Seasonal safety for your pet

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christmas-pets1-300x201Christmas is a time for food, drink and generally being merry. With all the festivities, your home may become more of a Christmas danger zone for your pets, so it’s best to keep a close eye on them. When planning for your celebrations this year, bear the following few pointers in mind:

  • Your home will probably be filled with new things that are unfamiliar to your pet. When decorating, try to keep fairy lights and other Christmas decorations out of reach of inquisitive paws and curious mouths. Make sure your pet is supervised when near your tree as low hanging baubles could easily get smashed and become very sharp. In addition, any small items such as small stocking fillers or cracker gifts can be a choking risk for your pet if they try to eat them – so keep them on high surfaces. Be aware that some popular Christmas plants (such as poinsettias) can be poisonous to animals.
  • To prevent some early present opening, you could consider placing gifts on a raised surface near your tree – rather than directly underneath it. Some curious dogs and cats may get their claws into these exciting-looking pressies long before Christmas morning. Make sure all animals are well supervised during the morning’s gift opening.
  •  Although us humans will be scoffing the Quality Street and munching on Christmas pud, don’t be tempted to spoil your pets with the same treats. Rich food that we enjoy will probably make your dog or cat very sick. Chocolate and nuts can be especially problematic for dogs. If you do want to give your animal a special treat, always choose food that has been specifically designed for them. Pet shops will often sell Christmas goody packs for different animals.
  • Children love Christmas. Pets often do not. Therefore, the two sometimes don’t mix too well. Kids can often enjoy adorning family pets with Christmas paraphernalia  – like bows and tinsel. Even if your pet seems okay with this,  it could be both uncomfortable and dangerous for the animal. Don’t tie anything around your animal’s neck – this could become too tight or get caught on something and injure them.
  • If you’re hosting Christmas celebrations at your house, be aware that your pet might not be as pleased to welcome a lot of visitors. Some animals can become very anxious when faced with loud noise and lots of hustle and bustle. If you’re having a party, try to find a comfortable place for your pet to be away from the revelry. This could be a back bedroom, a local kennel or even with a pet-sitter.
  • Having sufficient pet cover could prove invaluable.  If your pet does become ill or suffers an injury, an ample policy could help you meet expensive vet bills. Christmas is usually a costly time for any family, so extra expenses relating to your pet could be very stressful. Pet insurance can help cover your financial costs for a range of eventualities relating to your animal.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.