Top tips for keeping your pets safe over Christmas

Christmas and New Year is a fun time for many of us but it also brings a number of problems for our pets.  Follow these tips to keep your pets safe and ensure they also have a great time. 

Beware of festive food

• High fat festive foods can easily cause diarrhoea or vomiting and make your pet quite poorly· 

• Human chocolate is particularly dangerous in dogs - it can cause neurological problems. 

• Cooked bones, especially poultry, tend to splinter so they could puncture your pet’s stomach and lead to a serious infection.  Pets can also choke on these small bones. 

• Don’t let your pets’ waistlines extend as much as ours do over the festive period!  Overweight pets can suffer from a number of other health problems so keep treats to a minimum. 

Decorations

• Pets may see these as toys.  Glass baubles can break and lead to splinters that can stick into paws or mouths so better to use plastic ones! 

• Tinsel can be chewed and swallowed and get stuck in the intestines causing a blockage.  

• Be wary of playful pets chewing through fairy lights as they could get electrocuted. 

• Don’t forget to be careful of children’s toys as small parts left around can be swallowed.

Noise

• The "bang" from crackers may scare pets so make sure they are in another room.

• Be aware that a noisy party at home may unsettle your pets so make sure they are in a quiet room away from the noise and check them regularly.  

• Make sure that doors are not left open inviting pets to slip out unnoticed. 

Reduce stress

• For pets that get particularly stressful at this time, there are diffusers to aid to help dogs in the form of a plug-in device, very similar to the plug-in air fresheners.  When plugged in, the device warms up and gives off a dog appeasing pheromone. This is the same pheromone produced by a bitch after whelping which helps to reassure her puppies.  The diffuser has no sedative effect and cannot be detected by humans.  A similar diffuser is also available for cats.  You can purchase the diffusers from your vet and it is advisable to install the diffusers well before the festivities start.  

Going away

• Don't leave your pets at home alone if you are going away for a couple of days, ensure you have arranged for someone responsible to feed them in your absence.  

• If you are going away on holiday over Christmas, make sure you make arrangements with the local kennel/cattery well in advance.  

Christmas is a busy time of year and we recommend that you do not buy a pet during this time.