Have you started thinking about Christmas yet? Learn how to keep pets safe during the festive season.

Veterinarian shows risks to avoid and how to make the season safer for dogs and cats.

From Christmas decorations and lighting, to the typical food for this time of year, and not forgetting the holidays themselves, when we have guests at home, a situation that increases the pets’ stress levels, there are several challenges – and dangers! – that pets face at this time of year. Find out about the main risks and learn how to take care of dogs and cats, in order to guarantee a safer and happier Christmas season for everyone, providing the maximum possible comfort to your four-legged friends.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve are very important festivities for our families and friends, where we joyfully gather and celebrate another season of love, compassion and hope. However, we cannot forget about our pets. As members of our families, they are always present in these important moments, but there are some precautions to be taken in order to avoid unexpected problems”, says Tiago Magalhães, ZU veterinarian.

This specialist points out the major dangers and gives us the necessary advice to prevent them:


  1. Christmas decorations and lighting

Warning:  Christmas decorations and toys are a constant at this time of year and the truth is that our pets love them too! For this reason, it is really necessary to be careful that they cannot ingest small decorations or toys, which could cause serious gastrointestinal obstructions.

Advice: There are several toy options that are safe and suitable for dogs and cats, excellent for amusing and keeping our pets entertained, some of them even alluding to Christmas (you can find them in ZU stores).

Warning: The lights’ electrical wires must also be protected, so that pets do not play with them or manage to gnaw them, thus avoiding the risk of electrocution.

Advice: The safest measure to take is to turn off the Christmas lights while we are away from home.

Warning: Another extremely important care to be taken is related to plants that are typical of the Christmas season, such as holly and the Christmas flower, since when ingested they are toxic to dogs and cats.

Advice: Make sure you place them in a place that is inaccessible to pets.


  1. Christmas food

Warning: Another important part of this time of year is the gastronomy and typical Christmas dishes, often rich in spices, sugars and chocolate. It is important not to forget that chocolate can cause severe intoxication to our pets, and as such, it is imperative to prevent their access to this food. Other spicy dishes, such as stuffed turkey or cod, along with our traditional sweets, although not toxic per se, when ingested by pets can cause serious gastrointestinal disorders, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, as well as liver or pancreatic problems.

Advice: A useful recommendation would be to warn family and friends in advance, and especially children, that they should not give our food to our pets. To this end, and so that they don’t feel left out of this great celebration, there are several treats that are suitable and completely safe for our pets (ask for advice from your veterinarian).


  1. Holidays:

Warning: The festivities themselves can be a source of stress and anxiety for our four-legged friends. Meetings, lunches and dinners, typical of this season, gather family and friends in our house in a healthy conviviality, which often leads to typical stress manifestations from our pets, such as hiding or showing signs of anxiety and even aggressiveness.

Advice: In these situations, it is extremely important to provide our pets a quiet corner, away from people and the typical hustle and bustle of these days. Christmas crackers and fireworks are also another source of stress for both dogs and cats. To help them, we can avoid walking them at the time of celebrations and find an area of ​​the house where the noise is as muffled as possible. We can also calm them down by putting on some relaxing music. There are also several food supplements available on the market that help in these situations (ask for advice from your veterinarian).

Privacy Preference Center