Your Pet at Christmas
Whilst we love your pets you may not want to include us on your visiting list over the Christmas period. It’s worth being vigilant with pets over Christmas and New Year as a change in routine at home provides extra risks for our best friends. Children excitedly scatter toys and batteries around – tempting for pets to investigate and swallow, and some adults drop their guard during the festive season leaving pets to make their own mischief culminating in unexpected visits to our surgeries. Here are a few pointers to ensure your furry friend has a safe Christmas.
A Christmas tree adds a touch of serenity to the home, but it will shed sharp needles, which stick into paws, or get swallowed – so vacuum them up. Cats may decide to use the tree as a new scratching post, and large dogs can bump it over creating an electric hazard, and scattering tinsel and baubles over the floor (choking hazard), so ensure it is secure. Some decorations such as snow globes contain harmful substances (antifreeze).
Choose your Christmas plants carefully: holly, mistletoe, lilies, poinsettias and yew twigs and berries, all are poisonous. Decorative candles should be positioned with care if you have a curious feline.
Make visitors aware of the unwritten house rules: e.g. pets not allowed into certain rooms, not let out unsupervised, kept on a lead near roads.
Provide a safe quiet corner, a bed under the stairs or a familiar comfortable crate so that the weary pet can escape rowdy revellers. In cold wet weather make sure he or she is dried off well after walks; (a warm snug waterproof coat would make an ideal present for more senior pets).
Before slumping on the sofa after Christmas dinner make sure there are no leftovers accessible for your pet to steal. Cracked turkey bones can wedge between the teeth or damage the intestine, and some human treats are poisonous to animals: sultanas, currants, grapes, raisins, salt, coffee and chocolate; (cooking chocolate is seven times more poisonous than eating chocolate). Tobacco should also be stored out of reach.
Keep alcohol and medicines out of reach of both children and animals, and don’t be tempted to break your pet’s normal feeding routine as overfeeding or feeding inappropriately can cause digestive upsets which are unpleasant for both of you.
Make sure that if your pet is on regular medication you stock up in advance so that you don't run out over the holiday period.
If you want to spoil your pet at Christmas consider treats or toys that are provided by reputable pet shops or your veterinary surgery.
If you require any further information about caring for your pet over the festive season then please contact us on 01291 672637.