Christmas can often be a busy time of the year. Whether you’re out and about visiting friends and relatives, or you have family and friends coming over to your house, the change to your pets’ routine can be pretty stressful.
Take a look at our 10 festive tips to ensure your pet remains happy and content during the Christmas period.
Friends and family
Visitors can sometimes be a little unnerving for pets. If your pet is usually concerned with visitors, it’s important to ensure your pet has a safe place they can retreat to where they won’t be disturbed. Having a familiar sound on such as the TV or radio may help to make them feel much more at ease.
Stick to your routine
Stick to your usual routine as much as possible. Keep mealtimes roughly the same, and ensure your dog gets their usual amount of exercise. If you usually walk your dog twice a day, then it’s a good idea stick to this, even during the busy Christmas period.
Travelling with your pet
Travelling can be a stressful experience for your dog. If you are planning to travel with your pet, it’s a good idea to take their toys and bedding to provide some extra comfort.
Store gifts away safely
Don’t leave presents under the tree as pets may be tempted to investigate and unwrap gifts. Keep gifts safely stored away until Christmas morning and keep a close eye on your pet when opening and storing your gifts.
Keep pets busy
Kong toys and other interactive feeders are a great way to keep your pet distracted and their mind active, especially if you’re expecting lots of guests.
Away for Christmas?
If you’re away over the festive period but your pet is staying at home, allow them time to get used to whoever is looking after them before you leave. If your neighbour has kindly offered to look after your cat, let them both meet a few times beforehand.
Be aware of the Christmas tree
A real Christmas tree looks beautiful, yet the oils in trees can be mildly toxic if consumed. The needles can also get stuck in your pet’s throat or in their paws.
Regularly sweep up any needles that have dropped onto the floor. Try also not to leave your pet unattended around the tree. Cats climbing trees may also present a risk of injury, so help to keep them safe.
Decorations may appear to look like tempting new and shiny toys to play with yet tinsel and angel hair can cause serious illness if consumed. Instead, help keep your pet’s playful side occupied by spending time playing with appropriate pet toys with them.
Lights may also be a very tempting toy. Ensure lights aren’t dangling, wires are tucked away safely, and lights are turned off when leaving your pet unattended.
Ensure you supervise children and dogs together at all times. Children can get very excited over Christmas, and to a dog, this can be very unpredictable behaviour and can cause them stress. Ensure your pet has somewhere safe they can retreat to at all times.
Keep an eye on chocolates, fruit cake and mince pies. Grapes, raisins and chocolate are all toxic to dogs, therefore, avoid leaving any food unattended. If you suspect your pet has ingested something that could cause harm, please contact your vet immediately.
Our Vets at Night service offers emergency and out of hours care for your pets. We’re here for you and your pet 365 days a year, 7 days a week. If you’re concerned about your pet over the festive period, please call us via 01332 678333.