News and Media

Pet health and Christmas

December 23, 2014

Sadly around this time of the year, our veterinarians see many cases that could be avoided by exercising some care. From all sorts of complications resulting from pets chewing on or ingesting Christmas decorations through to food poisoning, with only a handful of sleeps for Christmas we’d like share a few tips on keeping your pet healthy and safe this festive season.

To seek veterinary advice or care please call our Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic on (03) 9329 2755 and view our Christmas operating hours below.

Christmas decorations, gifts and food

  • Christmas decorations and items such as tinsel, baubles and ribbon can choke and kill pets – make sure ALL decorations are out of reach.
  • Keep your Christmas tree elevated and make sure any decorations are fixed safely to the tree, leaving them less likely to fall to the floor and in easier reach to your pets.
  • While it may be tempting to toss a bone or share your Christmas meal with your beloved pets, left overs can cause upset stomachs which can progress to serious things like pancreatitis.
  • Chocolate, left overs, cooked bones, corn cobs are all among the no-go foods for dogs and cats.
  • If you are lunching or dining at a friend’s place who requests you don’t feed their pets, take this request seriously.
  • Be careful if giving or receiving flowers, especially if they contain lilies as these are toxic to cats.

Vet care

  • Summer is breeding season, so if you haven’t already desexed your pet – please do it now!
  • Make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date.
  • Ticks and fleas are most common during the summer months so make sure all prevention is up-to-date and pets are regularly checked for ticks.


  • Read and print out our Heat stress and pets factsheet
  • NEVER leave dogs in cars, even with the windows down. Dogs can’t sweat and heat stress and death can occur within 6 minutes.
  • Always walk your dog in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Ensure pets have easy access to shade and water throughout the day.
  • White dogs and cats are especially susceptible to skin cancer. Apply pet zinc to their ears and noses if they will be exposed to the sun.


  • Keep an eye out for snakes and don’t go for walks through long grassed areas.
  • It’s a good idea to keep your animal emergency service or vet’s phone number in a handy place and learn their trading hours during the summer holidays.
  • The Lost Dogs’ Home Frank Samways Veterinary Clinic in North Melbourne will be open during the holiday season.

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