PET owners are being urged to prepare for any emergencies that could arise over Christmas. 

From toxic foods to dangerous decorations, the RSPCA have released top tips to keep pets safe from any potential hazards this Christmas.

Most pet owners know that chocolate and onions can never be given to dogs and if your four-legged friend does accidently eat these foods you should ring your vet straight away for advice.

Raisins, currants and sultanas, used in Christmas pudding and cakes, are also extremely dangerous to dogs.

Other foods to keep away from your pet include leeks, garlic, macadamia nuts, cooked bones (e.g. chicken bones), alcohol and any leftover food which has gone mouldy.

Alice Potter from the RSPCA's companion animals team said: “It’s not just food which is a hazard to our pets - some household items can be dangerous too.

“Popular festive plants including poinsettias, holly, ivy, mistletoe can be mildly toxic, so avoid these if you have pets.

"Lilies are extremely toxic to cats - never have these in the home if you have cats.

"Tinsel and wrapping paper might be tempting for your pet to play with - but make sure they don’t eat it.

“Silica gel, which is often put in packaging, can cause your pet stomach upset if ingested, as can pot pourri.

“It’s normal for us to overindulge over the Christmas period - but don’t pass on this habit to your pets, no matter how tempting it may be to shower them with tasty treats.

“Extra weight gain can lead to health problems, so to keep your pet healthy and happy, keep treats to a minimum.”

Pets can also become very stressed at Christmas time due to a change in surroundings.

Alice added: “You can help your pet cope with the chaos by keeping to their normal routine as much as possible. 

“It will also help your pet if you provide them with somewhere cosy and quiet where they can retreat to if the excitement gets too much.

“You might have lots of guests coming and going, so make sure doors aren’t left open because there would be a chance that your pet could get out when you aren’t watching."

If an animal requires the RSPCA’s help over the festive season, call the charity’s 24-hour helpline on 0300 1234 999.