Fezeg Amazon Review

Best Fezeg Amazon Review

How to Have a Pet-Friendly Christmas Day

Christmas advice from vets is normally quite a negative affair. We’ve written articles abound on the dangers of chocolate, mince pies and onions. And while these are important, this year we thought it would be fun to be a little more positive and festive. Today we are going to give you some great tips on how to have a pet-friendly Christmas. 

Preparing for the Big Day

One of the best parts of Christmas is the run up! Christmas shopping, making cookies, decorating the house. During this time, it’s important not to forget your pet. Remember that pets, cats especially, are creatures of habit, and may not like the sudden appearance of twinkly lights or a pine tree in the living room. 

While we aren’t suggesting acting like The Grinch, try and minimise changes as far as you can. This means keeping feeding, exercise and playtimes consistent – your dog won’t be happy if you miss dinner because you’re putting up the tree! If they have their own space, like a corner of a room, keep it unchanged so their safe space isn’t disturbed. Some pets are especially sensitive to noise, so you might want to minimise loud Christmas sounds like music or films. 

A big part of preparing for Christmas will be considering what happens to your pet on the day too. 

Are you having a quiet family Christmas where they could be included, or are the whole family and their pets coming over who might disturb yours? If so, would a quiet safe space away from the rest of the house keep them calm? Safe spaces should ideally be introduced weeks in advance so your pet can learn it is somewhere cosy to be. Cats especially like being up high – a cardboard box on top of a wardrobe serves well.

And if you are visiting relatives, would your pet enjoy coming with you, or would kennels/catteries suit them better? These are all considerations you should take, individual to your own pet. Don’t feel bad if the best Christmas for your pet is a quiet day home alone. Don’t forget that most kennels require vaccines, so ensure these are up to date, and book well in advance!

Keeping It Safe

Okay, we will have to dip into negativity slightly here, but it is important. Safety should always come first of course.

We’re sure by now you’re all aware of the dangers of certain common foods around Christmas, particularly: chocolate; raisins found in mince pies and cakes; alliums like onions, garlic and leeks; alcohol; and much more. Ensure you are familiar with those found in your house. Keep them well out of reach in sealed cupboards – advent calendars on the side are a common risk. Don’t leave half-eaten food lying around either!

Real Christmas trees aren’t overly toxic to pets, but their sharp needles can cause irritation and trauma if swallowed. Minimise this risk by sweeping them up as often as you can. The ornaments too aren’t a huge risk unless swallowed or chewed on, so try and keep them higher up where they can’t be knocked off. Tinsel is not uncommonly swallowed by dogs, and sometimes even cats, and can cause blockages. 

If you’re lucky enough to be gifted plants or flowers at Christmas, ensure they are safe for pets. Lilies are very harmful to cats, but holly, mistletoe, ivy and more are also toxic to most pets. Keep them out of the house or somewhere high they can’t be reached. Even if your pet doesn’t eat the plant, the water can be toxic as well.


Let’s get back to the positives! While there’s a lot pets cannot eat at Christmas, there are lots of nice things that they can. We advise keeping treating to a minimum (especially in overweight pets), but everyone can have a little something at Christmas. 

We know that dogs and cats love meat, so a little can be a great treat. It’s best to stick to leaner meats with no added seasoning (be especially wary of stuffing and other products with onions). This includes turkey, chicken, white fish and similar. Fattier meats like beef, pork and sausages can upset sensitive tummies. In either case, keep these to a minimum, just a few small slivers with their normal diet. Do avoid them in pets with pancreatitis, diabetes, obesity and other similar conditions. 

For dogs, veggies are a great treat too. Carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, broccoli and even sprouts are all safe for dogs and great healthy treats. As well as being low in calories and fat, crunchier veg can help keep teeth clean by producing saliva to wash away bacteria. Non-green vegetables can be more sugary however, so moderate these. Cooked vegetables are okay, but raw will have more nutrients and be crunchier, so why not chop off an extra piece or two while you are preparing them? Remember that although some cats will eat veggies, as obligate carnivores they will struggle to digest them so as a general rule, avoid giving them to your feline friends. 

Christmas Walking

With all that food and alcohol going around, a Christmas walk can really help settle your stomach (and give you an excuse for pudding!). If you’re heading out into the cold, why not bring your dog too? This could be as simple as a walk round the local park, or a big trip to the seaside. Remember it may well be pretty cold – long-coated dogs like Huskies and German Shepherds will probably be warm enough, but thinner-coated dogs like whippets and Labradors might enjoy a coat or boots. Don’t forget high visibility collars or coats if you are out in the evenings. 

Be wary of travelling if it is icy on the roads. Dogs should be kept secure with doggy seatbelts or in carriers. Don’t leave them alone in cars as the temperatures can drop dramatically quickly. 

Playing in the snow, if we’re lucky enough to get some, is great fun! Just remember that your dog will get colder quickly, especially if their fur gets damp. Keep playtime outside short, and have a towel with you to dry their fur.

When you get home, always rinse their paws with water – the salt used to grit the road can irritate their paws. Dry them thoroughly again using a towel or hair dryer and get the heating on! 


Everyone loves opening a present or two – while dogs and cats probably won’t understand what a present is, it’s understandable we want to treat them too. There’s a huge range of things you might get your pet, ranging from edible treats like those mentioned above, new beds or blankets, toys and games or accessories.

Money is tight for many of us this year, so there are ways to keep costs down (and avoid excess waste too). This might mean buying products second hand from a charity shop or swapping with friends. You could also try making your own presents – there’s lots of recipes online for pet-friendly treats, or you can get creative and make a puzzle feeder. Remember that treats don’t have to be physical either – you could reward them with a trip to the beach or park, a grooming appointment or just a really good fuss. 

It’s probably best to avoid wrapping presents if you can, since ingested wrapping paper can cause blockages. Definitely avoid string, ribbons and Sellotape too. 


We thought we’d throw in a little aside about Christmas outfits, since they seem to be all the rage this year.

While some pets love the attention they get from wearing outfits, and some may genuinely not mind, there are plenty that might be uncomfortable. If you desire to get them an outfit, introduce it slowly, ensure they seem comfortable and are happy. Start small with a bow tie for their collar or a hat, rather than a whole outfit.

The outfit itself should be loose and not restrictive, made of a comfy material and fire retardant. Ideally avoid things with long strings that could get caught or swallowed. And be prepared for it to be destroyed if your pet isn’t a fan! Again, thrifty people might be able to make their own outfits out of old clothing.

Keeping them Calm

If you follow our above advice and prepare well in advance, hopefully your pet will not become too stressed on Christmas. However, if you are concerned that they will be overwhelmed with the noise and crowding, or have had a bad experience last year, there are options available.

Plug-in pheromone diffusers (especially Adaptil and Feliway) are a good starting point. These release calming scents into a room and can often be bought from pet shops. They don’t work for all pets, but can be a good calming agent. Combining these with a safe space, as discussed above, is a good idea.

Actual prescription drugs are also available from your vet, but you should have a conversation with them first about what is right for your pet, the risks and benefits of the product, and other strategies. Two drugs licensed for noise-phobia in dogs are oral dexmedetomidine (a sedative) gel, and imepitoin sedative tablets. Other products that may work for anxiety are gabapentin, butorphanol or trazodone. All should be used with caution and are not a replacement for training, preparation and other calming methods. They may also not be safe to use in very young or old animals, or those with certain diseases. 

And above all…

Have a very Merry Christmas, to all in your household, whether on two legs or four, with skin, hair, feathers or scales!

You might also be interested in:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *