Pet Care Tips at Christmas

Animals Dogs Cats Animal Welfare Pet Care Posted Dec 20, 2023
With Christmas and holiday festivities not far away, how can you best prepare your pet for a change of routine?

Even if you have the friendliest dog or most social cat at home, changing their routine can cause them to fret. Perhaps more people might be coming around – more faces to meet, pats, playtime. It can be exhausting not just for you, but your pets too! Parties and loud noises may also put your feline or canine into a spin! 

Here are some quick tips to note before the festive season is in full swing.

dog treats at christmas tips rspca

If you’re having Christmas at yours with the family
  • If you know you’re going to be flat out with guests at your home, assign an responsible adult (not involved in supervising children) to be in charge of your pet if you can’t be. An extra set of eyes will help notice if your pet needs a break from socialising.
  • Give your cat or dog a safe place in your home where they can go to have a chill out from added noise and visitors.
  • Ensure they have their bedding or a cosy hidey hole.
  • Don’t forget to leave them water too!
  • Set them up with a yummy, long lasting chew like KONG or their favourite toys.
  • Play soft music in their area or leave the TV on, to help mask the sounds of activity going on elsewhere.
  • It may look adorable, but dogs don’t like hugs and kisses, don’t allow children to hug or kiss your dog. Even cats will tell you off!

pet tips at christmas cats

Can you read your dog’s body language? It’s a good idea to know the signs of stress in your pet! Read our dog body language article here and brush up on your skills!

Can my dog eat that?

Over Christmas and the New Year it can be tempting to give your pet food they don’t usually eat as a treat, while healthy treats are great, other foods can be toxic to your companion. As a rule of thumb, try to stick to your usual feeding habits for your pet – changing their diet too much can leave them with upset tummies and unexpected trips to the vet.

Avoid danger foods and do not feed your pet: macadamia nuts, grapes, onion, garlic, avocado, fatty ham trimmings, cooked bones or chocolate. Don’t give your dog whole corn cobs to eat or leave husks laying around, they get stuck in your dog’s guts and require surgery!

If you have food/chocolate as gifts under your Christmas tree, keep them out of reach of pets that may like to open presents early!

dog enrichment at christmas tips

Travelling with your pet this festive season?

There are a few key things to remember when you go on holiday with your pet:

  • Never leave your pet unattended in a hot car, on on the back of a ute, or tied up in the backyard. Why? Read more of our summer tips here.
  • Pack all their essentials - food, water, bedding, toys, medication, crates, leads, collars and harnesses
  • Ensure your pet is wearing identification and that their microchip details are up to date
  • Ensure your pet is appropriately secure within your car or on the back of your ute or trailer when travelling. Do you know the law? New legislation details:

When transporting a dog on the tray of a vehicle or on a trailer, they must be secured appropriately to prevent them from falling out of the vehicle. *This requirement does not apply to working dogs involved in moving livestock. The RSPCA doesn’t want to see a repeat of this dog’s fall from a ute.

secure dog on back of ute

The legislation also states that dogs cannot have more than their head protruding from vehicle windows when driving.

car window dogs legislation queensland

If you’re planning a camping getaway, you may also like to learn more about camping with pets here.

driving with pets travel restraints dogs rspca

Emma Lagoon
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