12 fur-friendly Christmas tips!

Dec 1, 2020Pet Care

The end of 2020 is finally approaching and that means… (cue the Carols) – Christmas is coming! For most of us, just as the song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and cannot come soon enough. It’s finally time to wrap presents, hang the Christmas lights, plan those indulgent meals and decorate the tree. Before we get too stuck into the eggnog, let’s spare a thought for what these festivities might mean for our furry friends? Those decorations might look fun to chew on, and that tree looks like a fresh new climbing thing, but if that wasn’t what you had in mind, check out our top tips for a pet friendly, and calamity-free Christmas!

1. Christmas trees
If you love the smell and grandeur of a fresh Christmas tree in your home, be mindful that the oils from pine trees can be mildly toxic. Drinking the Christmas tree water or eating the needles could cause an upset tummy in your pet. The needles could also get stuck in paws, or worse still in throats so be sure to sweep them up regularly and when leaving the house, it’s ideal to be able to shut off the tree from your curious four-legged friends.

2. Dangling decorations
Dangly baubles and trinkets adorning your tree provide irresistible play opportunities for your pet. You may not only find that your carefully decorated branches suddenly become bare, but anything knocked off the tree can be swallowed by our inquisitive friends. Smashed ornaments can get stuck in a paw or be very dangerous if swallowed.

3. Christmas lights
Whether they are strung up outside or inside or adorning your tree, Christmas lights, especially flashing ones, are a very tempting chew toy! It is also tempting for curious felines to get tangled up in the reams of cables as they attempt to play with the lights. Try to hang them as out of reach as possible and supervise internal lights. If you are heading out, try to remove the temptation by ensuring your pet and the lights are separated.

4. Present wrapping
Wrapping paper can seem like a cosy bed to curl up on, but the shriek of the sticky tape might cause a fright! Ribbons and bows are tempting play toys and may soon be patted away from you in a game of pounce. This may be a cute distraction, but be mindful that, if swallowed, these items can cause many more problems than just delayed gift wrapping.

5. Christmas feasts fit for humans only
Those delicious Christmas dinner smells coming from the kitchen are just as tempting to your pets as they are to us! Pets cannot handle the high fat content of much of our traditional festive fare, so remember to cover food that bench climbing pets may be able to access. Leftover bones will also be a temptation, but cooked bones are not safe, so get these out of reach as soon as possible.

6. Chocolate Christmas
If you are prone to chocolatey decorations on your tree, remember that chocolate is not safe for pets, so do keep those out of reach.

7. Festive greenery
Poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are nice natural ways to bring festive cheer and colour into the home, however, they are dangerous for pets. Ensure your pets cannot snack on these leaves to avoid any tummy troubles.

8. Humans galore!
After the year we have had in 2020 we are all keen to gather for Christmas, but lots of new faces and resultant noise can be scary for your pet. Consider how your pet responds to lots of visitors and consider a safe space for them during large gatherings.

9. Routines
We are always busy at Christmas time, often heading out more and our usual daily routines can be compromised. Your pet values routine, especially with feeding and exercise, so try to maintain these as much as possible to avoid them becoming too unsettled.

10. Sizzling Aussie Christmas?
Christmas in Sydney can be HOT so if it’s looking like a scorcher, make sure your pet has plenty of cool water available and somewhere shady and cool to rest. Check in on them during the day to make sure they are comfortable and get out early to walk dogs before the heat of the day kicks in.

11. Book your boarding
The festive season can be a chance to escape away on a well-earned holiday. But if you do go away, don’t forget your pet! It’s great if they can come along too, but if not, remember to book your pet in for boarding early as spots are filled quickly during this time.

12 Does Santa come for your pet?
Many people love to include their pets in Christmas by ensuring they receive a gift too. Make sure any gifts are pet friendly and safe. Try to avoid edible gifts as a well-managed diet is always important for our pets, even at Christmas.