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Christmas Pet Tips – Naughty and Nice List

Ensure the festive season is safe and fun for all the family by staying on Santa’s nice list! We’ve got a fantastic list of Christmas pet tips to keep your furry friend happy this winter.

The Nice List:

  • Along with any luxury items you may be buying this year, give your pets something they really need – the gift of insurance is a present to protect them for the future! It will also give you peace of mind should anything unexpected happen (see the naughty list)!
  • If you are looking for a companion this Christmas, why not wait until after the festive season and adopt a dog or cat bought as a ‘present’, giving them a forever home will be the best present they receive.
  • Make up a cosy spot in a quiet room where your pet can retreat to and have their own space away from the festive excitement.
  • Ensure your pets are microchipped so they can be identified should they get cold or scared across the festive holiday. They may seek shelter in unlikely places.
  • If you are likely to be out in very cold weather don’t be afraid to invest in a coat for your dog or an outdoor shelter from the wind for cats.
  • When it’s frosty and the pavements are gritted, check your pet’s paws as grit can be extremely irritating to footpads and toxic if ingested. The most common way for rock salt to be ingested is by pets licking lodged salt from their paws so make sure to clean them after they have been outside.
  • Be aware that anti-freeze is also poisonous to pets so keep a close eye on your pet over winter. Early signs of ingestion include excessive salivation after grooming and excessive drinking. Other signs include lethargy and strange/unusual noises from your pet, as this may indicate they are in pain.
  • Ensure you have plenty of toys, especially activity and puzzle toys, to keep them active indoors.
  • There are lots of healthy pet treats out there from chews to specially made pet friendly chocolate without the ingredient ‘theobromine’ which is harmful to our four legged friends.
  • If your pet is on medication, remember to stock up before the holidays and keep the number of an emergency vet to hand. Just in case.

The Naughty List:

  • Pets are not presents. The realities of owning a pet bought as a ‘gift’ can kick in quickly and every New Year, rescue centres are inundated with unwanted animals bought as presents.
  • Human food can be too rich and potentially lethal so DON’T feed your pet Christmas dinner leftovers. You don’t want to be cleaning up vomit or diarrhoea after your glass of Sherry! Especially take care when discarding bones as they can block or perforate bowels.
  • Although it might be tempting to treat your pet to our delicious treats, DON’T give your pets chocolate! This includes keeping chocolate tree decorations and chocolate boxes/presents out of reach. Raisins and currents can also be dangerous to your pet, so no Christmas pudding or mince pies for your four legged friend!
  • It might look like fun but DON’T allow your dog to venture on frozen ponds while you’re out walking….. for obvious reasons.
  • Keep on top of any mess and DON’T leave batteries from toys lying around – they are toxic and easily swallowed. Similarly, keep all wrapping paper and Christmas decorations out of reach; pets are attracted to bright and shiny things, if eaten they will cause stomach issues.
  • Avoid decking your halls with boughs of holly – unless they are completely out of reach of your pets. Amongst other plants such as mistletoe and poinsettia, holly can cause your pet harm!
  • DON’T leave lighted candles unsupervised, it is all too easy for a wagging tail to get caught in the flame!

Pet Insurance

If you’ve welcomed home a new furry friend this festive season and are considering pet insurance for your new companion, take a look at Vetsure’s policies.