A home bursting with friends and family, fancy decorations and tasty treats sounds like the perfect Christmas.
However, Pets at Home is warning pet owners that a home full of new people, new foods and new presents can be a little overwhelming for our furry friends.
A change in routine, including missed walks, late mornings and different feeding times can all contribute to a restless and anxious pet.
Pet owners are also more likely to feed their pet human foods, which aren’t suitable for animals. Chocolate contains theobromine, which is dangerous and toxic for pets, and although cooked chicken or turkey bones can look appealing for dogs, they can splinter and cause serious digestive issues.
Dr. Maeve Moorcroft, head of pets at Pets at Home said: “We would never want to associate Christmas with a time of stress for anyone, owners or their pets, but it isn’t surprising that lots of loud noise, new people and a change in routine will unnerve our furry friends.
“However, we’ve given our top five tips to ensure pets have as great a Christmas as you. After all, they’re counted as our loved ones too!”
1. Keep cables from Christmas tree lights out of reach or get a cable guard they can’t chew through, because rabbits, cats and dogs will try!
2. Vacuum regularly to reduce the risk of real or fake pine needles being ingested by your pet.
3. Don’t give your pets chocolate, it contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and other pets – be careful with edible decorations and chocolate gifts under the tree. Raisins are also toxic for dogs – so do not feed pets items such as Christmas cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding.
4. Don’t give your pet turkey bones or chicken bones – they can splinter and cause serious issues for your pet.
5. Christmas plants may look pretty but poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, ferns and pine sap are poisonous to cats and dogs.
Tips aside, the festive season is a magical time to share with loved ones, and that includes the four-legged members of every family. Pets at Home has selected their five favourite gifts for pets, everything from Christmas Jumpers to festive stockings.
1. Make sure you’ve got a festive jumper for your pet this Christmas – such as the Snowman Jumper with hood, perfect for family photographs. XS/S - £10 M/L/XL - £12
2. Keep them entertained on Christmas morning with some festive toys, Christmas Mice are great fun. £4
3. Everyone should have something to open from Santa, even our furry friends. Festive stockings are a great treat as they include toys and treats. £8
4. Don’t forget to serve up a treat this Christmas. This cereal based Christmas Pudding Dog treat is the perfect after dinner treat for your dog on Christmas day. £3
5. It’s dangerous to feed pets human food such as turkey or chocolate, so make sure they don’t miss out. Get them some tasty after diner treats such as these Christmas Mince Pies. £3