6 tips to keep pets safe and stress-free this Christmas

8 December 2023 - 3 min read
a dog and a cat celebrate Christmas

As the festive season approaches, it's time to deck the halls and spread the holiday cheer. But amidst the twinkling lights and mistletoe, it’s crucial to remember our furry family members. 

Christmas can be a whirlwind of activity and excitement, but for our pets, it can also be a time of stress. So, grab a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle up with your four-legged friend, and let’s dive into making this festive season a joy for everyone in the family – paws included!

Make a plan

To minimise stress, plan ahead! If you know you’re going away, make sure they’re used to the place or kennel they’ll be staying at, they are familiar with their pet sitter, or are accustomed to travelling in the car with you. 

To ensure your pet feels a smooth transition, don’t leave these acclimations until the day before!

Keep an eye out for hazards

With new toys abound, Christmas decor running rampant throughout the house and festive human foods/treats being consumed - eating things they shouldn’t often jumps to the top of your pets to do list. 

Owners need to be diligent about minimising these hazards, which can be done and still allow you to enjoy your holiday. Think about where decor is kept and what's reachable to pets. If in doubt, aim higher! Place baubles high up your tree and try to keep decorations away from the floor – mantle pieces and window sills are a great choice (unless your cat is an adventurer).

And an eye on the pies, too!

Similarly, lots of human foods like chocolate and raisins are toxic to pets so being sure these are kept out of reach is essential to avoiding a trip to the vet on Christmas day. And yes, this means we have to keep our eyes on both kids and eager pet grandparents trying to share their favourites with the dog. 

Be aware of outdoor temps

While we in the UK tend to have more moderate weather, temperatures can easily dip below zero regularly in the winter. Consider coats and boots outdoors especially for higher risk pets when it's chilly (such as puppies, seniors, lean breeds, small breeds, and those with short thin haircoats) and familiarise yourself with signs of hypothermia in pets. 

Check in with a professional

Consult with your vet. They can help you figure out things you can do while at home or away to help ease pet stress, including things like supplements or even prescription medications. 

Create a safe space

If you know you’re having guests, make sure your pets have a safe quiet space away from the (lovely) holiday chaos. A closed off room with a bed, food, water, toys and some white noise can do wonders as a retreat for overstimulated animals.

Wrapping up

While we're busy with holiday preparations and celebrations, let's not forget to keep an eye on our furry companions. By following these guidelines, we can ensure they enjoy the festivities just as much as we do!

Veterinary surgeon Dr Kirsten Ronngren joined ManyPets in 2022. Alongside her extensive experience as a vet in small animal and feline-only clinics, Kirsten is passionate about online content creation. Kirsten’s a regular on ManyPets’ social media and video content with her no-nonsense attitude to keeping our customers’ pets happy and well.