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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Stockley

Helping to prepare your pets for Christmas and other winter celebrations

Christmas, while a time of joy, can be a source of great stress for us and our pets alike. Routine changes, more visitors than usual and decorations can all potentially be scary for our pets. Here are some tips for helping your furry friend stay calm and happy throughout the festive period.

  • Keep any presents that may contain food out of reach – an emergency rush to the vets for induced vomiting is all you need!

  • Consider very carefully whether your pet will enjoy being dressed up – if they are scared not only is this a welfare concern, but you also risk being bitten if their requests for it to stop are ignored!

  • Both dogs and cats will appreciate a quiet space of their own to get away from noise and joyful children. These should always be available and have a source of water close by. A dog crate, covered with blankets, containing your dog’s favourite toys and/or chews, is a great option. For cats, you can often use a cardboard box with a small entrance hole cut out and blankets placed inside.

  • Equally, small furries and reptiles need an enclosure away from the main hubbub. When showing off your prized pets to family members, bear in mind this might be scary for them, so ask everyone to be quiet and always give the animal in question the choice whether to be held or not

  • Feed dogs and cats away from the crowd too – if your dog has ever shown any sign of resource guarding, ensure that children cannot approach them while eating and do not give them chews in the main family area

  • Be aware of the subtle signals dogs show when feeling uncomfortable, such as:

o Yawning

o Lip-licking

o Head turning

o Lying stiffly on their back and staring

Whichever winter festival you celebrate, I wish you a very merry time!

Photograph credits:

Dogs looking through window - Laura Beth Snipes on Unsplash

Deer – Victoria Stockley

Kitten in tree - Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

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