Christmas Safety Quiz

How many of these did you know about?


  1. Keep mince pies and Christmas pudding well out of reach of pets, and call your vet straight away if they manage to eat some. Grapes and raisins are highly toxic to cats and dogs and can cause kidney failure, even in small amounts.
  2. Chocolate is also poisonous to them, but it depends on the amount. Check the handy chocolate calculator here if your pet has managed to sneak some (I hope you won’t need it!).
  3. Secure that Christmas tree and keep any fragile ornaments, especially glass baubles, well out of their way.
  4. Cats love tinsel (some dogs do too), but be very careful: tinsel can easily get stuck and cause very dangerous obstructions in their intestines.
  5. Do you have a real tree? Pine needles can be irritating for dogs’ and cats’ throats and stomachs. Keep hoovering up any dropped ones.
  6. Snow globes may contain ethylene glycol, which is highly toxic to pets. Just a small amount can cause fatal kidney failure! If your snow globe breaks open, remove your pets immediately, clear up any spillage extremely well, and if in any doubt at all, get them seen by an emergency vet straight away.
  7. Anti freeze contains the same substance and is unfortunately very attractive to cats. Keep it well out of their way and clear up any spillages immediately, and again: straight to the vet if in any doubt.
  8. Poinsettia is poisonous for cats and dogs. Not extremely so, they’ll probably get nothing worse than some drooling from the mouth, maybe some vomiting or diarrhoea – but it’s not worth it, is it? If your pet likes to chew plants, keep these well out of the way.
  9. Do share some of your Christmas dinner with them, but be sensible: cooked bones are an absolute no! Skip the gravy and any onions. A little lean meat and some veg however are absolutely fine, and your pets will love you for it.
  10. Has all the excitement given them a bit of a tummy ache? Make some chamomile tea and add a few fennel seeds. Once cooled down, give them small amounts to drink or mix into some light food.
  11. A gentle warm water bottle on their tummy works wonder too (check it’s not too hot).
  12. Need some help to calm and settle down? Diffuse some good quality lavender oil, or place a few drops onto a cotton ball next to their bed.
  13. Grit and rock salt is irritating to pets’ feet and poisonous if they lick it. Avoid where you can, and wipe or wash their feet and bellies after walks.
  14. Of course, if in any doubt: always ask your vet!