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Holiday pet safety tips

Ah… It’s that time of year again when the festive season approaches, and we all look forward to our own version of “holidays”.

In amongst all the joy, fun and “high spirits,” it can be easy to overlook the impact that our festivities can have on all those around us. By which we at GVC mean specifically our beloved furry family members.

  1. DO NOT feed chocolate to your dog! Chocolate is extremely poisonous for dogs, especially dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. Chocolate contains a toxin called theobromine, which humans easily metabolize, but is processed much more slowly by dogs, allowing toxic levels to build up in their system. This can be fatal. If your dog does eat chocolate by accident, please take them to your vet immediately for emergency treatment.
  2. Keep cats away from tinsel and other Christmas decorations. These shiny, glittery objects can be very alluring to cats, but if swallowed, may cause obstructions in the intestines that may need surgical attention. Tinsel and other stringy objects can cause the intestines to twist, which can be very serious. Instead, give your furry friend cat-appropriate toys that are safe for him or her to play with.
  3. Do not give leftover food to your dog or cat. Bones in particular can cause very nasty gastro-intestinal upsets with vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, food eaten during the festive season can be rich or strongly seasoned, which may not agree with your pet. Stick to your regular pet food and buy specific dog or cat treats if you want to give them a special festive gift. We can recommend a number of tasty delights.
  4. Your household may be full of family, friends, and visitors during this special time, which can be quite daunting for some of our pets. Make sure that they have a safe place to retreat to and please inform all visitors not to feed them human treats. Also, be aware that noise from celebration and fireworks can cause your pets to become fearful or anxious. If you think this may be the case, ask our veterinary behaviour specialist at GVC for advice.
  5. Finally, if you buy new toys for your dog during this time, ensure that the toys are safe and appropriate. Some toys contain stuffing or “squeakers”, which may be swallowed by your dog and may cause gastro-intestinal problems. If your dog likes to take toys apart, perhaps consider a “stuffing-less” toy or a Kong filled with dog-appropriate goodies to keep them safe and happy. A range of suitable and GVC endorsed toys are available from our merchandise range.

Lastly (and hopefully not needing to be said…) please, please, please do not gift an animal to anyone who isn’t expecting or ready for the responsibility that follows. Puppies, kittens and all the rest of the fluffy cute wonderfulness that is the pet world all come with a full list of requirements and essential needs… and if in doubt, watch Gremlins… a cautionary Christmas tale for sure!

Of course, in all seriousness and if there really is any concern, no matter how big or small, about your pet’s health and happiness, please call or visit GVC for the very best in pet care.

We all want everyone to have a fantastic time, to savour all the pleasures and relax in the end of year festivities.