Local Leaders | Yass Valley Veterinary: Christmas fare is not for your pet

Christmas is a risky time for your pet. There is lots of food around, people, parties and changes in routine.

To help keep your pet safe this festive season, here are a few things to keep at the front of your mind:

Dinner time can be dangerous!

Keep all human and party food away from your pet - leftovers are notorious for causing upset tummies and episodes of pancreatitis. Don't forget that chocolate, grapes, raisins and sultanas are all poisonous to dogs. Never feed your pet cooked bones and if you are having a barbecue, watch out for meat skewers that are very attractive to our pets but extremely dangerous if ingested.

Keep your paws off!

Don't leave edible gifts (such as a box of chocolates) under the tree as you may have a furry friend who chooses to unwrap and consume them. Keep cats away from the sweet-smelling Christmas lilies - as ingestion of any part of these plants can lead to acute kidney failure.

Christmas decorations are better left alone

Secure your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip or fall, especially if your cat enjoys climbing. Cats are also attracted to tinsel, string and sparkly decorations but if swallowed, these can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction.

Fireworks and summer storms can be scary

As a minimum, if you know fireworks are scheduled or there's a storm on the way, plan ahead. Keep your dog indoors with a television or radio turned up. Make sure all windows are closed and all exits secure.