Natures Menu share how to keep your pets safe this Christmas

With winter in full swing and the countdown just around the corner, Natures Menu reveals shocking festive favourites that have the potential to be hazardous to pets.

These include:

  • Christmas tree water
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas dinner
  • Christmas decorations
  • Silica gel
  • Christmas pudding and mince pies
  • Christmas plants
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Fires

As well as highlighting the hidden dangers around the home, Natures Menu is also urging pet owners to help protect their animals from the colder weather and reveals the steps we can take to keep our animals safe.

Cold feet – believe it or not, just like humans, pets can suffer from cold feet. Those with hairy feet are more susceptible to ide droplets forming in between their toes, which can cause them to feel uncomfortable and suffer from sore pads, so trim the hair around your dog’s feet to prevent this from happening. Also, after taking your furry friend our on a chilly walk, ensure you wash their feet with warm, but not hot, water.

Salty Paws – as the temperatures plunge, many councils will spread salt on the roads and pavements to prevent them from becoming too slippery. However, salt is not great for our four-legged friends’ sensitive pads and after being outside many dogs will lick their feet to clean them, resulting in our pooches ingesting the salty substance, which many cause gastric upset from vomiting and diarrhoea to dehydration, and could lead to an emergency vet visit of the symptoms persist. In a bid to stop this, rinse your pets’ paws after a crisp walk in the cold. Also, be aware of cats going outside and walking on salty, icy surfaces. It it’s very chilly, keep your cat inside and only let them out in the garden where you can keep a close eye on them.

Wet tails – if a dog does get wet during the cold weather, their muscles can get into spasm when they are trying to warm up, especially around the base of their tail. This can be extremely painful for your pooch, so always be sure to dry off your dog with a towel straight after a swim and allow them to warm up gradually. If your dog appears sad or is unable to wag their tail properly for a few hours after getting wet, take them to your local vets for a check-up and, if needed, they can prescribe anti-inflammatories and pain killers to reduce discomfort.

Watch out for ice – take care that your dog doesn’t lick cold or frozen surfaces. While dogs may like the sensation of cold on their tongues, some have been known to become stuck to objects, damaging their tongues severely or leading to ice burn in the mouth.

Melanie Sainsbury, Natures Menu veterinary nurse, said: “Whilst the thought of a white Christmas may be terribly exciting for us humans, harsh winter weather can pose some unwanted and surprising risks to our furry-friends. Here at Natures Menu, we urge pet owners to follow and share our handy top tips, so that pets across the country are kept safe and happy in the coming colder months.”