Any change in a pet’s normal routine can cause them to become anxious and stressed, and Christmas is a common time of year for this due to all the visitors, parties, decorations and gift-buying that we humans love.
Changes in your pet’s behaviour such as hiding, going off their food, not wanting to be petted, becoming withdrawn or destructiveness are all signs that your cat or dog is stressed. To avoid this, follow our simple guide below and you and your pet will both enjoy a happy and stress-free Christmas!
Set up a safe den for your pet
If your pet is sensitive to lots of activity it is good idea to set up a quiet room with everything they need, where they can retreat to if they want to get away from all the excitement. Make sure your visitors know this room is off limits.
Be aware of certain plants that are popular at Christmas which may be poisonous to your pet. Such as, poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, ivy, Christmas cactus, Christmas rose and Christmas trees. Try to keep these plants out of your pet’s reach and don’t leave your pet alone in the same room as them. Buy artificial versions if you’re unable to display plants out of your pet’s way.
Make sure your decorations are safe
For example, fairy lights on trees can be a tempting toy for kittens, so make sure they are unplugged when not supervised. Cats also love to climb Christmas trees and can knock them over or get tangled in the decorations, so check your tree is stable with a solid, heavy base. Edible decorations such as chocolate can be dangerous or poisonous to pets, so make sure they are also placed out of reach.
Protect against escape attempts
Make sure your pet cannot slip out of the door when you have guests coming and going.
Mayhew sees an increase in strays arriving during the festive period due to visitors leaving front doors open. Ensure your pet is microchipped so if they do escape, you are much more likely to be reunited quickly.
Try to keep your pet’s routine as normal as possible
Remember to feed them regularly and take your dog out on his walk at normal times.