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The DO's & DON'Ts For a Happy Christmas with your Pet

The festive can be stressful for pets, help keep them happy.

Pets are a special part of a family and with Christmas approaching of course we want to include them in our celebrations.  But at this busy time it’s important to remember that pets can find our festivities very stressful.
Christmas trees, decorations, piles of food and excited children may seem the perfect ingredients for a happy time, but for our dogs and cats these can be very confusing and upsetting, especially if they’re used to a quiet home.

Here are our top DOs and DON’Ts to make sure you and your pet enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas together.

DON’T force your cat or dog to join in the festivities if they don’t want to.  Wearing reindeer antlers or Santa socks may not be your pet’s idea of fun and could upset them.

DO make sure they have a safe quiet place to go if you are expecting lots of guests.

DON’T be tempted to feed your cat or dog Christmas Dinner left overs.   These will be too rich for them and cause digestive problems for both cats and dogs, vomiting or diarrhoea.  Turkey bones may also splinter and result in serious stomach problems.
DO make time to get lots of fresh air and exercise with your dog, even on Christmas Day, but DON’T let them run on frozen ponds or lakes as they may fall in if the ice breaks.

DON’T be tempted to share your Christmas treats with your pet.  Chocolate, Christmas cake, mince pies and stuffing can all be toxic to your cat or dog.  

DO make sure advent calendars and edible decorations are well out of reach, dogs can easily gobble these up when your back is turned.  Mistletoe, poinsettias, holly and pine needles are also poisonous to pets and will make them ill if they eat them.

DO make time to play with pets who don’t want to go out in the cold.  Bored pets are attracted to shiny things so DON’T leave wrapping paper, decorations or tree lights where your pet can get them (we have a range of festive toys to keep your dog occupied and out of mischief over Christmas). Think about whether your Christmas tree is safe for pets, as cats and dogs can end up badly hurt if the Christmas tree falls over or they chew on lights.

DO remember that pets can get cold too so make sure they have a warm place to sleep and think about using a coat for older pets or those with thin hair.

DO keep to your pet’s regular feeding and exercise routine if you can.

DO have a very Happy Christmas! From all at Bob Martin Vetcare