Puppy and kitten in party hatsChristmas and the New Year is a fun time for many of us but it also brings a number of problems for our pets. Follow these tips to keep your pets safe and ensure they also have a great time.

Beware of festive food

  • High fat, festive foods can easily cause diarrhoea or vomiting and make your pet quite poorly·
  • Human chocolate is particularly dangerous in dogs – it can build up in their bodies and cause neurological problems.
  • Cooked bones, especially poultry, tend to splinter so they could puncture your pets’ stomach and lead to a serious infection. Pets can also choke on these small bones.
  • Don’t let your pets’ waistlines extend as much as ours do over the Festive period! Overweight pets can suffer from a number of other health problems so keep treats to a minimum.


  • Pets may see these as toys. Glass baubles can break and lead to splinters that can stick into paws or mouths so better to use plastic ones!
  • Tinsel can be chewed and swallowed and get stuck in the intestines causing a blockage.
  • Be wary of playful pets chewing through fairy lights as they could get electrocuted.
  • Don’t forget to be careful of children’s toys as small parts left around can be swallowed.


  • The “bang” from crackers may scare pets so make sure they are in another room.
  • Be aware that a noisy party at home may unsettle your pets so make sure they are in a quiet room away from the noise and check them regularly.
  • Make sure that doors are not left open inviting pets to slip out unnoticed.

Reduce stress

  • For pets that get particularly stressful at this time, there are diffusers to aid to help dogs in the form of a plug-in device, very similar to the plug-in air fresheners. When plugged in, the device warms up and gives off a dog appeasing pheromone. This is the same pheromone produced by a bitch after whelping which helps to reassure her puppies. The diffuser has no sedative effect and cannot be detected by humans. A similar diffuser is also available for cats. You can purchase the diffusers from your vet and it is advisable to install the diffusers well before the festivities start.

Going away

  • Don’t leave your pets at home alone if you are going away for a couple of days, ensure you have arranged for someone responsible to feed them in your absence.
  • If you are going away on holiday over Christmas, make sure you make arrangements with the local kennel/cattery well in advance.

Christmas is a busy time of year and we recommend that you do not buy a pet during this time.

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