We know some of you are just itching to get those Christmas decorations up! Before you do, we wanted to look at how you can make sure that your Christmas plans are pet-proof to ensure that furry members of your family have a fun festive period too.
Christmas decorations are a source of great fascination to pets – a shiny new novelty that simply MUST be explored.
Unfortunately, pet curiosity can often lead to injuries! When you’re putting up your tree, make sure it’s secured in a corner so it won’t fall over if your cat climbs it.
Place baubles at a level where pets can’t get them (and remember your pet may be a lot bouncier than you expect!). Think carefully before using tinsel as this poses a serious hazard to pets if they get hold of it – it can be ingested and become wrapped round your pet’s intestines.
Also look out for loose pine needles which can become embedded in pets’ paw pads – hoover up fallen pine needles and check paws regularly.
Various plants such as Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettias can pose health threats to pets too. Please be wary of these when out and about with your dog.
Our delicious Christmas dinner can also be a source of danger.
However much you think they might enjoy it, don’t give your pets turkey bones. Cooked bones can split and splinter in a pet’s throat, or even once they reach their stomach, causing serious injuries.
Please also beware of leaving chocolate where your pet can get to it – our houses tend to be full of chocolate over Christmas, plus pets, with their incredible noses, can also smell edible gifts if they are left under the tree. Chocolate is lethal to pets if ingested as it contains something called Theobromine, even if relatively little is eaten.
Christmas pudding should also definitely be avoided as this contains raisins, which are toxic to pets.
Did you know that the following are also all toxic to pets?
As well as the physical dangers, Christmas can also be a psychologically damaging time for pets. Strangers in the house, routines abandoned…animals can find it very stressful.
Try to make sure you keep to your pet’s normal daily routine as much as possible and make time for them. Ensure that dogs get their normal walks too (a Christmas day stroll will also help you walk off your dinner!).
You can also take preventive measures by using a natural product such as Feliway, Adaptil or Zylkene to keep your pet calm. These are based around pheromones and may be highly effective in helping your pet through stressful times of change. Speak to your vet now if you would be interested in using one of these products as it can take a few weeks for their effectiveness to be felt.
If your pet is going to be around small children and isn’t used to them, make sure you monitor them – pets only have a certain amount of patience! Pets should also have a quiet place to retreat to should they need some peace.
As much as we love seeing your pets, we’d much rather they spend Christmas at home with you!
However, if you do have a Christmas emergency, we’re here if you need us. Our 24 hour centres are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Please contact your practice as normal for up to date out of hours advice over the Christmas period. You can find your nearest Medivet practice by using our online practice finder.
Posted December 2, 2014 in Pet Care Advice