Enjoy time with your pet over Christmas
Enjoy time together
Christmas is a great opportunity for you to spend some quality time with your pet. Taking your dog for long walks getting plenty of fresh air and exercise or relaxing at home getting cosy on the sofa with your cat and enjoying family time.
We don’t always get as much time as we’d like to indulge in the company of our furry friends but spending time with pets can improve our health and sense of wellbeing during the festive season.
Christmas presents for pets
Our pets are part of our family, and to show just how much we think of them a recent survey found that most people buy their pets Christmas presents. Are you planning on putting something for your pet under the Christmas tree?
Our dog Humphrey and our cat Gordon will be hoping for something from Santa. My family and friends buy presents not just for own pets but for each other's as well! This year we shall have presents under the tree for Trevor the Pointer, Amber the Viszla and Biscuit the Frenchie too! Don't tell them but the dogs are getting new beds and rawhide chew treats for Christmas. Gordon the cat is getting a catnip toy that looks like a Christmas pudding.
When buying toys for pets, try to make sure they come from pet shops and suppliers or your vets. Toys designed for children are not suitable, they often contain stuffing that can block a dogs’ intestines or sharp bits that can cause injury when chewed.
What not to eat at Christmas – be careful of treats and Christmas decorations
Do keep an eye on what your pet is eating during your holiday feasts. It’s very tempting to feed your pet scraps from the festive table but raisins, grapes, onions and chocolate are toxic to dogs.
Careful of bones
Cooked bones should always be avoided as they splinter and can cause life-threatening injuries to cats and dogs. The exception is a large knuckle bone for a dog.
Watch out for shiny things
Treats can be high in sugar and fat and cause tummy upsets. Cats particularly are attracted to shiny things so be careful with wrapping paper and bows and ribbons as these can also get eaten and cause problems.
At this time of year we get a lot of calls into the surgery from panicked owners who have come home to find the dog has eaten a load of chocolate. Depending on how much and the quality the chocolate depends on how serious it is.
We usually give the dog an emetic to make them vomit, sometimes we also have to bring them into hospital for intravenous fluids and blood tests. If you are at all concerned please ring your vet immediately for advice.
Going away over the holidays
Pets don't really like change and Christmas and New Year can be a really stressful time for your pet if you’re going away or have a stream of guests arriving.
It can be noisy and chaotic when friends and family come round and traveling to other people's homes can also be stressful as your pet’s routine is disrupted.
If you have to travel consider giving your cat or dog a calming supplement like Calmex or Zylkene and consider using a pheromone therapy like Feliway and Adaptil. Depending on the advice of your vet a plug-in, collar or spray may be most suitable.
These can also really help your pet if you have to put them in a cattery or kennel over the holidays. Such treatments will also soothe your pet during festive fireworks too.
Have a great holiday with your furry friends!