Pets are a part of the family, so it's only natural to want to include them at Christmas time. Just be careful what you put in your dog or cat's stocking. Some toys and treats can actually be dangerous.
Bad to the bone
A huge rawhide bone might look good - especially when it's wrapped up in a cute bow – but be careful. "Rawhide can be very toxic and can also bend and twist in a dog's throat, creating a choking hazard," explains American vet, Dr. Jyl Rubin.
Rawhide is hard to digest, and if a dog swallows too much it can create an intestinal blockage, requiring a visit to the vet. "Stay away from pig's ears too, as they have a lot of bacteria on them," she adds. Remember, if you give your dog a bone that could splinter, you will need to supervise them.
Dog bones aren't the only potential problem. Squeaky toys with loose stuffing, festive stockings, even a cat's toys with a little bell inside, has the potential to become a choking hazard, explains Dr Jyl.
Everyone is tucking into a tasty turkey dinner, so why not give your pet some too? Be careful. Onions and garlic, often present in stuffing and gravy, can make your cat or dog sick and even lead to poisoning. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weakness or lack of appetite and tend to develop over a few days. Grapes (and therefore raisins and sultanas) have also been known to be toxic to dogs.
You might enjoy a plate of roast potatoes but your four-legged friend won't thank you for them. Too much fatty food can cause inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) resulting in abdominal pain and sickness. In severe cases it can even lead to kidney failure, heart problems and diabetes.
Finally, remember that turkey bones can be easily swallowed and get lodged inside or penetrate your pet's intestines. So don't leave the turkey carcass within their reach!
If you want to treat your pet this Christmas, here are some gifts they can enjoy:
Extra large plush fleecy pet cave, £49.95, eBay
Posh pet bowl, £14.95, Harrods
Cat It Senses speed circuit, £16.83, Tesco