The festive period is enjoyable for all the family, and your pets are no exception to this. You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time picking out the perfect present for your furry friend, but trying to organise everyone on the day can be overwhelming and it’s easy to forget things. Here we’ve outlined some important things to remember to help you have a stress-free holiday.
It can be tempting to feed your pets a special meal when you eat your own, or to give them scraps or bones from the table, but you should avoid doing this. Many dishes contain onions and garlic, raisins, and chocolate which are a staple around this time of year; as we have mentioned in our article on foods to avoid giving to your dog, these foods can be toxic to dogs and cats in very small quantities and so it is best to avoid giving your pet any human food at all. Bones can splinter when your dog bites them which can cause punctures in the digestive system or choking. Extra treats outside of your pet’s healthy daily ration of food contribute to obesity and weight gain – just remember that your dog’s daily meal is all the food they require. Portion up your pet’s daily food and feed them when you are eating your meals to reduce the likelihood of them begging for food.
Decorations look like great fun to your cats and dogs; some animals may take no interest in the change in décor, whilst others may think that they have been given a large supply of toys in interesting places. If your pet is particularly interested in your baubles, tinsel or tree, you may not want to leave them alone with decorations, especially if you are leaving the house; decorations may fall down or be a choking hazard.
Always give your animal a chance to take themselves away from the excitement that the holidays bring to your house. An influx of people or strange things can be overwhelming for any animal so it’s best to allow them to go and have some down time when they want to.
There are always lots of fun things for you to do with your pet around this time of year. Wrapping paper and themed toys can be excellent for you and your pet to play with, and there are lots of pet-safe presents and treats available to buy. The most important thing to remember is that supervised playing is safest! Take your dog out on winter walks, or stay in the warmth and play with the cat. The holidays are a time for everyone to spend together and your furry friend will love this time of year!