RSPCA tips for keeping pets safe this Christmas

Published on 20 December 2023

Ahead of Christmas this year RSPCA is sharing top tips to keep our furry friends safe this Christmas.

As thousands of pets and their families across Victoria enjoy the festive season together, it’s vital to remember some foods and Christmas items are hazardous for animals.

RSPCA Victoria’s Chief Vet, Dr Bronwyn Oke said pet safety was often overlooked this time of year,

“Some pet owners certain foods are actually dangerous to animals and are much more serious than just an upset tummy,” Dr Oke said.

“Popular snacks around this time of year often have ingredients like sultanas and chocolate which are toxic to pets, but macadamias and alcohol are also dangerous and can require urgent treatment by a vet when consumed.

“Cooked bones can be just as harmful, as they can splinter and cause life-threatening internal injuries; animals will need immediate veterinary care.

“We recommend feeding your pet just before food is served or giving them a treat ball, a raw bone, or another long-lasting treat to occupy their attention and keep them away from your plate!”

RSPCA Victoria Animal Welfare Manager, Nadia Peiris, explained it wasn’t just food to watch out for.

“Younger animals can mistake Christmas decorations or gifts for food or toys, resulting in serious injuries from items containing glass, metal, and hard plastics that can cause significant harm,” Ms Peiris said.

“Plants and flowers are a popular gift, and people are surprised to learn some popular plants like lilies and aloe vera are highly toxic to cats and dogs, and even can be fatal without urgent treatment.

“If giving plants as gifts, keep them on a high shelf or in another room – far away from inquisitive animals.”

More information about how to have a Pet-Safe summer is also available online here.

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