A veterinary practise has created a pet care guide to help owners spot unexpected health dangers over the Christmas period.

Medivet on Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, has crafted a pet care guide to help owners spot and navigate some of the more unexpected dangers over the Christmas period.

Jessica Fleet, veterinary surgeon and branch partner, said: “While pet owners are generally more aware of the traditional dangers at this time of year, such as chocolate and raisins, other things that come into the house do also present a risk.

“We want to provide guidance to owners about some of those less obvious risks. Our hope is that with a little forward-planning and extra care, pets will enjoy this festive period every bit as much as their owners.”

This guide, which is available on the company’s website - has been devised to minimise the risk to your pet’s health and wellbeing. Click here to read all of their advice.

Here are some of their top tips to keep your fluffy or feathery friends safe and healthy over the festive period:

Keep them clear from your Christmas tree

A real Christmas tree is a festive staple in many households, but they can pose a risk to your pet.

Watch out also for the water that a real tree sits in – chemicals can easily transfer into the water and stagnant.

Room temperature water can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Both contaminants are dangerous, if swallowed.

Make sure they do not eat or chew small decorations and lights

The sparkle of tinsel is irresistible to many pets, but it can cause severe blockages if accidentally swallowed - causing vomiting and diarrhoea.

Much like tinsel, fairy lights can be very attractive to curious pets but can cause dangerous electric shocks and burns, if chewed.

While candles create a warm, cosy atmosphere, always place them on a high, inaccessible shelf to prevent accidental burns.

It is also worth remembering that some imported snow globes have been found to contain antifreeze, which can be fatal if swallowed by cats, dogs or rabbits.

Unfortunately, several festive plants are also toxic to pets if swallowed or brushed up against. Call your vet as soon as possible if your pet has swallowed any of the below:

• Poinsettia – irritates the mouth and causes vomiting

• Mistletoe – in small quantities causes stomach upset, and in large quantities causes serious heart or neurological issues

• Ivy – causes nausea and stomach upset when swallowed and can irritate the skin if rubbed up against

Create safe spots for pets staying with loved ones

Many of us visit family and friends around the country or abroad from Christmas through to the New Year.

For pets, large groups of visitors, some of them strangers, can create stress in the home.

To help, consider creating a safe space and plenty of hiding places for your pet.

If you’re planning to travel without your pet during this time, don’t forget to arrange your pet care well in advance – kennels and catteries fill up very quickly.

Medivet has over 300 branches in the UK – the Waltham Abbey branch can be contacted on 01992 716771.