Christmas – it’s the most wonderful time of the year! After 12 months of hard work, it’s a time to relax and spend time snuggled up at home with your loved ones. But for our pets the holiday season can also bring with it some added hazards around the home. Here are a few tips to help keep your dogs and cats safe so that you can all enjoy some much deserved festive cheer! …
* Secure your Christmas tree and any other tall decorations to avoid them from toppling if your pet brushes by (or tries to climb them!).
* Keep wires covered and out of reach and turn lights off overnight or when you are not at home.
* Avoid toxic plants and foods – key ones include chocolate, grapes, raisins, lilies, onions, garlic, poinsettias, holly, ivy and macadamia nuts. If you have these in your home, keep them safely out of the way to avoid any emergency vet visits!
* Don’t give in to the temptation of feeding them the left-overs from your Christmas dinner! Aside from often containing ingredients that can be poisonous to pets, they are often overly rich and fatty, and can cause gastroenteritis and pancreatitis in animals. Instead, opt for a pet-friendly treat, like a stuffed Kong or some cat nip J
* If your pet is curious and prone to chewing or eating things, take care to keep dangly decorations off the ground and avoid fake snow and pine tree needles which can cause major stomach upsets if eaten. Cats are particularly fond of eating stringy-objects, so beware low hanging tinsel!
* For more gregarious cats and dogs, Christmas time can be exciting and fun, with plenty of people around. However, if your pet is timid or anxious, it can be quite stressful. Always provide calm, quiet places for them to retreat to, away from the noise and commotion. Keep their food, water, litter boxes and some cozy bedding in these areas too, so that they can go about their usual business without interruption. It you are really worried about stress, pheromone plug-ins can be helpful too, such as Feliway for cats, or D.A.P. for dogs.