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RSPCA release advice on how to keep dogs and cats safe this Christmas

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For many, Christmas is a time to spend with family, including four-legged members.

It is vital to keep your pets healthy and healthy over the festive season and a number of things around the house at Christmas could be dangerous to furry companions.

The RSPCA has released a list of seven things that may be harmful to pets.

Keep your pet safe this Christmas, warns the RSPCA
Keep your pet safe this Christmas, warns the RSPCA

1. Chocolate tree decorations

Most pet owners are aware that chocolate is toxic to their furry friends but chocolate tree decorations can sometimes be overlooked.

When decorating your tree, avoid hanging chocolate decorations and put them somewhere safe and out of your pets' reach.

2. Tinsel and wrapping paper

These may be tempting for your pet to play with but are harmful if your pet eats them.

As an alternative, use leftover cardboard boxes from presents.

What leftovers from your Christmas dinner you can feed to animals
What leftovers from your Christmas dinner you can feed to animals

3. Festive bakes

Christmas pudding and dessert becomes extremely popular over the festive season but some of the popular ingredients can be incredibly dangerous for pets.

Raisins, currants and sultanas are commonly added to festive bakes but are poisonous to pets.

4. Plants

Festive plants such as poinsettias, holly, ivy and mistletoe can be toxic. Read more about that here.

Lilies can be very dangerous for cats.

5. Cooked bones and leftovers

Cooked bones should never be fed to cats or dogs as they can splinter and cause internal injuries. Onions, leeks and garlic can be toxic and leftover pigs in blankets, gravy and stuffing should not be fed to pets because of their high salt content.

Other parts of the Christmas dinner can be used as treats such as small amounts of cooked turkey and carrots for dogs.

6. Alcohol

Alcohol can make pets sick and should never be given to them.

7. Silica gel

Small sachets of silica gel are often found in packaging and may be inside presents.

The gel can cause an upset stomach to our four-legged friends if ingested.

RSPCA pet welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines said: “Keep your pets safe this Christmas by swotting up on what can be dangerous; no one wants an expensive vet visit this festive season.

“Other tips for the holiday period include making sure your pet doesn’t feel stressed during the chaotic Christmas holidays by keeping their routine as normal as possible and providing them with somewhere quiet and cosy to retreat to if the way. Always ensure you have plenty of food and medication for the holiday season - when shops may be shut - and know contact details for your nearest emergency vets just in case you need help."

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