Christmas is a time of celebration and many of us will have a house full of relatives, festive decorations, Christmas party songs blaring out and lots of tantalising food around. But please spare a thought for your pets this Christmas and follow our top tips to ensure they have a happy time too.
A party atmosphere often involves a lot of noise, people coming and going and furniture being rearranged to accommodate everyone. This can be very stressful for some pets. Ensure your pet has a safe space to escape to when it needs some peace and quiet. (Ask a veterinary professional or contact the Wood Green outreach team about stress reducing products such as Adaptil, Feliway, Zylkene and Calmex.)
A Christmas tree can look like a very exciting adventure playground to your pet! Carefully consider before leaving them unsupervised in the same room. Not only could they knock the tree over, but real pine needles and many of the decorations could be hazardous to your pet if eaten, including tinsel, baubles and tree lights. Presents under the tree, particularly if containing food or soft toys, may also be very enticing for your pet with interesting smells and noises!
With so much food around there will be a lot of temptation for your pets no matter how well behaved they usually are. Keep food well out of reach of prying paws. Ensure that the turkey carcass cannot be reached as the small bones are a choking hazard and may cause damage to the digestive tract of your pet.
Be careful not to over feed your pet with treats. Did you know giving one biscuit to a 10kg dog is the calorific equivalent of a beefburger for a person; an ounce of cheese for a cat is the equivalent of 3 beefburgers! If you decide to give your dog some human ‘titbits’ this Christmas, reduce the size of the treat; they will still enjoy the taste with a fraction of the calories!
There are many seasonal items that can poison your pet or give them an upset tummy. In brief this includes; grapes, raisons, holly, ivy, poinsettas, batteries, silica gel packages and chocolate (don’t forget about the chocolate tree decorations!). For a more extensive list please contact Wood Green or your local veterinary practice.
Children’s toys are just as exciting to pets too! To avoid any upset children on Christmas day, consider placing your pet in a separate room with a toy and chew or treat of their own whilst the toys are being played with. Ensure children’s toys are safely put away after use. Your pet will thoroughly enjoy a game with you and their own new toy afterwards!
Getting a pet at Christmas time
Finally, please consider carefully before buying a new pet this Christmas. It is important to remember that any animal, whether it be a dog, cat, ferret, rabbit, sheep, chicken or goat, will require care, love and attention throughout its lifetime and not just over the festive period.
For some people Christmas is a time of relaxation, a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the daily routine and enjoy some quiet time at home, making it the ideal time to take on a new pet.
Any decision to get a new pet should be made carefully with the whole family in mind.
If you would like any further advice about looking after your pet at Christmas time or you are considering rehoming a pet then please contact us at:
Wood Green the Animals Charity, 601 Lordship Lane, Wood Green N22 5LG.
0844 248 8181