There are so many things to think about during the christmas period and it’s easy to let something slip! To keep your pets happy and healthy during the season we’ve compiled a few Christmas top tips as recommended by our vets.
Decorate your house safely
Keep decorations out of reach. Hanging decorations like lights and tinsel can either become chew toys or choke hazards if kept within your pet’s reach. Certain decorative plants can be toxic too if licked or chewed. Make sure these are hung and placed safely out of your pet’s reach.
Ensure the tree is pet safe. Pine needles and any artificial sprays on trees can be toxic to our pets. Clean up any pines that fall down and consider using a pet-friendly deterrent around the tree if if your pet is an adamant chewer or explorer. Bitter Apple Spray and citrus sprays (e.g. citronella spray) can work well.
Check that your pet isn’t stressed
Minimise changes in the environment. Christmas comes with lots of decorating which can stress our pets. Try to minimise significant changes to the areas of the house your pet enjoys. This tends to be where they eat, drink, sleep and toilet.
Calming supplements. Certain changes are hard to prevent, such as guests coming over or the craziness of Christmas day itself. If your pet is prone to anxiety then consider using calmers such as our own brand SettleMe or Pet Remedy Spray and Diffusers.
Be winter ready
Warm bedding. It can get cold overnight during the winter months. If your pet sleeps outdoors in a kennel/hutch then consider bringing them in for the coldest nights. Check out our Christmas bed/blanket range for ways to provide extra warmth.
Winter clothes. Smaller or short-haired dogs can get really cold on wintery walks. Consider choosing a winter Coat for your pet if you want the Christmas day walk to go smoothly.
Lock away any toxic foods or household essentials
Common Christmas foods can be toxic to our pets and in general you should only give pet-friendly treats, some of which can be found here. Possible toxins to check are safely out of your pet’s reach include; grapes/raisins (e.g. Christmas cake, mince pies), chocolate, alcohol, nuts, onion/garlic (e.g. stuffing) and winter household essentials such as antifreeze. Wrapping paper or ribbons from gifts are also choke hazards and can cause intestinal blockages. Monitor your pet on the day itself carefully!
If your pet ingests any of the above then you should contact your local vet immediately.
Check you have enough medications
Routine flea/worming and long term medications still need to be given and can easily be forgotten in this busy period. Have a stock check of your pet’s mediation. Your vets will likely be closed for routine appointments over the bank holidays so if you need another written prescription then it is best to get on top of this as soon as possible. We dispense all of the most commonly used medications on our site and are still delivering during the Christmas period. Place your order early to make sure medications are one less thing to worry about!
Have a very Merry Christmas!
While this year might be different to most, who can say that Christmas day ever went completely to plan? We wish you and your pets a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Written by: Dr. Nick Garside BVetMed MRCVS