Orchard Vet's Blog

Holiday hazards!


Christmas is a busy time. Food and presents are often left unattended. Curious pets, especially dogs, may investigate and eat gifts left under the tree (and not just the edible ones!) or chew on unusual plants used as seasonal decorations.

It can be a strange time for our pets, as their familiar environment fills with decorations, not least of all an indoor tree. There may be unusual noises such as crackers or fireworks. Also, your routine is likely to change and there may be visitors coming to the house.

Chocolate contains properties that are toxic to our pets and can cause agitation, hyperactivity, tremors, nervous convulsions and heart problems. Dogs won’t bother unwrapping treats left under the tree, and wrappers can cause an obstruction in the gut.

Turkey bones can cause choking, constipation and damage to the intestines.

Onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives are all typical ingredients in stuffing. They can cause toxicity even when cooked, leading to vomiting, diarrhoea and anaemia.

Grapes, sultanas, currants and raisins are found in Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and mince pies. They are toxic to dogs and can cause kidney failure.

Antifreeze is sweet tasting to animals, but is poisonous and potentially fatal if ingested by your pet. Quickly clear away spills, and do not allow your dog to drink from water puddles by the roadside.

Plastic trees and decorations are of low toxicity but can cause an obstruction if chewed. Pine needles can get stuck in paws, causing irritation as well as potential perforation of the intestines if eaten. Glass decorations such as baubles can splinter if chewed or smash into shards. Keep decorations and electrical wires out of reach.

** If you have any seasonal concerns please don't hesitate to contact us for advice! **