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Give your pets a Merry Christmas too

Pronto and WG volunteer Andrew Mackenzie

Christmas is a time of celebration and many of us will have a house full of relatives, festive decorations, Christmas party songs blaring out and lots of tantalising food around. But please spare a thought for your pets this Christmas and follow our top tips to ensure they too have a Happy Christmas.

Party atmosphere

A party atmosphere often involves a lot of noise, people coming and going and furniture being rearranged to accommodate everyone. This can be very stressful for some pets. Ensure your pet has a safe space to escape to when it needs some peace and quiet. (Ask a veterinary professional about stress reducing products such as Adaptil, Feliway, Zylkene and Calmex.)

Decorations

A Christmas tree can look like an adventure playground to your pet so consider carefully before leaving them unattended in the same room. Not only could they knock the tree over, but real pine needles and many of the decorations could be hazardous to your pet if eaten including tinsel, baubles and tree lights. Presents under the tree, particularly if containing food or soft toys, may also peak pet interest!

Food

With so much food around there will be a lot of temptation for your pets no matter how well behaved they usually are. Keep food well out of reach of prying paws and ensure that the turkey carcass cannot be reached as the small bones are a choking hazard and may cause damage to the digestive tract of your pet.

Seasonal poisons

There are many seasonal items that can poison your pet or give them an upset tummy. In brief this includes; grapes, raisins, holly, ivy, poinsettias, batteries, silica gel packages and chocolate (don’t forget about the chocolate tree decorations!).

As the weather gets colder, the use of antifreeze increases, but did you know it could cause the death of a cat? Buy antifreeze which does not contain ethylene glycol, and store away from pets. If your cat even gets any water containing antifreeze on them, take them to the vets immediately. For a more extensive list please contact us or your local veterinary practice.

Toys

Children’s toys are just as exciting to pets too! To avoid any upset children on Christmas day, consider placing your pet in a separate room with a toy and chew or treat of their own whilst the toys are being played with. Ensure toys are safely put away after use.

Getting a pet at Christmas time

Finally, please think carefully before considering buying a new pet this Christmas. It is important to remember that any animal, whether it be a dog, cat, ferret, rabbit, sheep, chicken or goat, will require care, love and attention throughout its lifetime and not just over the festive period.

For some people Christmas as a time of relaxation, a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of the daily routine and enjoy some quiet time at home, making it the ideal time to take on a new pet.

Any decision to get a new pet should be made carefully with the whole family in mind.

If you would like any further advice about looking after your pet at Christmas time or getting a new pet then please contact us.