9 ways to keep your pets safe this Christmas
This has been a year like no other and we are all desperately trying to navigate a wonderful Christmas in spite of the pandemic. The ultimate reward for our pets who have stood by us this year is to keep them safe. Christmas can present many hazards to our furry friends so we’ve set out 9 ways to keep your pets safe this Christmas.
1. Real Christmas trees
Real trees are better for the environment (especially if you replant them) but did you know the oils in fir trees can be mildly toxic, causing stomach upsets? You know the needles can hurt from decorating it so bear in mind that they can get stuck in your pet’s paw or mouth if chewed. Prevent access to the tree when you go out and try to clear away all fallen needles where possible. Also, ensure your tree has a stable base to prevent your pet from causing it to topple.
2. Fairy lights
Fairy lights are so attractive to our pets but pulling on the lights can set off a series of unfortunate events, whilst ingestion of the lights could cause electrocution, internal injuries or intestinal blockage. Try to place fairy lights out of reach, and always turn the lights off when leaving your pet unattended.
You see beautiful Christmas decorations but your beloved pets see many opportunities to play! Baubles, tinsel and dangling decorations can be dangerous: chewing on decorations can cause cuts in the mouth, throat and digestive system and even gastrointestinal blockages. Make sure you keep decorations out of your pet’s reach at all times.
4. Tempting treats
There are so many foods that are potentially toxic for your pets at this time of year. Foods that you most likely never considered to be a risk, such as: onions, garlic, nuts (particularly macadamia), raisins, sultanas, dates and grapes, chocolate and alcohol. Ensure food is always placed out of reach from pets or they will think all of their Christmases have come at once! What seems like a treat for them may result in them requiring veterinary care. If you want to make a special pet dinner, the ideal treat is plain, cooked turkey (no bones) and some delicious crunchy vegetables!
5. Poisonous plants
Holly, mistletoe, lillies and poinsettias can all be poisonous if ingested, the side effects depend on how much of the plant is consumed. Always ensure these plants are out of reach.
Fireworks can be very distressing to all animals. Make sure your pet has a safe space where they can hide away, close the curtains and turn on the TV or radio to help with distraction. If your pet is distressed try not to over fuss or tell them off – this only confirms to them that they were right to be afraid. The RSPCA give some great suggestions for keeping your pets safe during fireworks.
7. A busy environment
With the relaxing of the Covid rules your Christmas environment may be busy, and certainly more busy than your pet has become accustomed to during 2020. Remember that new faces and additional noise can be scary for your pet, so give them a safe area to pop off to if it gets overwhelming for them (you can join them too if you are all peopled out!). Try to maintain your pet’s normal routines to avoid them becoming too unsettled.
8. Flame safety
Place any festive candles out of reach – or better still, use artificial candles. If you have an open fireplace use a fireguard to stop your pet getting too close, they may singe themselves before they realise they are too hot.
9. Festive Bubble
If you choose to stay with friends or family in your festive bubble don’t leave your pet for too long. Arrange for a friend or neighbour to look in on them or book an Animal Aunt who are available for day visits or longer sits.
We wish you, your loved ones and your furry friends a wonderful Christmas and New Year.