Top tips to have a stress-free Christmas with your pets

With Christmas not too far away, some people are already putting their trees and decorations up to spread some festive cheer during these difficult times.

Pets have helped many of us stay positive during a stressful year and will most definitely be included in the festivities, with some pet parents treating their cats and dogs to a present or even a Christmas dinner.

Having fun with your pet at Christmas time is the top priority, but it’s important to be aware of some of the hazards that the festive season can bring. Some Christmas foods can be toxic to pets and over New Year fireworks are a common occurrence which can make dogs and cats very anxious.

Natural animal health company, Nutravet hopes to reduce the stress of Christmas for pet owners and offer their top tips to keep your pets safe.

Korina Stephens, RVN from Nutravet comments: “We know how much pets mean to their owners, especially following a very stressful year for many people. Dogs, cats and even smaller pets like rabbits are considered part of the family.

“However, the festive season can present many challenges and hazards for pets. Decorations, rich food and fireworks can all have a negative impact on our four-legged friends, so we want to make sure everyone is aware of such hazards. Although it’s a time for joy and fun, it’s important to remember the safety of our pets so we can all enjoy the festive season together.

“If you are worried about your pet over the festive period, be sure to speak to your vet, who will be best placed to offer advice. Preparing in advance can help to reduce stress for many pet owners and pets alike.”

To make sure Christmas goes without a hitch for you and your pet, Nutravet share some top tips:

Pet Safety – Keep wires from Christmas tree lights tucked away to prevent them from being chewed. Consider using non-toxic and unbreakable decorations in case your pet does manage to get their paws on them. If broken, they could get stuck in their paws, or even be swallowed.

Pine needles – Vacuum regularly to reduce the risk of your pet swallowing any pine needles from the Christmas tree and prevent them from getting stuck in your dog or cat’s paws.

Chocolate – Although it may be tempting to treat pets at Christmas, chocolate can be toxic for dogs as it contains a stimulant called theobromine. If you have chocolate decorations hanging on the tree, be sure to keep them out of reach of your dog, to prevent them being sniffed out.

Human food – Rich turkey dinners that we enjoy at Christmas are high in fat and shouldn’t be given to our pets as they can irritate their tummy. Certain foods that are used at this time of year are also poisonous to dogs, such as raisins, used for making Christmas cake and mince pies. Potatoes and onions are also a no no. Be sure to store these foods out of reach from your pets to prevent an unwanted festive trip to the vets.

Turkey bones – Don’t give your pet turkey or chicken bones as a treat. They can splinter and get stuck in their throat and cause injury.

Plants –  They a may make the home look festive and pretty, but Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs and cats. Try to limit these around the home or keep them well out of reach of curious paws.

Choking hazards – Be sure to clear away left-over wrapping paper, ribbon and bows that can easily be chewed or swallowed by your pet. Also, be sure to clear away any new children’s toys and don’t leave them lying around. If swallowed by your pet it could cause serious injury.

Routine – Stick to your pet’s usual walking and feeding times to help prevent any stress during the festive period. Disturbed routines can cause anxiety in pets.

Reduce stress – Christmas can be a noisy and busy time for everyone – with more people in the home and excitement of the day. This can cause stress for some pets. Create a safe zone or den for your dog or cat to retreat to for some peace. Make sure the den has a warm and cosy bed with access to plenty of fresh water and pet toys to keep them occupied.

Fireworks – These are a common occurrence during the New Year and can cause stress in pets. Prepare in advance if you know your cat or dog gets anxious from the loud noises. Ask your vet about Nutracalm, which can naturally reduce stress for pets fast.

Cold weather – During the Christmas period, the weather can be colder, make sure your pet keeps warm, especially older pets. Use warm bedding in the house and coats for dogs can also be used during walks. Bring any outdoor pets inside in winter months, if it’s too cold for you it too cold for them.

For more information and to find your nearest nutravet stockist visit www.nutravet.co.uk.