Christmas is a chance to celebrate and spend quality time with loved ones, including pets. But there are lots of pet hazards in homes at this time of year that you should be mindful of. The hazards may be particularly relevant for adventurous younger animals and those prone to misbehaviour.
Pet owners need to be wary of leaving drinks where animals can easily reach them, particularly those that are alcoholic. Food items which should be on the radars of pet owners include raisins, currants and sultanas commonly found in mince pies, Christmas cake and Christmas pudding. These food types can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Other dangerous foods include macadamia nuts, raw onions, walnuts, bread and cheese, along with stuffing containing such ingredients.
Chocolate is one of the most common causes for a trip to the vets, meaning owners should keep a careful eye on where chocolate is stored and left. This applies all year round but is particularly relevant during the festive season with chocolate often in abundance in everything from advent calendars to variety packs and chocolate coins.
Other hazards include ribbons on presents, tinsel, and sharp tree needles, while kittens can be particularly fond of climbing Christmas trees and playing with baubles. Chewing baubles is also common for dogs. Many gift gadgets and ornaments require disposable batteries, but some dogs view batteries as edible or a chew toy, so they need to be stored safely out of reach.
People like to overindulge at Christmas, but pet owners should avoid overfeeding animals. Also, keep food stuffs on surfaces like coffee tables and lap trays out of reach of pets, as many will eat what they fancy if they have the opportunity.
Mitigate any stress your pets may be feeling by respecting their space and allowing them to have their quiet area to retreat to. This is important as many households will receive guests, and parties and gatherings can be noisy and unfamiliar for pets.
Maintain routines like regular walks, mealtimes and play sessions. It may be easy to mix up your daily routines a bit, but your pet could find breaking up their routines confusing and unsettling.
Ultimately, it may feel like a chore to ensure your pets avoid the hazards of a home at Christmas time, but it will help keep them safe and avoid a time-consuming and possibly costly visit to the vets. Always have contacts details for an emergency vet on standby over the festive period for peace of mind.