There's no doubt that it's beginning to look at lot like Christmas...! The festive lights have been lit, the Christmas songs are now playing on the radio and the Christmas shoppers are out in full force. As exciting as Christmas may be, there are a few parts of the festive season that can be problematic if you have a dog or cat. But with a little bit of extra planning, Christmas can be as wonderful for your pet as it is for the rest of your family.
1. Christmas trees
A real Christmas tree in your home is one of the great pleasures of Christmas. However, the oils in fir trees can be mildly toxic for pets, and the needles can get stuck in their paws or throats. If you stick to a real tree, just make sure that you sweep up needles regularly and place your tree in a room that you can close off if you are out of the house and your pet is home alone. Another great alternative is the half parasol artificial tree, such as this one from Argos.
2. Fairy lights and decorations
There's nothing nicer than twinkling fairy lights, but as much as we love them, the temptation to chew fairy lights is very high for many pets. Place them higher up on your tree and always turn them off when you are leaving your pet unattended. Equally, baubles and other decorations should be placed carefully so they are not knocked off by your pet or swallowed by inquisitive furry friends. It also goes without saying that chocolate tree decorations are a big no no when it comes to houses with pet (unless you are confident that they are placed fully out of reach from your fur baby).
3. Wrapping presents
Just as you like to keep the children out of the way when you're wrapping presents, keep the door shut and pets away when you've got the wrapping essentials out. Not only do you not want your doggo stepping on the ribbon you've just spent forever curling, but most bows and wrapping decorations have metal staples and you really don't want your pet to swallow these items. Likewise, although putting presents under the tree can look lovely and festive, they are also a big temptation to inquisitive pets!
4. Peace and goodwill to all men, women - and pets
Christmas period can become really busy and noisy in the home, especially if you have extra guests staying. So make sure there is a peace escape for your pets: somewhere where they can retreat to when things get a bit much. (You may find yourself also heading for this space too!) Also, although everything else may be up in the air, make sure you stick to your pet's normal routines - especially with feeding times and exercise.
5. Preparing your home for house guests
We all want our house to be as clean, tidy and inviting as ever at this time of year, especially if we have guests staying, so it's a good to get prepping early. There are some great tips from online bloggers, we especially like this article from Lynsey Queen of Clean, which includes the 20 minute mad guest dash for those guests who arrive on your doorstep with little warning! If your guests are non-pet owners, they may find the smell of your pets a little overwhelming, so just make sure you minimise the smell as much as possible and give your pet's bedding a good once over in the washing machine with Vamoosh Pet Hair Dissolver before they arrive.