Whitchurch’s Leonard Brothers Vets have provided the The Herald’s readers with some tips to keep your pets safe…

nSultanas and currents can be very toxic to dogs. Grape toxicity including sultanas and raisins is not fully understood. Some dogs are more sensitive than others.

The toxins affect kidney function and can result in total kidney failure that can prove fatal if not treated. There is only a short window to induce vomiting and limit the absorption of the toxins, and so if your pet eats one this Christmas contact your vet immediately.

nTrees can be irresistible to pets as pets think they are fun to climb and play with. However a Christmas tree can hide many dangers, these range from Gastrointestinal upsets to the potential of a foreign body if decorations or pine needles are ingested.

Try and make your Christmas tree and decorations as safe as possible for your pet. Avoid chocolate tree decorations, as chocolate contains Theobromine which is toxic to dogs. If you think your pet may have ingested something it shouldn’t have don’t delay in contacting your vet.

nPoinsettias can be an irritant especially if ingested. At Christmas it is important to be aware of plants that are toxic to our pets, especially as we have decorations and plants in and around the house that we wouldn’t normally.

It can cause vomiting, hypersalivation, anorexia and lethargy to name a few symptoms. Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any of this plant.

nDuring winter months antifreeze ( Ethylene Glycol) is often used in our cars and stored in garages and around our homes.

Cats are particularly attracted to it and it is highly toxic to both dogs and cats. Symptoms include vomiting, ataxia and convulsions.

It rapidly leads to renal failure, and so early treatment is vital. if you suspect that your pet has ingested any contact your vet immediately and if possible bring the container along too.

nAs tempting as it is to share your Christmas dinner, please be aware of the dangers that bones pose to pets. They can become lodged in your pets throat causing a choking hazard or become stuck in their intestines.

If your pet is choking or if it has a foreign body it is an emergency and you must contact your vet immediately. Also if you are thinking of sharing some of your Christmas dinner with your pets just remember that human food is much richer than pet food and full of fat.

When pets are fed human food they will often then get an upset tummy mainly resulting in diarrhoea. Pets don’t need to share dinner with us as they are just as happy with their normal dog food.

nHolly and mistletoe are commonly found in our houses throughout the festive season. They are both toxic to our pets if ingested. Symptoms can include vomiting and depression and hypersalivation to name a few.

Mistletoe contains cardiac depressants. If your pet ingests any of these plants please contact your vet immediately.

LBVC will be open on Christmas Eve, December 27 and New Years Eve from 8.30am until 12.30pm, and closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day – ring 01948 662424 for emergencies.