The festive period is a wonderful time of the year, full of food and celebration and merriment - for pets as well as for people! Unfortunately, many of the things we love about Christmas can prove harmful towards your pets. Don’t worry though; we’ve compiled our handiest tips and tricks for ensuring your family home is as pet-friendly as possible for Christmas.
One of life’s greatest festive pleasures, a Christmas tree! The problem is, it is inviting not only to us but to our pets.
This year, try placing your tree in a position that’ll make it more difficult for your cat or dog to attempt to scratch or even climb your tree. More importantly, real Christmas trees - fir trees - when ingested by animals can be toxic and cause nausea. Consider using an artificial tree instead.
Decorations are designed to be eye-catching, but this effect works on pets as well. Dogs and cats can often see decorations as something tempting to be played with or grabbed.
Where possible, avoid sparkly or flashy decorations; these draw the most attention and are the ones your pet will be the most eager to retrieve. Place your decorations further up and out of reach - where they hopefully won’t be noticed!
Speaking of decorations, edible ones can cause a problem too. We totally see the appeal of a tree covered in hanging chocolate - who wouldn’t? - but dogs do too, and chocolate is a big no-no where your pup is concerned. Keep your edible decor higher up on the tree.
The same goes with stockings - pets are nosy, so don’t let them get inside where any treats are hidden! And Christmas dinner too; don’t let your pets snack on any inappropriate items from your festive feast.
Get them topped up with their own Christmas Dinner instead - Top Dog Turkey, anyone?
Christmas lights are perfect for creating the cosy, sparkly atmosphere we love in the festive months. But picture how they look to animals: glowing, glittery balls, there for the taking… it never ends well.
Sometimes it can be best to keep these to a minimum, or at least keep them placed higher up, so that your pets can’t try and grab them or chew through the equally inviting wires. Keep any cables hidden away, especially for lower-down lights, like the ones for trees.
Candles, too, are pretty but pose a pretty serious hazard. Ensure these are kept in a place where your pet can’t accidentally knock with a paw swipe, burn themselves - or minimise the risk altogether with an artificial candle.
While some pets are (literal) party animals, they can get tired and need a rest, which isn’t always easy during the Christmas season where there are celebrations galore.
Remember, your pets share your home, and need to be considered during your Christmas parties. Try and leave a room or large area free from the festivities, where your pet can go for a bit of a breather once the party gets too much - ideally, set their bed up in here.
Pets can get really unsettled when there is so much going on around them. Try to keep their normal routine going as much as possible so that they aren’t becoming overwhelmed, and remember, you’re never too busy to walk your dog.
There you have it: five easy tips for securing a safe home for your pet this Christmas. But we’re sure you lot have many more. Send us a message on our Facebook page with your own top tips, or Tweet us at @BarkingHeads!