Keeping your pet happy and safe at Christmas

We all know that, as enjoyable as Christmas is, it can also be a stressful time for anyone – and this includes our pets! You can make the day enjoyable for them too, with a little extra care. After all, keeping your pet stress-free through the holidays makes for a happier time all-round.

Pets should be involved so Christmas feels special for them too. Introduce pets to guests when they arrive, get them a stocking/presents to open with everyone else (or in their own quiet area, just with you). You might then have a play session with their new toys. You should try to set aside some time with just your pet, so they don’t feel overlooked in all the madness. Here’s some more detailed advice to help you ensure your pet has the best Christmas…

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Make sure they have a place to escape the chaos – All pets are different and while some are the life and soul of the party and will happily parade their new elf outfit and entertain guests, others prefer the quiet life (especially cats!). Regardless, it is advisable to ensure there’s a place they can retreat to when you’re decking the halls. Even pets with the biggest personalities may want some quiet time to have a little disco-nap.

Keep an eye on food – We have all been a bit guilty of overdoing it at Christmas! If your pet has a reputation for being a snack surfer, make sure party food and drinks are out of reach. It sounds obvious, but nobody feels great when they are over-full and a lot of Christmas food is bad for pets (Christmas cake, pudding, chocolate and cooked bones). Find some festive treats for your pet and think about preparing a special Christmas dinner with their favourite food – and ensure no one is sneaking food to your pet under the dinner table!

Watch out for plants common over the Christmas period too. The following are toxic to pets when consumed:

  • Holly
  • Poinsettias
  • Mistletoe
  • Ivy

A nice long walk – Dogs are creatures of habit and love a routine. As unappealing it might seem when it’s cold outside and you’re rolling around in a food coma, getting up and going for a walk will do you good. Fresh air and a little light exercise will make both you and your dog feel a lot better. Plus, you get to spend some quality time with your best friend, doing what they love most!

Stress-management products – Anxious pets might benefit from use of some of the wide range of pet calming products on the market. From treats to room diffusers, there are products to suit different pets – ranging from herbal remedies, to pheromone treatments, through to anti-anxiety medication provided by a vet in extreme cases. These should only be used as a back-up to support other ways of managing their stress over the holidays.

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Work, family and social commitments mean that there often aren’t enough hours in the day to give our pets the attention that they deserve. Click here to find out how Tailster can put you in contact with hundreds of pet carers in your local area, meaning that you can rest in the knowledge that your pets are being well looked after.

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