Have Yourself a Pet-Friendly Christmas
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and we’re all looking forward to celebrating together with our loved ones, including our pets! It’s therefore important to consider what effect all the festive fun is having on our furry friends, and to make sure they’re also having a great time. Here are some of our top tips for keeping your pets safe and happy this Christmas!
We know it’s much more difficult to resist feeding scraps to your pets over Christmas, but in most cases, it’s really not good for them, and can even be harmful. Instead, we suggest that you spend this special occasion making the most of plenty of quality time with your pets. They’ll without a doubt prefer your company to treats or presents!
Try to stick to the normal schedule as much as possible over the holidays, especially when it comes to mealtimes. Our pets don’t understand that we have got lots to do during this time after all, and a disruption of their routines will add to a possibly already stressful time. Let your chickens out at the same time as usual, walk your dog as you would normally and give your cat their daily play time.
Give your pets a safe space
Christmas can get hectic, so make sure your pet has somewhere to go to get away from all hustle and bustle, preferably in a different, quieter, room. If you’ve got guests coming over, let them know what to do, and what not to do, around your pets. It’s important that everyone knows what doors, windows and gates need to be kept closed, what the pets are allowed to do and eat, and when they are to be left alone.
If you’re spending Christmas somewhere else, you need to take your pets into consideration. Don’t leave them alone for longer than they are used to, and make sure they’ve got what they need while you’re away. If you’re taking them with you, bring something that will remind them of home, like a cat blanket, dog toy, or their hamster cage. If you can’t take them with you, you will need to find an alternative solution.
Make sure you plan the journey and be aware of the fact that traffic can be busy around Christmas. Your pet must have access to food and water at all times, and depending on your what pet you’ve got, there might be a need for toilet breaks.
Christmas trees and plants
Make sure your Christmas tree if safely secured, as cats tend to try and climb them. It might also be a good idea to hang especially intriguing and tantalising decorations higher up in the tree where pets can’t reach them as easily. This minimises the risk of cats getting tangled and the tree falling over.
Hoover under and around the tree regularly to get rid of fallen pine needles. The needles can get stuck in mouths or between toes, which can be very painful.
Lots of our most common Christmas plants, including poinsettias, mistletoe and amaryllis, are poisonous to a lot of pets, so make sure you stay clear of them, or keep them out of reach.
Decorations and presents
Choose non-toxic Christmas decorations and keep cables from lights and other decorations out of reach. Should your pet try to nibble through them, this can cause damage to both cable and pet.
Don’t leave presents containing eatable things (chocolate in particular!) under the tree. It will soon be sniffed out, and it won’t take a couple of greedy paws long to get into a wrapped present.
Once the gifts have been opened, clear away the wrapping paper straight away. Not only will you avoid having paper all over the room once your pets get to it, but coloured paper and string should also not be ingested by pets.
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