This Christmas, spare a thought for your furry friends

We must give extra consideration to our beloved animals at this time of the year, as their lives may be thrown into chaos for days or even weeks.

Changing routines

Christmas is a period when we change our daily routines. We may stay up late, visit relatives, or go on vacation. Our pets don’t fully understand the complexity of our lives and are happy with a simple schedule. This can lead to trouble.

The parties are noisy, with lots of people on their turf and strange human behaviors, like excessive shouting or fireworks. In northern Australia, the Christmas season coincides with stormy weather, which can be dangerous for pets.

If your pet escapes, you must identify them. You can also provide a place where they can retreat. RSPCA offers tips on how to help your pet survive the season of fireworks and thunderstorms.

Pet sitters are the best choice if you’re planning to leave for a long time. Leaving pets alone will only cause them stress. When owners are gone for short periods, toys that trickle-feed animals or milk cartons with frozen water can keep them entertained.

If you choose this option, make sure to carefully inspect the facility and ensure that it is set up with the animal’s best interests in mind. You should carefully review the facility to ensure it’s set up in the best claim of the animal.

Prepare your pet by ensuring that vaccinations are current and bringing them to a short stay before Christmas. You should also make sure that they have any medication and special food. It is better for everyone involved not to prolong the separation, no matter how guilty you feel about leaving them.

Household Hazards

It is also a time when pets are exposed to increased dangers that they may not be aware of.

While many of the foods we enjoy at Christmas are delicious, they may be dangerous to animals. Poisoning can be caused by chocolate, lollipops, Christmas pudding/cakes, grapes, and sultanas. Other common causes include alcohol, garlic, onions, avocados, macadamias, or anything that contains xylitol, such as sweeteners. Gum, candy or breath fresheners, cooked bones, and anything with chili in it are the most common poisonings.

‘You’re right, Mr. Snowman, I could do with a little snack…’ philipmarceau/FlickrCC BY-NC-ND.

People like to give pets Christmas presents, but the gift should be appropriate, and the pet shouldn’t be allowed to eat any wrapping paper or strings. Many of us are aware that our pets are drawn to the Christmas tree decorations, such as tinsel and ribbons. They also like balls, lights, candy canes, and edible chocolates. Snow globes can also be dangerous as they contain antifreeze.

Pets are at risk during Christmas. It can be great fun sometimes.

Be careful adding preservatives to the water of a Christmas Tree. Pets may drink it. (Better yet, avoid using aspirin since it does not work for trees). Many plants and flowers that are commonly used at Christmas as gifts or decorations are potentially harmful. These include holly (which is deadly for cats), mistletoe (which is toxic to dogs), amaryllis, and poinsettia.

You should watch for symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, and weight loss if your pet has eaten any of these items.

Be aware of loose cords and light strands. These can appear as toys to curious puppies and kittens.

Gifting animals

It’s understandable to give animals as presents. They can bring joy to your family during the holiday season and beyond. While research shows that animals given as gifts are not more likely to become abandoned, it is still important to consider the needs of all parties involved, including the intended animal.

Animal shelters warn against giving pets during Christmas, as the recipient will not have time to think about the implications of bringing a new member into the family. Exotic pets such as snakes or lizards require special care and the consent of the owner.

A stuffed animal can bring as much joy at Christmas. how to design/FlickrCC BY-NC-ND

To reduce the risk of rejection, you can give a voucher redeemable at animal shelters or a toy with a note that an actual animal will soon replace it.

You should also avoid buying animals from puppy and kitten farms where the conditions are in general. The best place to buy a pet is an animal shelter, as there are usually many breeds available and different ages, along with health guarantees and behavior checks.

Even our pets can enjoy the Christmas season.

You can make Christmas a fun time for your pets rather than a stressful one. You can give them treats with their normal food. We can spend more time with our pets because we have more time. We can cuddle on the couch, play games, or go for extra walks.

We should not be selfish at Christmas. Let’s remember not only those people who are less fortunate but also all the cats, dogs, and other animals in need of a home. They rely on us for a healthy and happy festive season.

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