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Making Christmas Safe For Your Pets


With only a few days to go for Christmas, most households are busy making grand plans for the festivity. Christmas is the time when Christians come together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The festive period is marked by lots of shopping, family celebrations, and food. The flurry of activity is endless, as families try to come up with list of invitees, make decoration plans, and decide what gift will suit their children, a relative, or a friend. Then there are Christmas carols and music adding zing to the celebrations. But while Christmas may be an exciting time for you, the same doesn’t necessarily hold true for your pets. The commotion in the house and the coming and going of so many strangers may scare them and cause them to behave abnormally. Now if you are a pet lover, you would never want your actions to be the reason for the suffering of these innocent animals. Following these important tips will keep your pets safe and consequently enable you to participate in the Christmas celebrations wholeheartedly without having to go through any guilt pangs.

The dos and don’ts of decoration

  • You might be a little surprised to know that real Christmas trees can be harmful for your pet as they contain toxic elements apart from oils. So you may instead opt for artificial trees; however, put the tree on a raised platform out of the pets’ reach, to ensure they don’t chew the tree, which again can be harmful.
  • If the Christmas tree has too many spikes, you must be on alert at all times. Pets are by nature curious and it is common for them to bite and chew at things; so if you don’t keep a close eye on them, they might harm themselves.
  • Cords and lights are other hazards; pets in a bid to experiment might get electrocuted by or tangled in these items. Keep them away. Also ensure that all the electrical connections and outlets are properly covered.
  • Avoid using tinsels in decoration because pets may mistake them for toys and accidently swallow them.
  • Don’t use popcorns or food items to decorate the tree. In fact don’t let anybody put edible items under the tree.
  • Using chemicals on the tree’s water is a strict no-no, as though it may keep the tree fresher it is unsafe for pets.
  • Don’t leave edible stuff unattended near a dangerous place, like a fireplace, or even on the Christmas tree as it is a sure recipe for danger.
  • In our bid to overdo the decoration part, we are frequently tempted to include holiday plants like poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe, and holly in the list. But beware, because they are poisonous and can cause a number of conditions like vomiting, diarrhea, and many other ailments.

Precautions to be taken when you are away from home

  • Christmas season is filled with parties and events and you may be required to leave home. But make it a point that there is someone at home to look after the pets. It shouldn’t be very difficult for you to find a kennel or a cattery in your place where they will be safe and well looked after; if there is none ask a friend to take care of them for you.
  • If the pets accompany you in your holidays, pack all the necessary items starting from food, napkins, and water. Also, divide the journey into parts so there are enough breaks for the pets to recover from fatigue and travel-sickness.
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Before-party preparations

  • Before you jump into party mode find a good place for your pet where it will be safe and can rest peacefully. Your bedroom can be a safe place for the pet as here it can escape from all the noise and festivities. But make sure that you fasten the door properly and that it can’t escape from the room. If the pet loves company and dislikes being left alone, you can always pay it a visit every now and then and play with it.

Handling food

  • We all love our pets, but that doesn’t mean we start sharing our food with them. Human food is bad for pets and you will be better advised to feed them food that is suitable for them.
  • Don’t ever feed pets poultry carcasses as the bones might break and get stuck in their throats.
  • Avoid giving treats like chocolate, grapes, cookies, candies, raisins and sultanas to your pet as they are toxic; onions and garlic also don’t go well with pets. If you want to give them a special treat, changing their feeding pattern is a better idea.

Disposing of waste materials

  • Once you have unwrapped the gift items, get rid of all the plastic coverings, ribbons and bows. Left unattended they may be swallowed by pets which may jeopardize their lives.

Create ID tags for your pets

  • You may think that it is a bit amusing to have tags for a pet, but believe you me, having one will ensure that you can easily find it in case it gets lost. But have the pet wear its tag at all times.

Concluding words

These are some key tips that will go a long way in making your Christmas special as you take your friendship with your pet to the next level. But since despite our best efforts, sometimes mishaps do happen, it is a good idea to keep the vet’s number handy.


Hailing from Delhi, Prateek Tiwari is an avid animal lover who believes in Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” A graduate in Biotechnology, he has vast knowledge about different breeds of pets and pet food that are both nutritious and promote healthy growth. In order to make people aware about pets and pet care, he shares his expertise through his blog posts.

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