Christmas is coming! How to spend quality festive time with your pet

The countdown to Christmas has begun! Which undoubtedly means lots of fun for all the family. However, looking after pets can be a challenge amid all the socialising, present buying and general hustle and bustle of the festive period.

To help you through we’ve put together a few tips on spending quality time with your cat or dog at this time of year.

Here’s how to make sure their Christmas is as enjoyable as yours:

Exercise as normal

hound in Christmas hat relaxing on the sofa

Regular walks provide a great opportunity to relax with your dog and keeping the routine will help them to stay healthy. This means they’re less likely to become unsettled by all the extra activity around the house.

The social calendar can get very hectic at Christmas. But it’s important as a dog owner to try to stick to your pet’s normal exercise schedule as much as possible.

Watch what they eat

Two poodles sitting at the table with plates

Christmas can bring additional temptation for animals with all the exotic and unusual food lying around, but most of it will be harmful to your pet. Remember that chocolate is poisonous to dogs – and they can easily choke on turkey bones.

Even when the party is in full swing, keep an eye on what your pet is eating. Watch out for our upcoming blog about how to make it a pet-friendly Christmas dinner.

Take care with decorations

Ginger cat in Chrstmas hat surrounded by presents

Decking the halls is a great Christmas tradition, but take some time to make sure your decorations are pet-proof.

This is particularly important if you have cats that love to climb and explore the house, but mischievous dogs can easily get tangled up in light cables or create some other festive calamity if you’re not careful.

Secure all your decorations to the walls and keep them out of the way!

Get them a present

Bulldog under Chistmas tree surrounded by presents

We know you wouldn’t forget anyway, but just in case – here’s a reminder not to leave your pet out of the Christmas present fun! Giving your dog or cat a gift is a great way to make them feel involved in the celebrations and keep them happily occupied over the festive period.

If you’re a dog owner, why not choose an Automatic Ball Launcher for your pet to unwrap on Christmas Day? Alternatively, the FroliCat® POUNCE™ Cat Teaser could be an ideal festive treat for your feline friend.

Make sure they have their own space to relax

Two German short-haired puppies cuddling Christmas teddies

This is an important one, especially if you’re planning to entertain a lot of guests over the Christmas period. Large groups and unfamiliar sounds can sometimes unsettle even the most sociable pets, so creating a quiet and comfortable space they can retreat to if necessary is vital.

You can kit this area out with your pet’s bed and some favourite toys for them to play with. It’s nice to seek refuge from the Christmas madness from time to time!

Do you have a story to share on making Christmas a safe and exciting place for your pet? We’d love to hear in the comments below!

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Space for a furry one at the table this Christmas?

Christmas is a time for sharing! Sharing gifts with your loved ones. Sharing precious time around the table eating turkey. But sharing your food with your pets…? Let’s take a look at your Christmas dinner and whether you should really be plating up for your dog, cat, pup or kitty this festive season.

The main event – Turkey!

Christmas Turkey Dinner on table with the trimmings

After hours of slaving away in a hot kitchen, your turkey is cooked, carved and smelling delicious – but can your furry friends join you in facing the mammoth plate of turkey meat? Well, in a word, yes. But… make sure it’s both skinless and boneless, as bones can become brittle and splinter once they are cooked. Not quite the yummy meal they were hoping for.

Essential accompaniment – Stuffing

Christmas Stuffing in red dish

Stuffing usually contains many herbs and spices (which makes it even more delicious to us), but our pets’ stomachs aren’t used to digesting such flavourings like garlic and onions which can cause stomach upset.

The perfect condiment – Cranberry sauce

Homemade Red Cranberry Sauce

There’s a theory that cats aren’t particularly drawn to sweet food, but if they feel so inclined to have a dip in the cranberry sauce jar they shouldn’t come to any harm. The same for dogs, but make sure to watch their portions.

Good ol’ Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatotes in a bowl

Plain, boiled and mashed potatoes are fine for your dog to enjoy (without any salt or garlic). However, cats are more sensitive and should only be portioned a tiny bit of plain mash potato, as the starch is difficult for their stomach to break down.

The trimmings – Carrots, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon

As long as the veg is cooked and cut into small, bite-size servings, they’re fine for both cats and dogs to eat. As before, make sure there is no seasoning such as butter or salt. Serve it plain and watch it disappear in three seconds flat!

The one and only – Christmas pudding

Christmas Pudding, mince pies and Cookies

We all want to treat our pets at Christmas, but Christmas pudding is definitely off the menu for our four-legged friends. The high fat content and dried fruit combination make it very unsuitable for your pet to consume. Give your pet something they’ll really want at the end of the meal and pay them attention, much better than a sick pet!

And once you’re so full you can hardly move, make sure to clear leftovers before relaxing in front of the fire as your sneaky pet may find a way to reach the counter tops where the leftovers are sat tempting them.

The Christmas period can get quite busy, don’t forget to spend some quality time with your pets, read ‘ Christmas is coming: How to spend quality festive time with your pet‘ for our tips on making time for your furbabies this festive season.

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‘Pets in the city’ – Keeping your dog safe in busy areas

With 8.5 million dogs in the country it’s fair to say we’re a nation of dog lovers! Over 24% of the UK population own a dog, with a third of them housed in urban areas. Their safety is the owners’ responsibility and so here at PetSafe® Brand we’re dedicated to helping owners have the best moments with their pets.

Hi-rise living

Two Dalmatians relaxing at home

Towns and cities are rife with apartment blocks, and some will allow owners to bring their pets with them. This of course restricts the availability of immediate garden space, which will affect your pets’ exercise and toilet training. For a backyard in a box, try our Pet Loo™ Portable Pet Toilet to help with training and those times you can’t let them out.

Also to keep your apartment a haven for your pup, keep your windows and sliding balcony doors appropriately fenced so they have safe freedom.

Take it slow

French bulldog sleeping on a wooden floor

If you are a new dog owner in an urban area, or if you and your pooch have moved into a flat for the first time, take it slow in getting them used to their surroundings. Being near a busy road or overwhelmed with lots of smells and sounds is scary! So, make sure you’re reinforcing calmness and praising good behaviour when out and about.

Lap it up

Scruffy dog poking out from under couch

Cities and towns tend to have puddles that never properly dry up, it just sits there stagnant and smelly. Although it doesn’t sound appealing to you and I, your dog may decide that it’s going to sample this delicious puddle water when out and about. Dirty puddles house bacteria which will make your dog sick, so keep an eye out for where they’re stopping to drink!

To entice your pup to drink more fresh and clean water when at home, take a look at our Drinkwell® range for a Pet Fountain designed to keep your pets hydrated.

Rubbish on the streets

Jack Russel on lead on pavement

There’s always the chance that when you’re out with your dog you’ll come across food waste or packaging that has been discarded and that looks quite tempting to eat. Stay aware of your dog’s movements and redirect attention away that’s focused on any rubbish.

Two’s a pair

gang of dachshunds being walked

If you’re taking your dog out for the day while running errands, it’s likely you won’t be able to take them with you into shops. Having someone with you allows you to leave your pup with them while inside shops. Although some shops provide posts to attach leashes to, it may be scary and overwhelming for your pup to be left alone especially if by a main road.

Exploring the city with your four-legged best friend can be so exciting as there’s plenty of things to see and do! If you’re thinking of travelling further afield, take our advice for being on the road with your pet.

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