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Petplan's Christmas Do's & Don'ts

Christmas is soon approaching and as a pet-loving nation, we all consider our furry friends to be an integral part of our family, so much so that 62% of pet owners admit that they'll be preparing a special Christmas dinner for their pets while 66% will even be buying their pet a Christmas present.

However at this time of the year, with the change in weather and the Christmas festivities we see an increase in claims. To help avoid any festive mishaps, we have teamed up with Brian Faulkner, our Petplan vet, to provide a list of his top Christmas Do's and Don'ts to help pets get through the season happy and healthy.

  • DON'T feed your pet Christmas dinner leftovers, human food can be too rich and can be potentially lethal; poultry and lamb bones can block or perforate bowels, and many human foods can cause nasty vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • DON'T treat your pets to chocolate, as it can be very toxic!
  • DO keep all wrapping paper and Christmas decoration (including fairy lights) out of sight and out of reach; pets are attracted to bright and shiny things, and if eaten they will cause stomach issues.
  • DO get your pet microchipped as they may run off to find shelter if they get cold outside or become spooked from the noise of the festive celebrations. Make sure they have a quiet place where they can relax and feel safe.
  • DO go out for fresh air, but remember pets get cold too. Try to reduce the time they spend outside and don't be afraid to get them a cosy little pet jacket if necessary. If it's frosty and the pavements are gritted, check your dog's paws to make sure they aren't starting to hurt. Grit can be extremely irritating to footpads, even drying them to a point where paws split open and bleed. Also make sure your dog doesn't lick off road salt because this can cause stomach problems.
  • If you do leave the house, DON'T allow pets on frozen ponds/canals for obvious reasons.
  • Because of the cold weather, DO ensure you have plenty of toys, especially activity types, to keep them active indoors.
  • DON'T give pets as surprise gifts; ensure that the new owners are ready, as a dog requires full commitment of time and responsibility.