Keeping Your Pet Healthy This Christmas
Now that Christmas is well on its way, it’s time to get planning to ensure a merry Christmas and a happy New Year for every member of the family - even those with four legs. Here are our top tips
With only some exceptions, human food for pets is generally a big no - especially at this time of the year. A lot of our festive favourites and flavours are actually really unhealthy for animals; onions, garlic, goose fat and more. And the ones that aren’t - for example, Christmas meats - still need to be fed with caution. The richness and seasoning of a traditional turkey can cause stomach upset for dogs, and turkey bones cause massive problems if your pup is unfortunate enough to choke on one.
This also applies to sweeter treats. We’ve already talked about how to prepare a pet-friendly home at Christmas, but we want to emphasise the importance of keeping chocolate and sweets away from pets. Place edible decorations at the highest point of the tree and avoid placing edible gifts beneath it - animals can often smell the food beneath and may try to unwrap the present and eat it themselves. It’s a lose-lose situation.
As keen a sense that smell is for dogs and cats, this doesn’t always work in their favour. A lot of toxic products that we use frequently during the winter months actually have a really sweet and appealing smell - which ends in disastrous consequences.
Antifreeze is the biggest culprit for this. Its sweet smell draws in animals, but the contents of this product are extremely toxic and can have fatal results if enough is ingested.
Make sure to only take out these kinds of products when necessary and put them away as soon as you’ve finished with them. And if any is spilled, wipe it up quickly. Even the smallest amount can really harm pets!
Pets don’t often like being told ‘no’ when we refuse to share our food; our tasty roasts and desserts appeal to them as much as us. Don’t let their wide-eyes and begging tempt you though. Instead, tempt them with their own delicious dinners.
In general, you should be keeping an eye on your pet’s diet throughout the whole year to ensure your cat or pup is as healthy as can be. We’re going to boast a little here; our food is some of the best you can get. Our entire brand is built upon the desire for pets to be able to enjoy premium food rather than the usual kind, which is unfortunately often filled with unnatural, unhealthy products to bulk out its mass without adding any nutrition.
Luckily, it’s still super tasty too - so your pets can enjoy a healthier option than pet junk food or an inappropriate human Christmas dinner whilst still enjoying every bite. Stock up on some Top Dog or Top Cat Turkey so that they can join you in the festive feeling.
Dogs are creatures of routine, and just because yours gets a little bit scrambled following the presents, turkey and sherry, it doesn’t mean theirs should.
It’s important to keep your pup walking regularly despite any of the crazy Christmas plans you might have. Walks keep dogs stimulated and exercised and are vital for keeping them happy and healthy, rather than letting them go stir crazy in the house. Give them a long walk each day - ideally mixing up the route to give them some variety - so as not to disrupt them too much. Alongside all of the other benefits, doing so will stop them from getting too unsettled amongst all the strange things and people they meet during your Christmas parties.
While cats are a little less high maintenance, don’t forget to give them some love and continuity too. Ensure that they’re still let out to get some fresh air, and that they still receive their usual share of affection and playtime.
Now it’s your turn - what are your best tips for keeping your pup or kitty as healthy - and happy - as they can possibly be over the festive period? Do you have your own special routines, and how do they tie in with your pet-related Christmas traditions? As always, we want to hear all about it. Follow us on Facebook, Tweet your suggestions to @BarkingHeads and don’t forget to attach pictures of your four-legged friends loving their Barking Heads treats!
Read next: How to Keep Your Home Pet-Friendly at Christmas