Handy tips to help keep your pets happy … and healthy … this Christmas!

CHRISTMAS is packed with fun, noise and a hype of activity, but what do our pets think of all the commotion?

Even the most social and friendly of pets can be overwhelmed during the jam-packed festive season.

Below are some tips from the RSPCA on how to help keep your pets happy and healthy.


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  • If you think your dog may be overwhelmed with lots of new people, give them time away from the action and offer a yummy chew or filled enrichment toy.
  • Do you have a crate or suitable area for your dog to wind down? Even the most social of dogs will need a break from the activity.
  • Assign an adult (not involved in supervising children) to be in charge of your dog if you can’t be – being sure they look out for signs of stress.
  • Do not allow children to hug or kiss your dog. Dogs do not like hugs and kisses! Even a dog who tolerates this under normal circumstances, may not tolerate this from strangers.
  • What signs should I look out for if my dog is stressed? If your dog licks their lips, shows the whites of their eyes or turns their head away when a child or adult is patting them, intervene immediately. These are just a few signals dogs show when they are stressed.

Other signs that your dog does not welcome attention from children or adults include:

  • The dog tries to walk away or tries to hide under furniture.
  • The dog freezes and becomes very still with their mouth closed. They may be staring intently at the person bothering them and may growl.
  • The dog growls or raises fur along their back.

Supervise at all times!

Prevention is the key to help ensure your family, friends and pets all have a Merry Christmas too.

Keep your pet healthy and avoid the Christmas Pud!

Here are some foods to avoid that are toxic to dogs and cats:

  • cooked bones
  • onions
  • garlic
  • sauces
  • chocolate
  • caffeine
  • nuts
  • avocado
  • raisins
  • sultanas (including Christmas cake)
  • fatty and preserved meats.

If in doubt, keep your pet on their usual diet!