A Pet Is Not Just For Christmas - Animal Friends Insurance Article

Christmas and Holiday Pet Care Advice

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The Christmas season can be wrought with dangers for our furry friends, but thankfully a host of pet healthcare experts have advised on keeping our companions safe during the holiday season.

Owners may be aware that the festive season comes with a host of pet healthcare dangers, but thankfully animal care specialists have offered some useful advice in the run-up to Christmas on keeping animals safe. The holidays are a time when many new and exciting objects and foodstuffs are floating around the house. Owners must be especially vigilant to keep these items out of their dog or cat's mouth.

Guests who do not know any better may be tempted to hand a pet a morsel of something highly appetising, but they should be discouraged from doing so as soon as they enter the house as much holiday fare is poisonous to our four-legged friends. Chocolate is well known to be harmful to animals, but so is anything sweetened with xylitol. Even rich foods can make them sick if they are not used to eating this - and the bones from the Christmas bird can cause choking. Unattended drinks could easily send a dog or cat into a coma if consumed.

Ingesting decorations such as tinsel or plug-in lights can also be highly dangerous and any festive adornments should be securely fastened out of reach. Even the sap from the pine tree can cause harm, either through fertilisers or the bacteria bred in stagnant water. Confetti thrown about on New Year's Eve can also become lodged in a cat's intestines.

Other holiday dangers come in the form of mistletoe and holly. The latter can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea while mistletoe can provoke cardiovascular problems and gastrointestinal upset. Well-meaning guests bringing bouquets of flowers should be careful they do not contain lilies, which are poisonous to cats.

Of course, all items that are likely to be knocked over such as vases, Christmas trees or candles need to be tightly secured. This is because with all the excitement of company, many pets may be overexcited and running around. While some pets love company and socialising and getting petted by dozens of friends and family, this type of activity can be a great source of stress for others.

Experts advise owners set aside a space where animals can go to be away from all the hustle and bustle. To minimise anxious feelings, people should aim for minimum disruption of a dog's feeding and walking schedule, to help enforce normality.

All the same, the excess of noise and activity could cause some pets to want to bolt, so guests should be warned prior to coming over not to leave the doors open. Likewise, if they have children or are unfamiliar with animals visitors should be informed on how to play with furry creatures. The individual preferences and personalities of dogs and cats should be made known to those coming to the home at Christmas so there are no surprises or stressful incidents. Also, if kids are going to be part of the festivities in a household that is unaccustomed to tots, owners should make sure dogs and cats do not swallow toys, as these can become lodged in the oesophagus, intestines or stomach.

Finally, animal lovers were told by a number of experts that for all of the reasons stated above, Christmas was not the right time to get somebody a pet as a present. Animal Friends Insurance would like to re-iterate the now thirty-one year old slogan coined by The Dogs Trust: "A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas". As one of the largest independent pet insurers in the UK, Animal Friends offers dog insurance, cat insurance and horse insurance to UK residents.

Animal Friends can help protect your pet against the rising costs of pet insurance - you can buy pet insurance online quickly and easily, and they have a range of policies to suit every need and budget.

Article Supplied by Animal Friends Insurance 11th December 2009

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See also:

Mandatory Microchipping and Third Party Dog Insurance - April 2010

Taking Pets to and from the UK - March 2010

Pet Healthcare in the Recession - February 2010

What are your Pet Care Resolutions? / Local pet insurance company sponsors one lucky and endangered bear rescued from Vietnam's illegal bear bile farms - January 2010

A Pet Is Not Just For Christmas - Animal Friends Insurance Article - December 2009

Top 5 Pocket Pooches - Animal Friends Insurance Article- November 2009

Who Will Take Care of my Pet While I'm on Holiday?" Animal Friends Insurance Article

Helping Pets Cope on Bonfire Night - Animal Friends Pet Insurance - November 2009

Animal Friends Insurance and Wild Futures form partnership - October 2009

Animal Friends Insurance Fund Severn Lifeboat Charity to Rescue Stranded Dolphins -June 2009

Animal Friends Insurance will launch a new range of pet insurance policies on 6th May 2009

Profits from Animal Insurance Protect Endangered Gorillas in the Congo- April 2009  

The Recession Proof Pet - October 2008


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