During the holidays it is often not only for us humans to feast: "An extra portion of salmon, ham, biscuits or even chocolate as a Christmas treat for the beloved four-legged friends is well meant, but it is not suitable because it is unhealthy or even dangerous", explains Susy Utzinger, animal welfare expert and managing director of the Susy Utzinger Animal Welfare Foundation.
It gets life-threatening when dogs and cats catch Christmas decorations, the ham net from the trash bin or the chocolates wrapped in aluminium foil from the Christmas tree. Such foreign bodies often have to be removed from the animal's body by a vet in an emergency. There are also other things to consider. The Susy Utzinger Animal Welfare Foundation has valuable tips for an accident-free Christmas with animals:
A Christmas tree is not a cat tree
Do not have a real fir tree for Christmas; avoid many dangers such as swallowed fir needles, drinking the water from the Christmas tree holder, eating tinsel or other Christmas decorations and burns from wax candles. If you cannot do without a Christmas tree, it is advisable to buy an artificial tree, secure it well and decorate it with artificial candles, cat-proof tree decorations and without tinsel.
As kind as it is meant, pets do not need Christmas chocolate. On the contrary: the sweet treats can cause health problems or even be fatal. It is better to spoil your pelt-noses with high-quality dog and cat treats from the specialist shops.
Plants that are wintered in the house are a welcome change for cats and are eaten with pleasure. However, many plants are absolutely not suitable as cat snacks and can lead to symptoms of poisoning. Basically, plants that are slightly poisonous to humans can cause severe to fatal poisoning in cats. Further information is available at www.giftpflanzen.ch
or from the Swiss Toxicological Information Centre, telephone 044 251 66 66 or at www.toxinfo.ch
(for emergencies telephone 145).
How to make your household cat proof
Order the brochure "Caution cat trap - with human brains to cat welfare" which draws attention to the dangers in everyday life and gives tips for a cat-safe household. The brochure can be requested by means of franked reply envelope free of charge with the Susy Utzinger Stiftung für Tierschutz, Weisslingerstrasse 1, 8483 Kollbrunn, Tel. 052 202 69 69 or is available on the Internet on www.susyutzinger.ch
Susy Utzinger Stiftung für Tierschutz
Tel. 052 / 202 69 69