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Tips for looking after your pet during Christmas

Christmas time can be a tad stressful for our pets.  The extra people, the extra activity, everything normal suddenly speeding up and extra tensions are in the air.  There’s a few things we can do for our pets that will help them and also help us have a memorable, safe and caring festive season.

Be mindful of your decorations:
Christmas decorations are pretty. Flickering light, tinsels and balls hanging low on the tree are a new and interesting addition to your pets eyes.  Most pets can’t help themselves and the temptation to explore these new arrivals is just too much.  Keep them out of reach as much as possible.  Chewing, swallowing or get tangled up are all potential dangers requiring a costly trip to the vet.  We’re not saying don’t decorate your tree or house; just be mindful that an inquisitive dog or cat will have a play.

Consider what’s under the tree: 
Dogs and cats have an acute sense of smell.  If there’s a wrapped box of chocolates, fudge or special biscuits there’s a fair chance they’ll sniff it out. Not only is your present in danger of being ruined but your pet is also in danger of making itself ill.  Keep food out of reach, especially foods that are toxic to your animals.

Provide a safe place: 
Christmas time often means plenty of visitors.  Some may be unfamiliar to your pet or the sheer numbers of people can make them scared or anxious.  Ensure you have a quiet space for them away from the crowd. A space with their favourite blanket, a few toys.  An easy place for them to escape to when feeling a little overwhelmed.

Don’t forget about them: 
Days leading up to Christmas can be extra busy especially Christmas day and we can be forgiven for forgetting about our pet in all the fuss. A pet doesn’t know the event; it does know its out of the loop.  Just give them a little extra fuss when you can to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Give them some exercise:
There is added stress this time of year and your pet will feel it. Taking them for a walk, playing with them or simply letting them run free around the house or garden will help them de-stress and stay calm over the Christmas period. Make their physical and mental health a priority.

Christmas is a wonderful time to spend with family and friends, and our pets are part of our family and considered our friends.  We don’t need to go overboard but we do need to remember them, make a safe place for them, exercise them and give them a little attention.

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