Posted 4th Dec 2017 by Peter Byrne
Christmas will be one of the most exciting times of year for many of us, but with our houses full of new sights, sounds, smells and tastes, have you ever stopped to think about what impact the festive period could have on our four-legged friends?
Pets can find it hard to cope with the change, as they get used to the 6am walk every morning, or curling up by their favourite bay window. With December's arrival heralding lie-ins most mornings and a large tree being in the dog's favourite spot, it can become a confusing time for them.
To help our pets to relax this Christmas, Jenny Philip, practising vet and Managing Director of natural pet food brand Vet's Kitchen, offers her top tips on reducing our pet's stress this Christmas.
1 Start putting your Christmas decorations up early, and gradually make changes over a period of time as opposed to a drastic overnight change. To your pet, the Christmas tree will look like the ones they climb on outside, so they could be confused when they're told off for climbing it or using it as a scratch post. Also, if you use sparkly baubles, remember they will look like a fun toy for a cat, until they fall off the tree and cause a bauble to smash.
2 Stick to your pets normal feeding and exercising routine. We all like to indulge at Christmas, but human Christmas treats such as chocolate and mince pies can pose to be toxic to dogs. Ensure your pet doesn't get a poorly tummy by sticking to their usual diets and give them a natural, hypoallergenic pet treat instead.
3 Store presents out of sight of your pet. We all love to display beautifully wrapped presents under the tree, but a shiny wrapped object is likely to be incredibly tempting for a pet to mischievously explore.
4 A house full of excited visitors can make our pets feel anxious and scared. It's worth having a safe zone for your pet, full of familiar toys and smells, so they can escape there if the day becomes a bit too much. A covered crate will work well for dogs or a high place for cats to hide away.
5 Be aware of the extra loud noise and cracker bangs going on throughout the day. Many pets, particularly the younger ones, will never have heard a cracker bang before, so ensure you give them plenty of positive encouragement throughout the day, and try to keep party poppers to a minimum.
Tips courtesy of https://www.vetknowhow.co.uk/