Christmas is a fun-filled time of year. With all the food, festivities and decorations it's easy to see why we get so excited about it - and you should be able to include your four-legged friends in the festive fun. Petplan explores how we can safely involve our pets in our Christmas celebrations.
Whilst Christmas gives us a valid excuse to lie on the sofa all day watching films and eating chocolate, dogs still need regular exercise.
In fact, taking your dog to the park is a great incentive to get some fresh air and walk off all that turkey! Wintry walks involve your dog in the Christmas fun, whilst ensuring you both get the chance to stretch your legs and feel healthier.
For an experience everyone can enjoy, why not persuade the whole family to go on a long walk on Christmas Day or Boxing Day? Your dog will be ecstatic to have so many people to play with and you'll all benefit from being outside for an hour or two.
A dog's dinner
One of the best parts of Christmas is undoubtedly the food - after all, who doesn't love a proper roast dinner with all the trimmings? So why should our pets miss out?
Your dog or cat could join in with the Christmas feast if you buy them some treats or a special 'pet version' of a Christmas dinner - these can be bought from supermarkets or pet stores.
However, never feed your own Christmas dinner or human treats to your pets, as some foods can be harmful or even toxic to dogs and cats. Examples include cooked bones, chocolate, mince pies, gravy, stuffing, cake, nuts and sweets.
If you believe your pet may have eaten something unsuitable, always contact your vet for help.
Unwrapping Christmas presents can be hectic, especially when you have lots of young children in the house. To prevent your pet from feeling left out, you could give them a special Christmas gift of their own.
For your dog, a new toy or a sparkly Christmas collar would be great ideas, or if you really want to treat them, a new dog bed or interactive training toy would go down a storm. You can even get your pup their very own advent calendar or Christmas stocking, both filled with delicious festive treats!
For your feline friend, think catnip, mouse toys, or special turkey or salmon Christmas treats. You could also treat your cat to a laser pointer or interactive cat toy that will provide the opportunity to play together over the festive period. Or, for cats who like the high life, a luxury cat condo would make an amazing present. However, it's worth bearing in mind that cats typically find the box the gift comes in to be a lot more interesting!
If you want to treat your four-legged friend this Christmas, Pets at Home have a fantastic festive selection of Christmas presents for cats and dogs, as well as smaller pets such as rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs! Just remember to always keep an eye on your pets when there are lots of wrapping paper or ribbons lying around, as they could be a choking hazard if swallowed.
When you're full of roast potatoes, curling up with a Christmas film is the ideal way to unwind. If your dog or cat has been overwhelmed by the chaos of Christmas Day, this is a good way for them to snuggle up with you on the sofa and relax.
As pets don't understand the concept of Christmas, it's possible that they will be confused by your lack of attention as you focus on cooking lunch, unwrapping presents and socialising with family and friends.
Make sure you put your pet's needs first at Christmas - give them space if they are feeling crowded or give them lots of attention if they feel neglected.
How do you celebrate Christmas with your cat or dog? Do you have any tips for involving pets in the festivities? Let us know in the comments below…