Monday 21 December 2015

How to Have a Pet Friendly Christmas

Hi everyone, Christmas is a time for relaxing, being with your family, having and giving gifts and generally having a fun time, but it's not just for us humans, it's for our furry friends too.
So I've come up with some tips to help you give your pets a happy and safe Christmas.

Of course the first thing to mention has to be gifts.  Dogs especially, love being able to join in and unwrap something along with everyone else on the day, so why not treat them to a new toy, treats, a new bowl or pretty collar.

I was shopping in Poundland the other day when I spotted a huge pet section.  They had some really lovely toys from squeaky burgers to soft fluffy bunnies . . .

. . . A huge range of treats, I loved these Christmas tree and reindeer ones . . .

. . . Even little Christmas outfits and a huge sock to put all their gifts in, so cute!


But of course another important thing to remember this time of year, is keeping your pets safe as there are lots of extra dangers around.

Did you know that there are quite a few basic 'human' foods that are really dangerous to dogs, even chocolate which can cause sickness, fits and seizures and in large amounts, even death?  Have a look at the picture below, maybe save the image so you can refer back to it and please feel free to pin and share it too, to help others be aware of these dangers.

So please be careful next time your pooch starts showing an interest in your new box of chocolates or the chocolate Christmas decorations start disappearing off the tree!!


Another thing to remember and be really careful off, are things like Christmas decorations:

Many 'live' trees are sprayed with harmful chemicals and pesticides but before you ditch a real tree for a fake one, many artificial trees and manufactured in China and may contain lead or other materials that could be dangerous if your inquisitive furry friend decides to have a nibble!  So try and keep them away from the Christmas tree altogether.

Be aware of your pets when pulling Christmas crackers, it may be fun for you and your family but the loud noise could really scare both cats and dogs!

All the sparkle and glitter may look really enticing to dogs and cats, but things like tinsel and parcel ribbon can be deadly if it gets caught inside them, as it can cause blockages, vomiting and severe bleeding!  If you see any ribbon sticking out your pets mouth, call your vet asap and don't try to pull it out or it could cause even more damage.

While you're all sat unwrapping you new gifts, try to keep any packaging rubbish up together and dispose of it as safely as you can.
Items are often packaged in plastic containers that you have to cut open leaving sharp edges, clothes tags held on with small plastic wires or other bits and pieces held on with staples.  All these things can be so dangerous to animals and not just your own pets, but wildlife that goes rummaging through bins and rubbish tips too.  Think how much a staple hurts when you accidently prick your finger, so just imaging how terribly painful it would be for a little animal getting one in it's foot or eye!!

If you have any sharp bits of rubbish like staples, pins or plastic, wrap them in a piece of card and seal it all round with tape before putting them in the bin.
Cut any long pieces of ribbons, threads, elastic bands and wires into small pieces, to prevent animals getting tangled up in them, also plastic rings that hold drink cans together and even the little metal ring pulls.  Crush all tin cans to prevent animals getting the heads and faces caught inside and if you have any polythene bags, tie them in a knot and cut open the handles to stop little creatures getting trapped inside and suffocating.
Keep your pets away from glitter too, you might think it looks pretty on them, but it can easily get in their eyes and cause nasty eye infections and irritation!

Spending just 5 minutes to sort out harmful rubbish properly could save terrible suffering for an animal and maybe even save it's life.

Lastly one more thing to be aware of, is the weather.  We're getting in to full on wintertime here in the uk and the temperatures severely drop.  Many people leave their cats and dogs outside overnight but in these freezing conditions, it can be quite dangerous for them, as cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hyperthermia just as much as people.  So, if it's too cold for you to be outside, it's too cold for them too!

Animal welfare is something that I feel very passionate about and I think it's so important that people are aware of all these types of things, so they can help keep animals safe not just cats and dogs, but all our furry, feathered and scaly friends. 
I hope you found this post useful and - Until Next Time Stay Happy

For more detailed information about the types of food dogs can and can't eat and for more professional advice on how to keep your pets safe at Christmas and all year round, have a look at these websites The Dog Whisperer - Pet Poison Helpline - RSPCA.

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