Christmas is a lovely time for all the family to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christmas (not shopping!) But it’s important to know the dangers to pets (at any time of year, but especially during the festive season, and especially if you’ve had a few drinks, so won’t be as aware). Here are a useful tips from experts:
keep toxic foods away from pets
Keep all Christmas foods away from pets at the festive season. We all know about chocolate but many other foods (including dried fruits, nuts, nutmeg and alcohol – and cooked bones if you eat meat) are unsafe. Read this book to keep your dog safe for more info.
Dogs may get special treats at Christmas, but avoid those cheap Christmas stockings, often containing dodgy ingredients for cheap foods (also avoid choking hazards like rawhide chews).
avoid common Christmas tree & decoration hazards
Hazards to avoid include pine needles, plastic tinsel, tree decorations and snow globes (contain antifreeze). Read up on greener Christmas trees (keep pine needles, mulch and tinsel/decorations away from pets, cats may like to play with them or climb trees).
keep pets away from rock salt
For snow, avoid rock salt as it’s toxic (rinse paws after walks in warm water, to remove it, as it can burn indoors at higher temperatures).
keep toxic plants away from pets
Christmas plants toxic to pets (even if a tail brushes past) include holly, mistletoe, ivy, begonias, poinsettas and lilies. Learn how to make gardens safe for pets (includes indoor plants to avoid). Avoid facing indoor foliage to gardens, to help stop birds flying into windows.
don’t send plantable cards to homes with pets
Plantable cards are very popular, when you plant them in the garden to grow wildflowers. But most species are toxic to pets, so don’t plant received ones, nor send them to households with pets.
give pets respite from loud noises
Many pets get frightened by loud noises like Christmas crackers or fireworks, so ensure they have safe secure areas to escape too. Older pets too may need a quiet place to rest, if they are overwhelmed by too many visitors at the same time.