‘Tis the season to be merry, and to make sure your cats and dogs remain healthy and content over this period. Here are a few things to be aware of.
Keep decorations out of reach and non-toxic if you can
Baubles and tinsel are really attractive to curious pets as well as us. The temptation to play with them and pull them down may well be strong, so try to avoid this if you can by moving things out of their reach. Swallowing glass or plastic decorations can cause some nasty problems, and tinsel can be a hazard if they get wrapped up in it whilst playing.
Don’t put edible decorations on your tree. The temptation will be too much to bear in the dead of night!
Keep cables for fairy lights out of reach or get a cable guard.
Cats, dogs and rabbits can be tempted to have a chew on these new, rubbery items that appear in the house.
Be toxin aware
Lots of traditional Christmas plants and foliage are poisonous to our pets, so make sure poinsettias, holly, pine, mistletoe, holly and amaryllis are in rooms they can’t access or out of reach. Vacuum regularly to get rid of any pine needles – plastic or real.
Some foods are also toxic including chocolate, mince pies and Christmas pudding (in fact anything with raisins or grapes in), onions including onion gravy, broccoli, salty foods, avocado, coffee, cauliflower, nutmeg, peppers, garlic and alcohol. Bones from bird carcasses such as turkey and chicken are also dangerous as they pose a choking hazard and can splinter when chewed and get stuck in the digestive system.
Don’t put presents that include food under the tree. These will be sniffed out and eaten, which is destruction everyone can do without as well as potentially toxic to your pet.
Some pets are cleverer than others when it comes to sneaking food when no one is looking. Keep an eye out for any changes in behaviour that might indicate this is the case – changes in their breathing, twitching, vomiting and diarrhoea for example – and call us on Castle Cary: 01963 350307 or Yeovil: 01935 474690 if you have any concerns.
Make your pets feel safe and stress-free
If you have visitors coming, make a safe space aware from all the commotion for your pet to escape to. A familiar bed and some toys in a quiet room will be a great refuge for them if it all gets too much. Make sure guests know which doors and gates need to remain closed for your pet’s safety.
Give your dog a good walk before any excitement and they’ll be much calmer and content. Keeping up regular feeding and exercise routines helps with a sense of security too.
Fireworks are often around again over the festive period, so if this is an issue for your pet make sure they are kept in, have a safe area to hide in, keep the curtains closed and that you have the radio or TV on as a distraction. If the fear extends beyond an understandable anxiety, book an appointment to talk to us about how we can help. There are some nutraceuticals such as pheromone plug-ins and food supplements that might help as well as some additional techniques we could talk to you about.
Don’t forget to give them some fun!
All of this makes Christmas for your pet sound pretty boring. But it doesn’t have to be. As long as common-sense rules then you can all have a great family time, including your pet.
We sell a range of toys and chews that make lovely gifts for your pet, and just because they can’t eat the same food as us doesn’t mean they have to miss out. They are lots of safe treats and bones available to keep them healthy and happy. You could organise a treat trail as a treasure hunt, and could even have a go at making your own pupcakes (Google it!).
Have you heard about the Delaware Healthy Pet Scheme?
Not already a member but want to find out more about the best way to care for your pet?