The risk of potential pet hazards can rise at Christmas time, with animal owners urged to stay vigilant to avoid any emergencies. RSPCA WA says Google Trends data indicates searches for “emergency vet” spiked by 50 per cent between December 24 and December 31 last year. The animal welfare organisation has issued a timely reminder for pet owners to be on guard for risks, including the effects of toxic food, stomach blockages and pet stress. “Pets who eat dangerous foods over the holidays can become gravely ill, while things like wrapping paper, decorations and small toys can cause intestinal blockages, requiring emergency surgery,” RSPCA WA shelter co-ordinator Richelle Beswick said. ”‘Cooked bones are brittle and can lodge in your pet’s windpipe or stomach, while chocolate, fruit mince pies and Christmas pudding all contain ingredients that are toxic to dogs. “If in doubt, always contact your vet straight away for advice.” The RSPCA warns that Christmas time is not just stressful to humans, but it can be for their animals as well, with unfamiliar people, children and loud toys potential triggers. Pet owners should have a quiet place their animal can retreat to if needed. They should go to their safe space immediately if showing certain signs, including licking their lips, showing the whites of their eyes and turning their head away if being patted. With hot weather forecast over the festive period, the RSPCA is also calling on pet owners to ensure their furry friends stay cool.