The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) are urging pet owners to watch out for potential hazards to their pets this Christmas.

Christmas fear amid the cheer for the nation’s pets.

Vets are increasingly concerned by traditional treats, such as chocolate and tinsel because of the health problems they cause animals.

Christmas lunch can pose real dangers for dogs. Turkey bones, onions, garlic, and raisins all have the potential to make your pet seriously ill, and in the case of small bones, even require surgery to remove.

BVA president John Blackwell said: “For the whole family, Christmas is a special time and, of course, we want to include our much-loved pets in the festive fun. But owners should be very aware tasty treats and shiny baubles – which pets find hard to resist – can be toxic and dangerous for our four-legged friends.

“Last year, my practice treated four dogs with chocolate poisoning over Christmas week. Our advice is to keep human goodies, particularly chocolate, away from pets. If your dog still manages to eat chocolate, it is important to contact your vet as soon as possible. The vet will be able to calculate the likely toxicity and advise a cause of action. It is really helpful if you can keep the wrapper so the vet can see the ingredients – if the wrapper hasn’t been eaten too.”

For more information on pets and poisons, download the Animal Welfare Foundation leaflet.

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