Winter holidays concept: dog holds a candy cane in mouth. Cute pet with Christmas treat in white background with copy space above

Is your pet on the Naughty List? have carried out a study of 2,000 pet-owning adults revealing that 53 per cent admit their four-legged friends have wreaked havoc over the festive period, with one in 10 (12 per cent) saying they’ve embarrassed them in front of their family and friends.

“Your cat or dog might be your best friend, but that doesn’t mean they can’t cause chaos from time to time.” said Charlotte Harper, Co-founder of pet wellbeing specialist

“Whether it’s subjecting Auntie Margaret’s leg to a mortifyingly amorous display of affection, gifting fleas to your mother-in-law’s dog, or dragging their butt across the floor while everyone’s eating, their pet-iquette in front of family members can leave a lot to be desired.”

Leading vet, Zoe Costigan, has provided her guide to a peaceful, pet happy Christmas.

“Christmas is the perfect chance to spend more time with pets but it can be unsettling for them,” she said.

Keep confectionary out of reach
Chocolate poisoning in dogs often peaks over the festive period, with even modest quantities able to cause vomiting, agitation, seizures and sadly death. Our canines often go to great lengths to find chocolate, but it’s highly toxic to them. If you find your dog does eat any, try to identify how much and the type of chocolate they have consumed and contact your veterinary surgeon.

Avoid the nightmare before Christmas and deflea
Fleas are a nightmare for our pets. Worse still if you leave them at a relative’s house. It is so much easier to prevent an infestation than treat one.

Create a calm and quiet space
Rowdy children, unfamiliar people, crackers banging and new smells – that’s a lot to deal with for cats and dogs. Cats aren’t especially fans of big groups, it can be overwhelming. It’s important to carve out a space that our pets can feel calm and safe, providing a hiding place somewhere quiet, with a recognisable blanket, so they can escape the chaos and moving litter trays from busy areas.

Routine is key
It’s one of the first things that tends to go out of the window at Christmas, but having a predictable daily routine that helps your dog anticipate when they will get to eat, go outside, and spend time playing with you, can help them feel more confident and less nervous when outside factors cause stress.

Avoid poinsettias and tinsel
Cats and dogs can be captivated by tinsel, but if ingested, can cause serious problems leading to expensive vet bills. Poinsettias are also a pretty addition to the home over the festive season, but ingesting can lead to a pretty sick pet.

Dispose of cooked turkey bones separately
Christmas dinner leftovers are extremely tempting for your pet and the kitchen bin is a Pandora’s box of exploration. Cooked animal carcass’ are really dangerous for your pet, so try and dispose of them separately and keep a close eye out for mischievous four-legged bin raiders.

Consider calming solutions
Naughty and mischievous behaviours such as chewing, raiding food and going to loo in the wrong place can be signs your pets are anxious. Calming supplements can help, such as Itch Calm is made with a unique blend of ingredients designed to promote feel good hormones and reduce stress. Itch Calm is available as an add-on to the Itch Flea subscription.

Main image by Adobe 


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