Safety tips for the festive season

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year for spending the season with loved ones and enjoying all of the many festive traditions that come with it. Quality time together is great for your pets too, so it’s important to keep any furry family members safe during the holidays with the extra risks and hazards. Make sure you know what can be a danger for pets, and how to manage it, and you can enjoy a Christmas full of joy and free from harm.

Christmas tree – It’s not just us who can’t resist the glow and glisten of a beautifully decorated tree, they’re a huge attraction for our pets too; most cat owners will have experienced their various attempts to climb it. It’s a good idea therefore to place your tree in a corner as much as possible, so it’s not as noticeable or easy to jump on or knock over. If your pet still persists, try putting something that makes a noise when moved at the bottom to at least give you some prior warning of any tree acrobatics! If you’re a fan of real trees, then make every effort to keep the area around and room free from any shedding needles which can puncture pets’ intestines if consumed.

Decorations – Lights, tinsel and baubles might make our tree look lovely and festive but they can pose a real danger to inquisitive pets. Tinsel and lights in particular should be kept off the lower branches where possible as they’re hazards which can cause your pets to get tangled up and lights can also be a burning and electrical hazard. Likewise, candles or any open flame sources should be kept well out of reach in hard to access, high places to prevent any accidental burns or fire risks. Baubles and ornament decorations can look good enough to eat to your pet so present a choking hazard or also chance of injury if they break, leaving sharp pieces and shards.

Gift wrappings – Wrapping and giving presents is a real joy, but it’s a good idea to do it well away from your pet or keep them in a different room during as cats in particular are attracted to long, string like objects which can be fatal if ingested, blocking their intestines.

Seasonal plants – Holly, poinsettia and mistletoe are great for adding a festive feel to the home but are poisonous to pets and can cause serious health problems if consumed. If you’re planning on using these as part of the decorations then they need to be well out of reach of any furry paws.

Festive food – We should all know by now that human chocolate and sweets are not for dogs. That’s especially important to remember at this time of year when there are usually lots of treats and edible presents around. It may be hard to resist pleading eyes looking up from under the dining table come Christmas, but lots of ingredients in our food are toxic for dogs and cats so keep your pet away from any unattended plates and leftovers, and make sure any treats around the house aren’t easily accessible. Why not stock up on extra dog treats and chocolate so your pet can indulge a little too, in a way that’s safe for them!

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