Keeping your pets safe at Christmas

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Christmas time can be a full-on time of year. We rush round, ensuring everything is ‘just right’ from picking the right presents for loved ones to carving the turkey. But what about our smaller, furrier friends at this time of year?

During the festive period it is doubly important to maintain the safety of your pets. With so many distractions coming from all directions, it can be easy to become blinkered to anything that isn’t specifically Christmas related.

However, by following these three simple rules, we think that you can enjoy this special time of year safe in the knowledge that your cats, dogs and other small animals are kept well away from any danger.

Watch what they eat

Most pet owners will know that there are certain things their pet shouldn’t eat. Chocolate is one of the most widely know human treats that can have a nasty effect on cats and dogs.

The advice still stands to avoid letting your pooch tuck into a chocolate coin or the last Quality Street. But at this time of the year, there are more culinary nightmares for pets available.

All potentially having some place on the dinner table on December 25th; currants, onion and dates will all do your pet harm if they are eaten. Effects could range from sickness and diarrhoea to potentially even kidney failure. So as much as they give you those puppy dog eyes, say no to feeding them scraps from the table.

Dog at dinner table.

Away from the dinner table the festive favourites of the horticultural world are to be avoided too. Make sure curious cats and dogs stay well away from holly, mistletoe and amaryllis as digesting any of these will cause medical problems.

Assess the dangers of the tree

Although it might not feature on our own menu, decorations can be of interest to cats and dogs alike. Be especially wary about pets eating tinsel. The small pieces can break off and become lodged in an animals intestine, proving very difficult to retrieve.

Other decorations that adorn the tree can cause issues with particularly inquisitive pets too. Fairy lights pose risks on two fronts. Firstly there is the obvious electricity issue. Should your cat or dog chew on a switched-on light they could be risking a fairly hefty electric shock.

Secondly, if you have any particularly smaller canines, there is also a risk of getting tangled and posing a choking hazard should they decide to explore what is hidden within your Christmas tree!

Dogs and Fairy Lights

Probably the most obvious issue with your tree is it’s potential to topple over.

Whether it’s an intentional tug from a dog, or a clumsy pooch simply crashing into it, when a large Christmas tree falls in your living room, it’s likely to cause an issue. While it’s unlikely to do serious damage to your pet, making doubly sure that your tree is securely anchored can stop any premature felling.

Don’t get carried away

There’s sure to be plenty going on in many households at Christmas, but don’t assume our pets always want to be a part of it. Your dog may thrive on fuss and attention, but having somewhere they can escape the noise and hubbub is vital.

Give your dog a quiet place with their bed and toy that they can hide away in if they wish. If they want to enjoy the Christmas cheer with you, they will.

Also, be aware that loud noises such as crackers, fireworks, or even just big families talking in raised voices can be startling to the most nervous of pets.

Dog in Bed

And finally, remember that although it is Christmas time, dogs still need walking. If you’re in charge of the turkey, ask a family member to give your canine friend their morning exercise instead. If not, head out early for a Christmas morning stroll, before you’ve even thought about that glass of Bucks Fizz.

This time of year is all about enjoying yourself with friends and family. But follow these simple rules and you can ensure that the pet in your life can enjoy Christmas time too.

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