Christmas and the New Year is a fun time for many of us but it also brings a number of problems for our pets.

Follow these tips to keep your pets safe and ensure they also have a great time.

Beware of festive food

  • High fat, festive foods can easily cause diarrhoea or vomiting and make your pet quite poorly·
  • Human chocolate is particularly dangerous in dogs – it can build up in their bodies and cause neurological problems.
  • Cooked bones, especially poultry, tend to splinter so they could puncture your pets’ stomach and lead to a serious infection. Pets can also choke on these small bones.
  • Don’t let your pets’ waistlines extend as much as ours do over the Festive period! Overweight pets can suffer from a number of other health problems so keep treats to a minimum.


  • Pets may see these as toys. Glass baubles can break and lead to splinters that can stick into paws or mouths so better to use plastic ones!
  • Tinsel can be chewed and swallowed and get stuck in the intestines causing a blockage.
  • Be wary of playful pets chewing through fairy lights as they could get electrocuted.
  • Don’t forget to be careful of children’s toys as small parts left around can be swallowed.


  • The “bang” from crackers may scare pets so make sure they are in another room.
  • Be aware that a noisy party at home may unsettle your pets so make sure they are in a quiet room away from the noise and check them regularly.
  • Make sure that doors are not left open inviting pets to slip out unnoticed


  • For pets that get particularly stressful at this time, there are diffusers to aid to help dogs in the form of a plug-in device, very similar to the plug-in air fresheners. When plugged in, the device warms up and gives off a dog appeasing pheromone. This is the same pheromone produced by a bitch after whelping which helps to reassure her puppies. The diffuser has no sedative effect and cannot be detected by humans. A similar diffuser is also available for cats. You can purchase the diffusers from your Charter Vets practice and it is advisable to install the diffusers well before the festivities start.

Going away

  • Most of us will be staying home this Christmas but if you are planning on spending some of the permitted time away, don’t leave your pets at home alone. Ensure you have arranged for someone responsible to feed them in your absence.
  • If you are going away on holiday over Christmas, make sure you make arrangements with the local kennel/cattery well in advance.

Christmas is a busy time of year and we recommend that you do not buy a pet during this time.