Keeping your pets safe and happy this festive season

3rd December 2021

♫ It’s the most wonderful time of the year! ♫ However for many pets, the festive season can inadvertently become the most woeful time of the year. Whilst we start getting into the festive spirit it can be easy to forget about all the potential hazards that come with the festive season.

With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to make sure your pets remain safe and happy over the Christmas period.

As you begin the task of hauling your Christmas decorations out of the cupboard and start to adorn your house with all things festive, it is important to keep in mind the potential hazards that can cause issues for your cats and dogs. Baubles, tinsel, string, Sellotape, ribbons and of course the all-alluring Christmas tree are just some of the things that can be potential hazards for your pets. Make sure to keep a close eye on them to ensure they are not chewing or swallowing any of these enticing objects. Also, it’s important to bear in mind that pets, especially cats, can often get tangled up in such decorations.

Christmas lights
Christmas lights pose an added threat to your pets, if for example they get carried away and begin to chew these, then they could potentially suffer burns to their mouth or could even suffer from a dangerous electric shock. Therefore these kind of decorations should be kept up high or out of reach where possible. Again, keep a keen eye on your pets when they are in a room decorated with Christmas lights.

One of the best things about Christmas is the abundance of delicious foods on offer. However, with this comes an increased amount of dangerous foods to keep out of the mouths of pets.

The most common of these is chocolate which contains theobromine, an ingredient toxic for pets. If ingested, theobromine can cause seizures, increased heart rate, diarrhoea, vomiting and even death depending on the amount consumed by your pet. The general rule-of-thumb when determining this is that the darker the chocolate, the higher the level of theobromine.

Nuts, grapes and raisins
Nuts can specifically pose a threat to dogs if ingested with symptoms that can include overheating, weakness and vomiting. Grapes and raisins can also pose a health risk to cats and dogs. If either are ingested it can lead to kidney failure.

Most sweets can have a laxative effect and some can contain xylitol, an artificial sweetener that will cause a cat or dog’s blood glucose level to fall and may result in them fainting.

Festive plants
Deck the halls with boughs of holly? With pets around it is probably best that you don’t!
Many winter plants can be highly toxic to your pet if ingested. Such plants include Poinsettias, Holly Berries, Mistletoe, Amaryllis and Yew, with symptoms ranging from excessive salivation to vomiting and diarrhoea.

Social gatherings
A large number of people and noise in your home can make your pet nervous and even anxious. If you are planning on having a get-together this Christmas then ensure your pet has their own safe-space, an area that is quiet and calming. You could even provide them with a few new toys to take their mind off things and make them less anxious.

If a cat or dog drinks alcohol it can cause serious health issues including tremors, seizures and even death. So keep any empty cans or leftover glasses away from where a pet can reach and be tempted to drink.

Children’s Toys
Of course, with Christmas comes an abundance of toys and with that, plenty of small parts for cats or dogs to swallow. Try to keep toys or games with small parts out the way of inquisitive mouths as if sharp and ingested they can cause gut perforations.

We hope these tips provide you with some knowledge and awareness of how to keep your furry friends safe and happy this Christmas!

For more information on how to keep your pets safe and happy, click on the links below: