With the festive season just around the corner we are all busy planning how we are going to celebrate, have fun and spoil our loved ones – including our pets.

It is a time of year when our home is bursting with family and friends, fancy decorations and treats, which can be overwhelming for our pets.

Try to keep your pets’ eating and exercise habits as close to normal during the festivities as you can, and follow these few steps to ensure they are kept safe:

The Christmas tree

The best place to put a Christmas tree is in a corner, tied with fishing wire to secure it, preventing it being knocked over by your dog or pulled down by your cat.

Electrical safety

To prevent any accidental electrocutions, exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.

Poisonous foods and plants

Holly, mistletoe, poinsettia plants, grapes, raisins, sweets, liquorice, chocolate… Keep them well out of the way of your pets’ reach. Don’t be tempted to share chocolate with your dog, it contains Theobromine, a chemical very toxic to pets. Cats are even more sensitive to Theobromine poisoning than dogs!

Fire safety

Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pets’ way – there’s no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.

Gift wrapping

Be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth when swallowed can cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.

Outside the home

When walking your dog in freezing weather, be mindful of his paws. Frosty grass and salt grit can cause contact dermatitis. Wash your dog’s feet after a walk, to keep them clean and healthy.

But remember, most of these dangers are easily avoidable. Christmas is a time for fun and enjoyment, and apart from a well-deserved and needed grooming session, a new cosy bed, a jumper, toy or warm blanket the best present you can give them is your time, attention and love.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Sylvie Marks, owner of Waggy Wagon, mobile dog grooming salon.