You are currently viewing Have Yourself a Pet-Friendly Christmas 

Have Yourself a Pet-Friendly Christmas 

The countdown to Christmas is officially on. But in order for the day to live up to its grand expectations, we should consider our pets’ safety amongst celebrations.  

For many, one of the most exciting parts of the festivities is transforming our space for Santa. But sparkly centrepieces, seasonal spreads and flurries of friends and family can welcome unintentional danger to animals.  

After caring for the nation’s pets for over 100 years, we understand the loving bonds you can form with your pet – and excluding them from the fun doesn’t feel fair. That’s why we have created a list of top tidings that will safely guide you through the Christmas period as a pet owner. 

Dog safety at Christmas 

  • Dogs are creatures of comfort and often feel unsettled when gatherings are hosted at (what they think is) their house. It’s not only the unfamiliarity of new faces and smells that can be unnerving for them, but also the loud noise. The commotion created by Christmas crackers, music and fierce board games can quickly startle our pups. This is why it’s a good idea to provide them with a safe space which they can retreat to if they feel disturbed. Once they associate this area as a calm spot, it will help them cope in periods when they’re home alone too.  
  • In order to make a Christmas tree uniquely yours, it requires decorations. However, we recommend taking caution in the placement and materials of these to avoid mishaps with your pet. We strongly advise you keep away from edible ornaments, such as chocolate baubles, as a lot of the ingredients are poisonous to dogs. Even if you move them higher up the tree, they could easily fall on the floor for your pet to scoop up. Similarly, a lot of seasonal plants and foliage like holly, ivy and mistletoe are also toxic for dogs.  
  • House plants and decorations aren’t the only things you need to look out for, as a lot of festive food can make your dog seriously ill too. Some of the season’s favourites such as mince pies, Christmas pudding and alcohol are highly dangerous and should be kept out of paws reach. But if you’re keen to include your pet in the celebratory feasts, try making them some treats of their own or purchasing seasonal snacks from your local pet store. 
  • Even though December 25th is anything but an ordinary day, you shouldn’t forget about your pet’s routine. Whether you have Christmas prep to be getting on with or not, their daily walk is still just as important.  

Cat safety at Christmas 

  • The average cat tends to spend a lot of time outdoors, and if this sounds familiar, consider providing them with shelter in the garden. Even if they don’t end up using it, the option of a dry outdoor space could help them cope in winter.  
  • It’s understandable when you welcome guests over that home rearrangements may be needed to accommodate for those invited, and your cat’s normal space may face disruption. As long as they have the choice to distance themselves from the crowd and have separate areas for litter tray and feeding, the move shouldn’t be too upsetting. 
  • Cats often have the urge to chew and play with hanging tree branches and decorations. Unless you can afford to keep an eye on them constantly, it’s best to focus the baubles on the middle to high portions of the tree. Their mischievous behaviour can shed pine needles, which could then get stuck in their paws or down their throat.  
  • Fir droplets are expected if you have a real tree, so you should make a habit of sweeping up any needles to minimise hazards.  

Small animal safety at Christmas 

  • The key to a happy small pet is placing their hutch in a suitable area, whether that be inside or outside. For outdoors pets, plenty of warm bedding and spaces to hide are essential when temperatures drop. On the other hand, if you’d rather bring your pet indoors for safekeeping, move their cage away from visitors. Poor handling and loud noises from guests can be stressful for little furries, so a calm and quiet area is the perfect solution.     
  • Guinea pigs can be gnawing nuisances with wires, so anything electrical should be out of sight. If this is somewhat unavoidable, ensure the cables are at least tucked away safely out of reach from their destructive chewing.  
  • Small pets kept in cages tend to be less of a worry than dogs and cats at Christmas, mainly because you can control where they reside during the festive period. As long as they are occupied with plenty of toys in a quiet area, housing them safely shouldn’t be too difficult. 

For many of us, spending time with loved ones is what Christmas is all about. Coming from a team of pet healthcare specialists who treat animals like family, we wanted to share all the pet-friendly ways to spread cheer this year and beyond.  

Leave a Reply