Have you pet proofed your festive season | Companion Care
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Have You Pet Proofed Your Festive Season?

Festive season advice

The festive season is full of an array of sparkly items and delicious food – a real temptation for your pet! Make sure your festive season is pet-proofed to avoid any accidents or more serious incidents.

Remember to check your surgery opening hours and where you can see a vet in an emergency outside of these times.

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Read more about pet proofing your festive season


Although loud noises can alarm cats they are not thought to suffer from sound sensitivities as dogs do. The bigger problem for cats is the changes to their environment or routine when they are outside less than normal.


Sound sensitivities, including fireworks, are very common in dogs and reactions range from mild to extreme. While a certain degree of fear is normal to keep dogs from danger, it becomes distressing for both you and your dog if this fear is extreme.

Read more about how to help your pet cope with fireworks

Antifreeze, grit and snow are just some of the things we need to be careful of during the chilly months.

Despite their fur, cats, dogs and small furries can feel the cold just the same as humans do, and freezing temperatures can create problems if you’re not prepared for winter.

Read about winter watch outs

Chocolate, macadamia nuts, raisins, onions, grapes, sultanas and raisins and alcohol are all poisonous to animals (so keep that Christmas pudding out of reach!).

Remember small bones can splinter off and get stuck in your pet’s intestines so never allow your pet to chew on them.

Of course we all want to treat our pets at this time of year but remember to be a little careful as general over-indulgence in unfamiliar foods or fatty gravies can cause gastroenteritis.

Read about chocolate poisoning in pets
  • Keep baubles, tinsel and gift wrap out of reach as if they are ingested they can result in intestinal issues.
  • Make sure your pet can escape the excitement of a festive event and retreat to their bed in a quiet area.
  • Ensure there is a fire guard in front of the fire.
  • Clean up fallen Christmas tree needles so that they don’t get stuck in paws. Although most species of Christmas tree are low in toxicity, they could cause a stomach upset if chewed.
  • Any Christmas presents for your pet should be bought from a reputable source.
  • Be sure to keep fairy lights away from all pets, especially small furries who like to chew. Chewing through cables can end up in a nasty electric shock!
  • Try to put your tree in a room where your cat doesn’t spend a lot of time, this way your cat will be more likely to stay away from ingesting or climbing the tree.
  • Consider getting a sturdy tree stand so if your cat decides to climb the tree it will prevent the tree from toppling over and injuring your cat.
  • Place baubles and hanging decorations on the higher branches so your cat can’t reach these to chew or play with them.

Do you know some festive plants are poisonous to animals? Popular Christmas plants holly and mistletoe, along with their berries, are toxic to pets if ingested.

Cats are most at risk to lilies causing kidney failure, and mistletoe can affect both dogs and cats. Small amounts cause stomach upsets and breathing problems whereas large amounts can cause seizures and even be fatal.

Always display these safely out of reach of any pets. Signs of poisoning include excessive drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. If your pet has any of these signs, visit a vet straightaway.

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Christmas is a great time to catch up with all the family, but your pet might not be as keen to see lots of new faces in their home.

Some pets will jump right into the Christmas commotion, others will prefer to keep away from the activity.

Read more about how to help your pet cope in large groups of people

To us, it is hard to tell what’s inside a wrapped gift, but a box of chocolates is no secret to your dog as they can sniff out food regardless of the wrapping paper. Remember chocolate is toxic to your dog so always put edible presents safely out the way to avoid emergency vet visits over Christmas.

Dispose of any leftover string or ribbon after present wrapping, your pet might eat it before you’ve had a chance to clear it away, which can lead to serious complications.

Rabbits are notorious chewers, biting through anything from cables to carpet. If you’re gift wrapping and have string, ribbon or bows on the floor be aware these can be tempting to your rabbits and if they do eat them it can cause internal blockages, choking or become wrapped around their neck.

Read more about pet poisons