Six tips for keeping your pet safe this Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! A busy house full of guests and noise can be very stressful for animals, and all those tempting decorations and foods can pose significant risks.

Help your pet have a healthy and happy Christmas by following these six tips:

If you're hosting celebrations, exercise pets before your guests arrive

This will help them de-stress and make them more likely to nap once the festivities are underway. A short walk or some fun play outside may be helpful.

Create a safe, quiet place for your pet to relax away from the party

Even the most social creatures need a break sometimes. It may also help to play soft relaxing music or leave the TV on softly to mask the chatter and possible noise of visitors.

Don't give in to those puppy dog eyes

Christmas food includes some of the most dangerous foods for animals to consume. Festive foods can be fatal, so don't give in to those pleading looks!

Particularly, do not let your pets anywhere near alcohol, avocado, chocolate, Christmas pudding, coffee, cooked bones, currants, fruit cake, grapes, gravy, ham, lollies, macadamia nuts, marinades, onion, pork, raisins or sugarless gum. These ingredients may cause severe upset tummies, nausea and other unpleasant side effects.

Keep Christmas decorations out of reach

A dog or cat may think the baubles hanging from the tree look conveniently like toys or tennis balls – but if a plastic or glass ornament breaks in their mouth, it could cause serious damage. Edible decorations like candy canes can also pose a risk. It's best to hang anything risky near the top of the tree.It is always advisable to use the same discretion as you would with small children.If your feline friend is fascinated by the tinsel or tree lights, keep an eye on these too, to avoid the risk of choking or electric shock.

Clean up wrapping paper quickly after presents have been opened

If chewed, wrapping paper and ribbons can prove dangerous for a pet's intestines.

Don't forget to give your pet a special Christmas treat!

Your pet needn't miss out on all the festive cheer - you can have some fun with this one. You could create a treasure hunt of dry food or treats around the house or yard, whip up some pupcakes, make them their favourite Kong, or take some time to play their favourite games with them.