10 Tips For Keeping Your Pets Safe Over Christmas
Christmas is a wonderful time of year to spend quality time with family, friends and our pets! However, it can also be a stressful period for our furry friends. Read our tips below to see how you and your Whānau can keep your pets safe this festive season!
1. friends and Whānau
Christmas time often means a busy home, with friends and Whānau coming together. However, all those new faces and the increased noise and disruption can be scary for your pet. Make sure you provide them with a safe space/room they can escape to if it all gets too overwhelming. It's also a good idea to set boundaries for guests - especially children. Tell children that if your dog or cat goes into that safe room, space or their bed/crate, they are not to be touched until they come out and play. This will ensure your pet always has an area they can be relaxed and undisturbed by guests.
It's also important to maintain your pet's normal routines to avoid them becoming too unsettled. Sticking to your pet’s exercise and feeding routine will help your pet feel from feeling overwhlened, stressed and unsettled.
The smell of a Christmas ham or freshly cooked fish wafting from the BBQ is as irresistible to our pets as it is to us. Avoid leaving food anywhere within your pet's reach – you can't blame them if it's left unattended! But it's not just about protecting your Christmas dinner. Many foods we love can make pets unwell. Chocolate, onions, grapes, nuts, blue cheese, fruit cakes, fruit mince pies can all be toxic to dogs and cats. Fish, turkey and chicken bones can also be harmful as they can become lodged in the throat, splinter causing damage to the mouth, or block and perforate the intestines.
Buying treats made specifically for pets means you can still give your pet a treat this Christmas, while eliminating the risk of causing stomach problems. Here are some of our treats we recommend:
3. Christmas trees
Having a real Christmas tree in the house is one of the wonders of the festive season - they look lovely and smell divine, however it's worth knowing that they can be troublesome for pets. The oils in some real trees can be mildly toxic, causing stomach upsets, and the needles themselves can get stuck in your pet's paw or throat. Regularly sweep or vacuum up any fallen needles and if possible, have the tree in a room or area of the house that you can close off to pets when you go out to avoid any accidents whilst pets may be home alone.
It isnt just real trees that can be an issue for our pets. Some artificial trees can have small pieces and pre-fixed decorations that can
break or fall off and cause intestinal blockage if ingested by your pet. Ensure any tree you buy is sturdy and fixed firmly to the
floor or out of reach on a table.
4. Presents Under The Tree
Alongside the tree itself, the presents underneath can be just as dangerous to our pets. Without knowing what's inside them, their contents can be hazardous to our pets. Make sure you keep gifts out of reach of pets, or in boxes so that they can't be ripped open by your pets.
5. Fairy lights
Fairy lights that dangle and sparkle are just as beautiful to our pets as they are to us, so make them very tempting play or chew items for pets. Try to place them out of reach, and always turn the lights off when leaving your pet unattended.
Baubles, tinsel and glitter covered decorations hanging from the branches of your tree around the fireplace provide irresistibly tempting play opportunities for your pet. As we all know, chocolate is harmful to pets, so perhaps think twice about hanging those yummy foil wrapped treats on the tree, or at least place them on higher branches out of reach. It's not only chocolate decorations that can be dangerous, your pets can easily swallow smaller decorations that they knock off the branches which can cause blockages in their throat or stomach problems if ingested.
7. Your House plants
Poinsettias, mistletoe, cyclamen and holly are all Christmas favourites that bring colour and festive joy into the home. However, they are dangerous for pets if consumed, with varying levels of toxicity. Display your house plants out of reach to avoid any unwanted accidents or tummy troubles.
8. Home comforts
As temperatures increase over the Christmas period, make sure that your cat or dog has somewhere cool to escape to. If you are taking them out to a batch or a family members house, make sure there is a cool and shady spot for them to relax and retreat to if it all becomes a little too much for them.
9. Fire safety
A bonfire or firepit makes for a lovely summer evening addition, however be careful about having open flames around your pets. The same can be said for candles, make sure these are kept out of reach from your furry friends to avoid any mishaps.
10. Home Alone
The festive season is a great chance to escape away on a well-earned holiday. But if you do go away, don't leave your pet for too long –
our furry friends deserve the love and a share of the festive fun as much as we do. Spend time with them this summer and make sure that if
you are away, they get plenty of love and attention whilst you are gone.