Pets at Christmas
Now it’s December, we’re well and truly embracing the festive season at Pets in a Pickle HQ. The Christmas tree is up, the presents are being wrapped and the Christmas music is on full volume! Christmas is all about spending time with those you love, and that includes your furry friends too! Here’s some of our tips for looking after your pets at Christmas.
Cosy sleeping spot
Make them a cosy sleeping spot to hide in and warm up – Christmas can be a sensory overload for cats and dogs so a place to snuggle can be a very welcome sanctuary. Cats love sleeping above or next to radiators, or on top of tall furniture such as wardrobes.
Dogs with short coats like greyhounds, Dobermans or chihuahuas struggle to keep warm in the cold weather. Get them a cute winter doggy jacket to help keep them warm on walks!
Wash dog paws after walks
Trim the hair around your dog’s paws to protect them from lumps of ice (‘Ice balls’) forming between the pads and toes of the feet. Salt and grit can also irritate their paws, so make sure you wash your dog’s paws after winter walks.
Litter tray inside for Cats
Give an option for cats to use the toilet inside, even if they normally go outside. It may be too cold for them, especially if there’s snow on the ground. Make sure to check catflaps aren’t blocked by snow so your cat can still get out – and back in – freely if they choose to.
Keep aware of hidden dangers
Be aware of hidden dangers for your pets at Christmas. Lilies are poisonous for cats so if you get bought flowers for Christmas, check that bouquet! Chocolate should also be kept away from dogs and cats as it is toxic if eaten. Finally, watch your tinsel carefully; it will likely get chewed by your cats and as we know, anything that’s eaten will come out the other end…
It’s not just people who are tempted by Christmas food! Human food can be harmful to your cat or dog’s tummy, so although those pleading eyes might tell you otherwise, try not to feed your pet the remains of your Christmas dinner.
Don’t leave pets unattended outside
In the cold and wet weather, it’s important to make sure your cats and dogs can get back inside freely if they’ve been out. If they’re in the garden and you don’t have a cat flap or doggy door, make sure you are always aware when they want to come in and warm up. Cold pets are susceptible to hypothermia, so make sure this isn’t a risk by not leaving them outside unattended.
Make sure they’re ‘chipped
If left alone outside, cats or dogs are likely to wander off in search of a warm place. Keep them microchipped so they can be traced back to you.
Give them lots of love… and space
Pets are loads of fun to have around at Christmas and often get involved with family festivities. Whilst it can be fun to play with your cat or dog, remember that new visitors, flashing lights, tinsel and decorations can be a tiring sensory experience for them to endure. Allow them to balance this out with a nap or a solitary snooze… if they’re asleep, try not to wake them and give them space for some alone time if they need it. They’ll come and see you when they’re ready!
Hopefully you’ve enjoyed our top tips for safe and happy pets at Christmas. Let the festivities begin! For more news, blogs and top tips, check out the Pets in a Pickle news page.