The festive season is here, and with all of the fun and frivolity that the holidays can bring, it is important to ensure that it is a happy time for everyone – including our pets. To help you and your pets have a ‘merry’ time, we’ve listed our top tips to help keep your pet off the naughty list this Christmas.
Oh Christmas Tree!
Decorating the Christmas tree can be a great way to celebrate the start of the holidays, but it can be chaos for our pets! The attractive baubles, the shiny tinsel, and even the mesmerising tree lights can be tempting for our curious pets.
Be sure to put your tree in a safe place. Cats especially may try to climb the tree so it is important that the tree won’t easily tip or fall over. Setting up in a corner can help or consider placing a pen or fence around the tree to stop your pet from accessing it.
If your family has opted for a real tree this year, be sure to clean up regularly. Sharp tree needles may get stuck in your pet’s paws (or throat!), and the tree water may contain fertiliser and bacteria that can make your pet sick.
Where possible, keep tree decorations out of reach of pets. Tinsel can be lots of fun to play with but can be hazardous for your pet if swallowed.
Deck the Halls!
Pets love to investigate and curious kittens and puppies can get themselves into a world of trouble this time of year. Be sure to keep Christmas presents, wrapping and ribbon in a safe place away from your pet. Chewing on small items like paper and children’s toys can cause stomach upsets and even blockages that might need a trip to the vet!
Decorations such as Christmas lights and other electrical cords can give your pet quite the shock if chewed so for everyone’s safety, be sure to keep these out of reach too.
Christmas candles are very popular so if you’re using them, be sure to keep these well out of reach of pets who may knock them over or burn themselves. Never leave a lit candle unattended even if it’s only for a short time.
Opt for pet-safe Christmas plants where possible. Cheeky mistletoe and Christmas holly can be harmful to our pets and cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Most lilies are poisonous to our pets too.
Eat, drink and be merry!
There’s nothing better than sitting around the table with family and friends on Christmas day and sharing a festive feast, but some holiday foods can be dangerous to our pets.
Stay strong and say no to the pleading puppy eyes! Christmas food is often too spicy, too salty or just not safe for our pets! Some festive foods give our pets an upset stomach or even pancreatitis! Cooked bones are a big no-no as these can splinter can cause tearing or blockages.
Christmas sweets can be bad too! Chocolate and some artificial sweeteners found in lollies can be fatal to our pets so be sure to keep the sweet treats out of reach!
Be sure to keep your pets away from the garbage. Leftovers and food remains can be very tempting to our pets. Help keep them out of strife but ensuring they cannot get into the bin!
Jingle all the way!
Christmas celebrations can be noisy and this can be stressful for some pets. Christmas day may bring lots of scary new people into the home which can be overwhelming so it’s important we provide our pets a safe place to hide. A quiet room where they can rest with their favourite toy or chew may help everyone have a merry time.
If your guests want to interact with your pet, make sure your pet is comfortable with it first. Children especially can be too stimulating or erratic and some pets may prefer to avoid interaction. If your pet is okay with being patted, be sure to tell your guests to be gentle. Dogs often don’t feel comfortable with being stared at, hugged or touched on the head, but may appreciate a scratch under their chin or a chest rub.
Sudden loud noises like Christmas crackers and fireworks can be scary for our pets. If your pet is likely to be frightened, be sure to provide a safe, confined area for them to hide. Most pet escapes happen during thunderstorms or fireworks so make sure the area they are in is secure – and that their microchip details are up to date just in case they get out!