A RAMSBOTTOM vet is warning people about how to keep their pets safe from hidden dangers this Christmas.

Veterinary surgeon Ian Ross and his Medivet team have crafted a care guide to minimise risk to furry friends’ health and wellbeing.

One of the more unexpected risk to pets highlighted by Dr Ross is posed by real Christmas trees. Shed sharp pine needle can become lodged in pets’ throats if swallowed or injure delicate paws. While their natural oils are mildly toxic­ and the water they sit in can contain chemicals and bacteria.

Other dangers include burns and electric shocks ­from fairy lights and candles, antifreeze contained in some snow globes, and toxins from some plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe and ivy.

Christmas also often sees visits to friends and family, but long journeys or large groups of visitors ­— especially strangers ­— can be stressful for animals.

To help Dr Ross advises creating lots of safe hiding spaces for pets, or if you are travelling to arrange pet care well in advance.

Dr Ross 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.”