How To Keep Pets Safe At Christmas

Written by Lucy Marcham, Academy Trainer

Christmas Cat

Christmas is fast approaching and for many that means dusting off the decorations and stocking up on festive food. Our pretty trees, wreaths, lights, and sweet goodies are an important part of Christmas; however, all these can also pose dangers to our furry friends.

To help you enjoy a safe Christmas, here are some top tips for keeping pets safe and happy during the season.


Keep Pets Distracted

Putting up and decorating the tree is a vital part of Christmas. Nothing is more satisfying than getting the decorations to look just right. Of course, all that hard work goes down the drain when your cat decides to use the tree as a personal climbing and scratching post…

Twinkly lights, tantalising tinsel and dangling decorations can become a bit of a fixation for our felines. Remember though, a bored cat can be a destructive cat!

To reduce temptation, make sure your cat has plenty to occupy themselves with. Increase playtime and make sure to keep your cat mentally stimulated. For help with this check out our guide to playing with cats. If your cat seems to really enjoy getting their claws stuck into your tree, it might be time to invest in a tougher, more exciting scratcher.

Psst: To keep your decorations even safer from pesky paws, use small pieces of wire to tie them to the tree branches.


Be Cautious with your Tree

Our Christmas trees can be a hazard even without a mischievous climbing moggy.

Real fir or pine trees can be mildly toxic to our pets. The shedding needles can also get stuck in the throat or paws.  Some plastic trees have parts that can be easily broken off and swallowed. Electric cables are another hazard for our pets, rabbits especially can be prone to chewing any loose cables they see.

To reduce the chance of your pet hurting themselves make a habit of regularly sweeping up any needles, ensure the tree is as sturdy as possible and tidy away electric wires.


Hide the Christmas Treats

Mince Pies, yule logs, fruit cakes, nuts, and chocolates. These are just some favourite festive foods that are delicious to us but dangerous for our pets.

Chocolate is well known to be toxic to our dogs and cats. This is because chocolate contains a natural compound called Theobromine. Our  furry friends are unable to metabolise this chemical properly, leading to toxicity. Mince Pies contain raisins known for their toxic effect and are fatty so equally pose many health risks.

No-one wants to rush their fluffy friends to the vets around Christmas time. So be aware of food and nibbles uncovered or left out on tables. Keep all food safely secured away or better yet, prevent any danger by quickly eating all the treats yourself. 

Consider keeping  your pets’ noses away from your festive feast by giving them something even tastier.  


Keep Calm!

Christmas can be a tiring time of the year for us owners, with shopping, wrapping presents, cooking, and hosting guests. As stressful as Christmas can seem for us, it certainly is a lot more daunting for our pets.

Our furry friends don’t handle change well and when December hits, there are many changes within the household. With decorations going up and our homes becoming busier than usual, it is important we offer our pets a further source of support.

Calming products can help to take the edge off for our anxious animals and make the festive season a little less scary. There are many calming products, for help check out our blog on choosing a treatment.

It is also important to make sure that all pets in the household have a safe, secure and cosy place to retreat to, if it all gets a bit much. Cats prefer to be up high or hidden so a snuggly space on top of the wardrobe or under the bed will provide the perfect hiding spot.

For dogs consider a soft bed or perhaps a cosy crate to relax in after they have opened all their presents. 


Here is to a stress free and relaxing Christmas!