Christmas is a special time for all. And that includes our beloved pets – no matter how big or small. Read through to learn a few tips on how you can keep your furry pals well and safe this festive season. 


First off, let’s talk about food! Most of us love chocolates and might have the urge to share some with them, but resist the temptation because it’s a big no-no for dogs and may lead to serious health issues and even death. Christmas dinner and leftovers are also too rich for our pets and can cause tummy upsets at the very least. 


In saying that, some fruits from the Christmas table are okay for your pets but avoid feeding them grapes, raisins, or sultanas because these can cause kidney failure in dogs. It’s also best to remove seeds before giving them any stonefruits to avoid the risk of seeds obstructing their intestines – especially the small dogs.


Now let’s talk about the barbie weather. If you’re planning on firing up the grill, make sure no skewers or cooked bones are lying around so your pets don’t get to them. If swallowed, these can puncture their internal organs. Heatstroke is also a serious threat for pets. Keep them hydrated and don’t ever leave them in the car.


Christmas decorations at home could pose some risks too so extra care is needed in a home with pets. Decorations such as ribbons, tinsel, and fairy lights are attractive to them and could cause obstruction when ingested – especially with cats. Christmas trees need to have heavy, sturdy bases to avoid them from falling in case your furry pals get too excited around them. 


If you have Christmas lilies, keep them out of reach too. Ingesting petals, spilled vase water or a small amount of pollen (such as what happens when a cat grooms itself) can be enough to put a cat into debilitating, and potentially fatal acute kidney failure.


Lastly, loud noises like thunderstorms, fireworks or even from having lots of visitors can stress your pets out and they may try to escape. You can give them anti-anxiety medications if needed or have a quiet and safe spot for them to hide. You may consider having your pet microchipped.


If you don’t have any pets but would like to make a difference this Christmas, Merrylands RSL will be holding a Pets Christmas Giving Tree and all donations will go to a local animal shelter. 


Otherwise, adopting a rescue pet and giving them a fur-ever home is always a good idea. Just remember, a pet is for life and not just a cute Christmas present. 



This month, we welcome Dr Daniel Huynh as Merrylands’ new local veterinary surgeon and regular Merrylander contributor talking about all things pets! He has graduated from University of Sydney and has been a veterinarian for 9 years. He has previously worked as a large animal vet in an emergency clinic in the UK. Growing up around animals, he has always wanted be a vet and really enjoy being part of the community.

For your pet care needs, visit Merrylands VET at 122 Merrylands Road, Merrylands NSW 2160 or call (02) 9682 1547.