This is How You Celebrate Christmas in an Animal-Friendly and Safe Way

The year is coming to an end, we make ourselves comfortable and treat our four-legged friend to something special for the party. Much of what creates a cozy Christmas atmosphere in us – chocolate, cinnamon, Christmas roses, artificial snow, and co – is not harmless for dogs and cats. So that you don’t have to spend Christmas Eve in a veterinary practice, read here what you should look out for when it comes to Christmas decorations, feasts, and gifts for your pet.

Christmas Treats is Taboo for Animals!

Who wouldn’t want to give their dog or cat a treat for the celebration of love? If we have a good time, our four-legged friends will lose one or the other. However, we rarely do them favor with this token of love, because dogs and cats don’t get spicy food, sweets, and many ingredients from the Christmas bakery at all.

The classic Christmas event is chocolate poisoning in dogs. It is said that there are pet owners who give their dogs chocolate for Christmas. However, it is even more common for the dog to steal the chocolate from the Christmas plate. A large chocolate Santa and tinfoil disappear into the dog’s stomach, which can be life-threatening under certain circumstances. In our animal poisoning section, under the keyword chocolate, you can read about the amount of chocolate from which there is a risk of symptoms of poisoning and what you can do in the event of chocolate poisoning.

In addition to chocolate, many other Christmas ingredients are poisonous to animals, e.g.:

  • raisins or grapes
  • peanuts
  • walnuts
  • macadamia nuts
  • Cinnamon
  • alcohol
  • Coffee
  • bitter almonds

If your dog fills its stomach with your Christmas menu without permission, it can develop a life-threatening stomach twisting just from the sheer quantity.

If, after the unscheduled feast, the dog shows signs of discomfort and a severely distended stomach, please take it to a veterinarian’s office immediately as an emergency. If he shows that he is full but fit, make sure he is as quiet as possible (no romping or jumping) for the next three to four hours and keep a close eye on him. At the first sign that the dog is feeling bad, please go to the vet immediately.

What is there to consider when decorating for Christmas?
What is Christmas without Christmas decorations? However, you should set up some things out of your pet’s reach and make sure that neither dogs nor cats (or ornamental birds, etc.) can get to them in your absence. Examples of things that are toxic to dogs and/or cats are:

  • Christmas star
  • Christmas rose
  • Yew (e.g. in Advent arrangements)
  • mistletoe (cats)
  • needles of conifers
  • Water from Christmas tree stands (cats)
  • fragrance oils and incense cones
  • artificial snow

Some cats not only drink the water from the Christmas tree stand but also use the whole tree as a climbing device. So never leave your pet alone with the Christmas tree. Injuries can also be caused, for example, by broken glass Christmas balls. Swallowed tinsel or gift ribbon can cause intestinal entanglements that need to be surgically resolved.

What Do I Get My Pet for Christmas?

If you want to make your dog or cat happy at Christmas, please use toys rather than serving the animal a sumptuous Christmas menu. Even if it is a species-appropriate dog or cat food, a large amount of unfamiliar food can really mess up digestion.

Food toys are a nice alternative to the festive menu, as they keep the four-legged friend busy for a long time. Dogs and cats will also be happy about a comfortable new bed.

Please ensure that dog and cat toys are non-toxic and that your pet cannot disassemble and swallow any small parts. Some dogs and cats can get small on just about any toy, so they can’t be left alone with it! Even a harmless play rope can become life-threatening if the dog disassembles it and swallows long strands that can cause intestinal obstruction.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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