wonderful time of the year but not if you end up with a poorly pet. Being vigilant and taking precautions is all that is needed to keep your pets happy and healthy over the festive period.

“We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season with your furry, feathered or scaled friends.”

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