Vets in Sheffield have issued this warning for Christmas that all pet owners need to know

Christmas and New Year are fun occasions to look forward to – but the festivities can prove hazardous for pets, vets in Sheffield have warned.

Friday, 11th December 2020, 12:30 pm

Hunters Bar Veterinary Group, which has a practice on Ecclesall Road, says the period ‘brings a number of problems’ for animals and has issued a guide to keeping animals safe to ‘ensure they also have a great time’.

Owners should take precautions around indulgent food, the clinic advises, as ‘high fat, festive foods can easily cause diarrhoea or vomiting and make your pet quite poorly’.

“Human chocolate is particularly dangerous in dogs – it can build up in their bodies and cause neurological problems,” the vets say.

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Vets have issued advice to pet owners for Christmas and New Year.

“Cooked bones, especially poultry, tend to splinter so they could puncture your pets’ stomach and lead to a serious infection. Pets can also choke on these small bones.”

People should keep an eye on their pets’ calorie intake over Christmas too, it is recommended. “Overweight pets can suffer from a number of other health problems so keep treats to a minimum.”

Meanwhile decorations can pose a risk as ‘pets may see these as toys’.

"Glass baubles can break and lead to splinters that can stick into paws or mouths so better to use plastic ones. Tinsel can be chewed and swallowed and get stuck in the intestines.”

Decorations and cooked bones can pose a risk to pets, vets say.

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The vats add: “Be wary of playful pets chewing through fairy lights as they could get electrocuted. Don’t forget to be careful of children’s toys as small parts left around can be swallowed.”

Noise is another issue to be aware of, the clinic says. “The ‘bang’ from crackers may scare pets so make sure they are in another room.”

Special plug-in diffusers are available to calm dogs that get particularly stressed – these can be bought from vets, and the Hunters Bar practice suggests installing them ‘well before festivities start’.

“When plugged in, the device warms up and gives off a dog-appeasing pheromone. The diffuser has no sedative effect and cannot be detected by humans. A similar diffuser is also available for cats.”

A final piece of clear advice is offered by the veterinary group, which also has a branch in Dronfield.

“Christmas is a busy time of year and we recommend that you do not buy a pet during this time.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.