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Keeping your Pets Safe during the Festive Season

Time to read: 8 mins

As the Festive Season nears and celebrations begin there are some steps that should be taken for our pets’ sake. While our celebrations may look a little different to normal this year, where possible, we will be trying to catch up with friends and family, indulging in our favourite foods and taking part in festive traditions.

While we love it, there are still considerations we need to make for our fury family members in the coming months as well as the rest of the year too.

Starters and Mains

Onions, garlic, leeks and chives

They’re tasty! But they can cause serious blood problems if pets eat even the smallest bit of them. These can be obviously seen in a meal, but they can also be hiding in soups, sauces, stuffing, accompaniments, pickles, preserves or savoury crackers.


These can cause an excess of gas in your pets’ stomach. This can be dangerous in large breed dogs.

Turkey skin, gravy, ham and pork products

Like all fatty foods these  can be difficult for pets to digest. It could also cause pancreatitis. This is the inflammation of the pancreas and is a painful condition that occurs in both dogs and cats.


There will most likely be leftovers after the meal. These should be tossed away in a secure bin that is pooch-proof. This is especially true for carcasses. Poultry bones can be sharp. They can cause vomiting and serious internal damage to your pet if they obstruct or puncture the stomach or guts.

Snacks and Sides

Raisins, sultanas, grapes and currants

While they might be small, they can cause serious damage. Just one of these little fruits could potentially put your pet into kidney failure. At Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year these dried fruits can be found in many accompaniments to our meals.


Some of our pets may be lactose intolerant. If they are, they cannot eat mashed potatoes with milk or butter. If they do they could end up with diarrhoea, vomiting or even pancreatitis due to the fat content.

Fresh bread

If you’re whipping up a batch of  fresh home baked bread (yum!), make sure the dough is protected so your pets do not get any of the uncooked yeasted dough. This can cause a very serious condition called bloat or a twisted stomach.


These sweet treats may be delicious, but they can be very dangerous to our pets.


The chocolate should be kept for humans only as it’s poisonous to dogs and cats.


Some sugar free candy and baked goods contain a sweetener called xylitol which is also toxic.

Macadamia nuts

Macadamia nuts can be hiding in all sorts of desserts. They can make your dog vomit, become weak, give them diarrhoea and even cause pancreatitis due to their high fat content. Not only that but they’re a choking hazard for smaller breeds too.

Decorations and Wrapping

Be careful to clean up all the wrappers and small plastics that may be left from food, presents, decorations or the inside of Christmas crackers. Pets that eat wrappers and packaging to get to the tempting food inside, could develop a serious blockage internally. They might even need emergency surgery to get it removed.


Keep pets away from candles, lanterns and any naked flames. Animals can be inquisitive and attracted to the flames, not knowing that they could end up getting burned.

The celebrations while festive could be loud and overwhelming for our pets. It could be beneficial to give them somewhere quiet and secure to rest that is removed from people for a portion of time.


The loud noises and bright lights can give our pets a lot of anxiety, frighten and traumatise them. If you know Fireworks are going to be going in the evening, try and remove pets from the noise and keep them as calm as possible. Some signs of your pets being affected by fireworks are them shivering, cowering, dogs barking, pacing and cats over-grooming themselves. If you can see your pet is being affected by the noise try and comfort them as best you can.

There are some steps you can take in preparation for a night of fireworks:

  • Walk your dogs earlier in the day so they are not outdoors during fireworks
  • Keep cats indoors
  • Close windows and blinds while the fireworks are going on
  • Stay at home to keep your pets company

We hope you find our tips helpful. Enjoy a happy and safe celebration! If you have any questions about your pets during this time be sure to call our Scratch & Patch Careline and they will be able to answer any questions you may have.

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