Our pets are as much a part of the family as our human relations. We know it’s just as important to make sure their festive season is as fun as everyone else's. From the perfect presents wrapped under the tree to some tasty festive treats, there are an array of products out there to make sure your dogs and cats have the best Christmas ever. But what are the dangers at Christmas? There are a few things to consider when preparing for the big Christmas day. Here we have compiled our Christmas Survival Guide for Pets. Take note and ensure you have a wonderful Christmas this year.
Food is an integral part of the Christmas festivities in most households. Whilst our human family members are partial to a mince pie and a chocolate or two, it’s important not to share.
Chocolate – Chocolate is really poisonous to dogs. It causes sickness and can even be deadly in certain cases. All chocolate should be kept well out of reach of your canine companions. Hang chocolate decorations on the highest branches of the tree and make sure chocolate gifts are not left under the tree.
Alcohol – This may seem obvious, and whilst we don’t expect anyone will be filling their pets dish with wine, it’s important to keep watch over our own glasses to make sure our pets don’t get any ideas. Also beware of feeding them any foods with alcohol in. It can cause serious problems in all pets.
Mince Pies, Christmas Cake and Panettone – Raisons, sultanas and dates found in all of these foods are toxic to pets and can be fatal in some instances. Make sure you keep these foods out of reach of any pets. Especially any mince pies left out for Santa!
Perhaps buy some Christmas themed foods and treats for your pets so they can join in the fun in a safe way, you can find Christmas dinner and treats for your pets here.
There is nothing as lovely as decorating the house with fresh foliage. Mistletoe, Holly & Ivy and Poinsettia are all popular additions to our interior decor at Christmas but can cause serious problems for our pets. All three of these plants can be toxic to pets; the bright red leaves of Poinsettia and the traditional classic holly and ivy can cause serious upset stomachs in many animals. The latter can even be fatal in rabbits. You also need to be wary of Mistletoe which can cause drooling, retching and vomiting.
Christmas Wrap and Decorations
Whilst it’s lovely to decorate our homes with Christmas decorations at this time of year, it’s best to be cautious where pets are concerned. Try not to leave them unattended in any rooms with Christmas decorations things like tinsel, flashing lights and other dangly items can be most tantalising to cats and dogs; one, you don't want your decorations ruined and two, the swallowing of any loose parts an be a choking hazard.
The same goes for Christmas wrapping. Gift wrap, ribbon and tags make your gifts look extra special, but like other decorations can be dangerous to pets. On Christmas morning make sure all paper and tags etc are tidied quickly. Make sure any batteries are kept away from cats and dogs as swallowing those can lead to dangerous internal burns. It’s best to keep pets away from any human decorations, toys or wrapping. Perhaps treat them to some festive themed toys to keep them occupied and divert their attention away from the things they shouldn’t play with!
In a recent post we mentioned the high levels of stress that unknown noises can cause. Christmas, like Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night, can cause your pets to worry due to the change in routine, increased noise levels and unfamiliar visitors. Make sure to give your pet a safe, quiet space they can retreat to when the festivities get too much. Your dog might like a covered crate for instance and your cat will feel safest up high where he can view the room from his own cat tree. If you have smaller pets such as gerbils or hamsters you may want to remove their cages from the main rooms of the house over the busiest days of the Christmas period to make sure they feel safe and content.
Whilst the dangers around Christmas might seem overwhelming, there’s no reason not to enjoy the holiday with the whole family including your animal friends. Take precautions with the above issues, but don’t let it stop you having a great time. If you have any questions about anything mentioned here or something more general, do get in touch. We love to hear from you and your pets!