Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year — Am I right?
Let’s keep it that way. Here are my top tips to keep your pet safe this Christmas!
Decorations and Candles
As gorgeous and wonderful decorations are around your home at Christmas time, they can be anything but lovely if found in the mouth of your pet. Glass baubles are of particular danger and when found on the bottom of your Christmas tree and are the most likely to fall off, as well as the most accessible to unsuspecting mouths! Glass can cause lacerations to your pet’s mouth, and if swallowed can cause internal bleeding, not to mention glass or sharp plastic stuck in paws is very painful. Cats are the main culprits or playing with tinsel and baubles!
Do you get a real Christmas tree or a fake one?
Although real trees these days don’t shed quite as much as they used to, they still leave needles all over the floor under your tree. These can be super painful if stepped on the wrong way or if they get lodged in your foot, so if it’s painful for you it will be for your pet too! Try to dispose of fallen needles ASAP to avoid any upset.
As well as this, they are painful if eaten and can cause cuts and lacerations to their mouth and intestines too! If you get a fake tree this problem is reduced significantly.
Cats can often try to climb your festive tree, so ensure yours has a sturdy base that won’t topple if scaled by your feline! If toppled this could both crush your kitty and cause a fire if your lights smash and spark.
Presents and Food!
Animals have incredible noses and can sniff out the tastiest of food even behind all those layers of wrapping paper. If consumed (particularly chocolate, sweets, or alcohol) it can be fatal for your pet. Keep those gifts out of reach of your furry friends to avoid tragic early present opening! This also goes without saying with any unsafe Christmas dinner foods – Always check with reliable sources what foods are and aren’t suitable for your pet. I nearly innocently gave Apollo avocado once and I’m SO GLAD I checked first as this could have been fatal!
As well as this, when wrapping up your gifts, do it when your pet isn’t around to avoid accidental consumption of things such as sellotape, paper, ribbons, plastic tags etc.
Darkness and Snow
With the snow we’ve been getting in the UK over the last few days, ice is sure to follow and will most likely stick around for a while until it starts to warm up. This along with the early sunsets is a recipe for disaster if you’re not careful when walking your dog to the park or down the street. Make sure your shoes are gripped so you don’t slip (and even fall on your pet!), and avoid staying out for too long as their paws can get very cold — they don’t wear cosy shoes like we do. As well as this, try and avoid walking over gritted streets as this can cause contact dermatitis in your pup. It’s also a good idea to get a reflective coat for your dog so that they can be seen in the dark — safety is fashionable, people!
If you’re living in a house that still has a (functioning) fireplace and you decide to light it up and get roasting marshmallows while watching that snow outside, make sure that (just as you would when you have small children around) your fireplace is securely locked up so that no little paws can get to it.
If you’re having the whole family over for Christmas this year, it can feel so stressful, especially if you have to cook Christmas dinner for all those people. Having so many people around can also cause stress for your pet if they’re not super confident. So many loud noises and party games can cause them discomfort and they might feel scared, so make sure you have a safe quiet space in your house where they can go to escape from all the festive madness!
Just one more thing to remember: pets are for life, not just for Christmas.
I hope this helps you out over the holidays!
Lydia & Apollo