Twelve tips to help you this Petmas

The holidays are a special time for so many reasons – and celebrating with your pet can be so much fun. But, there are some risks for your pets over the holidays period. So we've popped together this handy list of tips to help keep your pets safe.

12: Keep unique ornaments out of reach

Every pet owner knows the fear of your favourite Christmas decorations smashing to the floor beneath a bewildered pet who unknowingly knocked it in their excitement. Make sure you keep any favourite decorations out of your pet's reach.

Kitten playing with bauble Christmas decoration - twelve pet tips for Christmas

11: Give pet-safe Christmas treats

It's the holidays, and it's okay to let your pet celebrate alongside you – just make sure you're giving pet-safe treats and snacks.

Do give: their regular food and pet-safe treats

Don't give: alcohol, ham, pork, gravy, chocolate, cooked bones, candy canes, currants, Christmas pudding or fruit cake, grapes, coffee, lollies, macadamia nuts, marinades, onion, garlic, or raisins.

10: Give your pet a quiet space

Dog laying on bed for quiet space during Christmas - Tips for pets and Christmas

Some pets love excitement, lights and music, but most pets will feel overwhelmed with new things, guests and celebratory cheer in their house. Give them access to a quiet, safe space or room where they can escape visitors and be left alone.

Hint: if you know your pet gets anxious give them something fun to do in their quiet room. 

Click here to make a snuffle mat or click here to create an extreme enrichment box

9: Keep em cool

Australian Christmas is HOT, HOT, HOT. Keep your pets cool with open access to cool water and shaded areas. Keeping them inside under the air-conditioning is always best, otherwise make sure your pets have access to cool, shaded surfaces.

Hint: give your pets some icy treats with their food frozen in the middle and pop some ice cubes in their water.

Click here to read more on pets in hot weather

8: Update microchip details

Fireworks, guests and parties – the holiday season can be full of potentially scary situations for your pet. Microchip your pets and keep their microchip details up-to-date just in case they escape and get lost.

7. Avoid tinsel, lights and dangling decorations

As well as very tempting to play with, Christmas decorations like tinsel and string-lights can be dangerous for pets. Keep these decorations well out-of-reach and always supervise whenever your pet is near them.

Cat playing with Christmas lights - twelve tips for your pet this Christmas

6. Make your tree pet-safe

While we all love the smell of a real tree – the oils of a fir tree can upset your pet's tummy, and the pine needles can get stuck in their throat, paws and fur. If you'd still prefer the real-deal just make sure you're always supervising your pet whenever they're near the tree.

5. Protect your tree (real or not)

Tree-tipping is a daily pet activity throughout the holidays. Here are some ideas to protect your tree:

1. Stabilise the base: you don't want that tree tipping
2. Keep the door closed: keep the tree in a separate room with the door shut
3. Block it off: use baby gates or other movable fences to protect the tree
4. Use alfoil: make an alfoil wall or moat around your tree – the sound, texture and look will deter most pets

Cat in Christmas tree - twelve tips for your pet this Christmas

4. Use pet-safe wrappings and hide your gifts

Presents wrapped with twine, tinsel, metallic confetti and ribbon can be choking hazards for your pet, or cause blockages in their tummies. Instead, use basic paper-based wrappings and keep your gifts out-of-reach so your pets can't unwrap them early.

Dog chewing on Christmas gift with ribbon - twelve tips for your pets this Christmas

3. Watch-out for toxic plants

Lots of plants are toxic to pets and Christmas favourites Poinsettia, Mistletoe and Holly are all on the list. If you'd still like to keep them around your home, make sure they are in areas your pets can't access. Note: All parts of lilies including pollen that drops from the flowers is highly toxic to cats.  

2. Book your pet's accommodation

If you're taking a holiday in the New Year – make sure your pets stay somewhere safe. Your pet will get lonely spending too much time without you, so they'll need company, food, love and safety.

Click here to book

1. Give the gift of hope to desperate pets

Humbug the dog curled up in ben - donate to pets in need this Christmas - twelve tips for your pets for Christmas

The pets at AWL will be spending these Christmas holidays without a permanent family. Spread the Christmas spirit by donating to help cats, dogs, kittens and puppies in need. Your gift will go towards feeding, looking after and rehoming these desperate pets.

Hint: plus, donation cards make for fantastic waste-free gifts.

Click here to donate