A WIRRAL vets practice is highlighting the hidden dangers of Christmas to help keep pets safe over the festivities. 

As the countdown begins, many people are stocking up on extra treats and drinks, some of which can be toxic and potentially fatal for pets.

Vets see more cases of dangerous poisoning in the run-up to Christmas than at any other time of year, leading Littlecroft Vets to warn pet owners to be extra vigilant. 

Adam Webster, clinical director at Littlecroft Vets in which has branches in Little Sutton and Bebington, said: "We see a lot of examples of poisoning over the festive period.

"In most cases, the owner was completely unaware of the hidden dangers and was simply intending to be kind to their pet. 

"You don’t want a poorly pet or a trip to the vets on Christmas Day. Even worse, would be losing a pet over the festive period, so we urge owners to be extra careful."

Common emergencies include dogs falling ill after helpings of mince pies, Christmas cake or pudding, which contain raisins, currants and sultanas - poisonous for dogs.

Chocolate should also be out of bounds as it contains a substance called theobromine which is toxic to dogs.