The festive season is upon us, and many of us will include our pets in these festivities. As you gear up for Christmas, it is important to your pet’s wellbeing in mind. Help your pet have a healthy and happy Christmas by following these tips.


Keep people food away from pets – if you want to share holiday treats with your pets, buy treats formulated just for them. Feeding your dog human foods can have dire consequences such as vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and in some cases chronic breathing difficulties. Other dangerous foods for dogs include grapes, mince pies, Christmas puddings, whole Brazil nuts, alcohol, onion, raw potato (green), turkey bones and high content cocoa chocolate.


Christmas trees can tip over if pets climb on them or try to play with the lights and ornaments, ensure your tree is secure. Ornaments can cause hazards for pets, broken ornaments can cause injuries and ingested ornaments can cause intestinal blockage or even toxicity. Electric lights can cause burns when a curious pet chews the cords. Flowers and festive plants can be dangerous and even poisonous to pets who decide to eat them. Clean up wrapping paper quickly after presents have been opened.

Hosting parties and visitors

The sudden influx of visitors and noise of the festive season can upset pets; even pets that aren’t normally shy may become nervous. Try and keep to your pet’s routine as much as possible, including exercise and feeding times. Pets should have access to a comfortable, quiet place inside if they want to retreat. If your pet is particularly upset by house guests, talk to your veterinarian about possible solutions to this common problem.

Holiday travel

Pets in vehicles should always be safely restrained and should never be left alone in the car in any weather. Proper restraint means using a secure harness or a carrier. If you are leaving your pet with a pet sitter, ensure you utilise a trusted and reliable service and that your pet’s microchip and ID tag details are up-to-date in case they go missing while you are away.

Download a copy of AWLQ’s Keeping your pets happy & healthy during the festive season here.