On the money – now, watch what they eat!

Midweek Visiter - - The Rspca Column -

THANK you to ev­ery­one who at­tended our Christ­mas fair at the be­gin­ning of the month. We raised £2,273.83! As you can imag­ine, we have higher bills dur­ing the colder months need­ing ex­tra heat­ing and bed­ding to keep the an­i­mals warm, so this money will help see us through the win­ter.

Thank you for sup­port­ing us and en­abling us to care for the an­i­mals dur­ing their time of most need.

With Christ­mas just next week, we wanted to give you some tips on keep­ing your pets safe dur­ing the fes­tive pe­riod.

Firstly, I would like to start with fes­tive food.

Now we all know it is de­li­cious to us, but to our pets, much of it is highly toxic and dan­ger­ous.

These foods in­clude: cho­co­late, mince pies, Christ­mas pud­ding, onion gravy, al­co­hol and cooked bones from car­casses – a dan­ger­ous chok­ing hazard as they can splin­ter.

How­ever, not ev­ery­thing is dan­ger­ous to your pet: skin­less and bone­less white meat such as tur­key is okay for dogs and cats, but do be care­ful that it’s not cov­ered in fat, salt or gravy.

Al­ways re­mem­ber that it is still best to keep to your pets eat­ing their ap­pro­pri­ate food.

At Christ­mas, lots of us have fam­ily round to join in the fun and games, how­ever be mind­ful that this can be stress­ful for our pets.

Of­ten we are louder and more chaotic around Christ­mas, de­part­ing from our nor­mal rou­tines.

Try to re­mem­ber your faith­ful pets and pro­vide them with a safe area, where they can sleep and eat in peace.

With dogs, try to keep walk­ing rou­tines the same, this is so they don’t worry that they haven’t been out, or been for­got­ten.

If you are vis­it­ing rel­a­tives or neigh­bours, or ‘go­ing out’ over Christ­mas, try to not leave your pet alone for long pe­ri­ods. Pop back in the day to see them, feed them and give them some re­as­sur­ance.

Also, for outdoor pets such as rab­bits and guinea pigs, they will need ex­tra bed­ding in the cold weather.

En­sure you keep their en­clo­sures clean, as wet bed­ding can freeze on cold nights which can lead to ill­ness.

Also, en­sure outdoor pets al­ways have fresh clean wa­ter to drink; check at least twice a day it’s not frozen.

A few tips for all pet own­ers is to make sure you keep a tele­phone num­ber of an emer­gency vet on hand, just in case of ac­ci­dents, or if your pet eats some­thing they shouldn’t.

If your pet is on med­i­ca­tion, stock up be­fore the hol­i­days so you don’t get caught out.

Fi­nally, and most im­por­tantly, if you go away over Christ­mas, be sure to make plans for your pets – whether they’re com­ing with you or not.

For wildlife, Christ­mas can also be a dan­ger­ous event.

On Christ­mas Eve night, of­ten chil­dren like to leave out a lit­tle treat for Fa­ther Christ­mas and his rein­deer.

We agree that Fa­ther Christ­mas and his faith­ful rein­deer need a break while rush­ing from house to house de­liv­er­ing presents; how­ever, foods with glit­ter can be very harm­ful to wildlife, and it gets stuck in the rein­deers’ teeth!

This year in­stead of buy­ing some pre-made glit­ter food, see what you can find in your cup­boards. Do you have any wild bird seed? This may in­clude sun­flower hearts, naked rolled oats, dried meal­worms, yel­low mil­let, kib­bled peanuts and black sun­flower seeds – this will also help the rein­deer fly ex­tra fast!

Also, some dried in­sects, Ru­dolph and his bird friends love meal­worms and wax­worms!

Have a Happy Christ­mas and a bril­liant New Year from ev­ery­one and an­i­mals here at RSPCA South­port, Orm­skirk & District and re­mem­ber, kind­ness will al­ways beat cru­elty.

Above, what you should avoid giv­ing your dog; left, please de­liver kind­ness!

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