Christmas is an exciting time for everyone and a wonderful chance to spend time with your loved ones, including the four-legged kind.
Cardboard boxes, colourful decorations and turkey scraps are all great opportunities for some festive fun – but make sure you are aware of the potential hazards too so you can enjoy a safe and happy Christmas with your pets.
Food, glorious food
We all like to indulge our pets as well as ourselves at Christmas, but many of our festive treats can actually be harmful to pets, so make sure they are kept well out of reach. Chocolate contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and other pets, and even turkey bones can become stuck in throats. Grapes - and raisins - are toxic too as well as nuts. If you want to give your pets a treat why not buy something specific for animals from your local pet shop, or indulge them with a little extra turkey meat? Making sure you also keep up their regular feeding routines is important though.
Christmastime is a time for seeing family and friends – and we tend to have busy homes at this time of year. If you are having lots of people over for a social visit, the noise and extra bodies may be overwhelming for your pets. Make sure you provide them with a space they can retreat to if it becomes too much. Loud bangs from things like Christmas crackers and party poppers can also be frightening for pets, so keep cats and dogs out of the way while these are going off.
A real Christmas tree is one of the real delights of the festive season. However, the oils that give that lovely, unmistakably Christmassy smell can be mildly toxic, and the sharp needles can also get stuck in paws or throats if they are ingested. Make sure you clear up needles regularly and keep pets in a different room from the tree if you go out.
Pets are attracted to the lights and sparkle of festive decorations – make sure you keep light cables out of reach so they can’t be chewed or become wrapped around an inquisitive pet! Other decorations can also be a choking hazard so keep an eye on your pets around the tree.
Plants like mistletoe, holly and poinsettias can bring a bit of Christmas cheer to your home, but they are also potentially toxic for your pets and can cause an upset stomach or worse, depending on how much has been eaten.
We wish you a safe and happy Christmas!