With only a couple of weeks left until Christmas day, preparations for the festive season are in full swing. Although you might have already bought the special pet in your life a gift, we’ve put together a handy list of pet-appropriate presents to help with any last-minute purchases.
We all love to spoil our pets with delicious treats, but it’s important to only buy treats that are safe and produced to a high standard. Look for treats that are relatively unprocessed, and comply with the Australian Pet Food Standard AS-5812. Avoid treats with string or plastic, as these are indigestible and dangerous to pets.
Consider making homemade treats. You can use peanut butter but make sure it does not contain the artificial sweetener xylitol, as this is highly toxic to pets Also avoid known toxin-containing ingredients such as raisins and sultanas. Always remember, treats are a “sometimes food”, and shouldn’t replace a well-balanced diet. If you do feed treats to your pets this festive season, consider reducing the size of their meals that day to prevent unwanted weight gain. Don’t feed them fatty foods from your Christmas table – these can lead to acute and potentially life threatening digestive and pancreatic problems in pets.
Pet wine and beer
The idea of sharing a glass of wine with our furry friends at the end of the day sounds appealing to many. With alcohol being toxic to animals, some companies have started producing dog and cat wine and beer, as an alternative beverage for the discerning pet.
Most of these products are just coloured and flavoured water that, in the case of cat wines, contains traces of catnip. It isn’t hard to see that dogs and cats don’t need wine or beer, with these products designed to fulfil our desire to share experiences with our pets. Rather than break open a bottle of pet wine at the end of the day, consider treating your pet to a delicious high quality treat. Your pet will likely prefer to nibble on a treat than drink pet wine.
A squeaky Santa toy for your dog or a catnip filled reindeer for your cat are just some of the examples of Christmas themed pet toys on the market. As with all toys, make sure they are given under supervision and made to a sufficient quality – they shouldn’t disintegrate on first use and shouldn’t be made up of friable or easily digestible material. Consider the size of the toy to ensure it is not small enough to present a choking risk.
Santa photos with your pets
A great way to celebrate the festive season with your pets (and often support a deserving animal charity) is to get Santa photos with your pet! A take on children’s Santa photos, pet Santa photos are a great way to dress-up, spend time with the whole family and make lasting memories. But be aware that dressing up animals can cause some pets anxiety, so only do this if your pet doesn’t show signs of distress.
Many pet Santa photos are run to raise money for animal charities, such as shelters and rescues, so you are often supporting a good cause too. In order to get the perfect shot with Santa, remember to bring lots of treats and your dog’s favourite toy – by getting the photographer to hold the toy when taking the shot, you will be guaranteed to get your dog’s full attention!
Christmas is an exciting time of the year, filled with presents, food and spending time with loved ones. Spoil your pet this Christmas by including them in the festivities, and by following our handy tips.