Being pet friendly this Christmas

Being pet friendly this Christmas

Have you ever considered the effect the lead up to Christmas could have on your pet? Maybe it is not something you have thought of or even considered until now! All our pets have their own quirky personality and in the lead up to Christmas there is a sense of excitement in the air and things are slowly starting to change in the house. The tree is going up; everyone is getting into a jolly mood and suddenly guests start to arrive. Have you noticed how different your pets behave when your guests arrive along with the different traits our dogs show vs cats?  Our dogs might be over excited or respond by aggression or they might hide whereas cats are more likely to just vanish for the duration.

Here are a few tips for helping your pets have a stress-free Christmas:

Routine – we have a set time when we feed our pets, maybe our walks are taken at a certain time during the day, and if you can keep to these routines the consistency can help pets feel more secure.     

Introduce new guests carefully – we know how our pets behave around strangers so try not to force your pet to meet them, rather let your dog or cat meet them at their own pace.      

A place to retreat – find a place in the house which is cosy and quiet, away from all the noise and excitement. Somewhere they will not be disturbed by anyone. You could leave toys with them to help your pet associate the area with positive experiences.      

Hiding places – you might want to try a cardboard box with your cat as this will help them feel safe, however, anywhere in your house your pet can hide or retreat to will help them during this festive period. Pets are smart so they would have shown us these places throughout the year

Don't leave them alone too long – you might be the ones visiting friends or family, be careful about leaving your pet alone for too long.  Christmas is a busy time and there is a lot to do and people to see, so try and ensure that you spend time with your pets as they don’t like to be left alone for too long.

Hazards and stresses - Over the festive season we don’t think about the hazards and stresses our pets might face as we tend to be too busy worrying about so many other things. Here are a few hazards our pets might encounter over Christmas: 

Christmas trees and plants - Some festive plants and flowers can be toxic to pets, including poinsettias, holly, ivy, mistletoe, and lilies, so avoid buying these if you have pets. Christmas trees tend to be non-toxic to dogs and cats. However, the needles from the Christmas tree can irritate your pet's mouth, get stuck in their paws, and can cause an upset tummy if too many are eaten

Christmas decorations - what decorations are harmful to pets? Candy canes or any edible decorations with chocolate are poisonous to dogs or cats and can make them seriously ill. Cats and dogs might be tempted to chew or play with hanging tree decorations like tinsel, which is not poisonous, but it can get stuck in the stomach and may be unable to go through the intestines.

Christmas is often busy and chaotic, but there is so much to enjoy with our four-legged friends so don’t forget to have a fun! Take that long winter walk, watch your pet excitedly play with their new toy and, if your pet is on medication, don’t forget to stock up before the holidays so you don't get caught out.

 

Merry Christmas everyone and hope you and your pet have a great time together.

 

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