Skipton’s Kingsway Veterinary Hospital are appealing to owners to be vigilant and watch their pets closely over the festive period as it can be a distressing and potentially dangerous time for animals. Last year the practice had to treat a greedy Labrador that had eaten over 4kg of chocolate, and a cat that had consumed Christmas tinsel from the family tree, causing an obstruction in its gut.
The festive season can over stimulate pets. Changes to their routine, additional people in the home, loud music, new smells, and the appearance of an indoor tree surrounded by presents, lights and decorations can be very stressful for our pets.
Christmas is often overwhelming for us humans, too, and pets naturally pick up on family tensions, adding to their anxiety.
Kingsway Vet Hospital, the only local animal hospital, suggest a few simple adjustments to ensure Christmas is much calmer and safer for pet owners and their adorable animals.
- Allow a cosy, quite place for your pet to retreat from the festive madness! They should be able to sneak away quietly and take refuge under an upstairs bed, for example.
- Keep your pets’ normal feeding times and exercise routine during the festive period.
- Pheromone therapy is an inexpensive solution for pets stressed out by Santa. Suitable for any standard plug socket and undetectable to humans, plug-in diffusers slowly release a pacifying pheromone which helps to calm pets and cure destructive behavioural problems.
- Alternatively, pheromone collars can be worn by your pet, or you can apply a spray to their bedding and soft furnishings around the house.
- Introduce the pheromone a week before Christmas to allow for it to build up to significant levels to create a relaxing state.
- Do not share your own Christmas treats, particularly turkey or chicken bones, which can splinter. And definitely not chocolate, which is toxic for pets.
- Keep cables from the tree out of reach of your pets or get a cable guard for them.
- Vacuum daily to reduce the risk of pine needles being ingested or stuck into delicate paws.
- Be aware, holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, ferns and pine sap are poisonous to pets.
- Ensure children are supervised around your pets at all times.
We want to thank Kingsway for this invaluable list of dos and don’ts that will help the furry members of your family have just as good a Christmas as everyone else!