Christmas is a time for families to come together and enjoy good food and company, but sometimes it can be a little much for our furry friends.
Veterinarian Dr. Jordan Woodsworth at the University of Saskatchewan said pets can get stressed out by all the new sights, sounds and smells.
“Some pets get pretty excited when there’s a lot of company around, but for the pets that don’t appreciate all the new sights, smells and busyness, it can be a little bit of a scary and overwhelming time,” she said.
She said pets may give hints they are stressed that are subtle to humans but obvious to them. They include showing whites of their eyes, trying to get away or leaning away from us, licking their lips and keeping their tail between their legs.
She said if a pet is nervous, it’s good to give them an escape route to a place where they can feel safe, like a quiet room.
Decorations and plants can also pose hazards for pets. Shiny tinsel attracts animals, but can cause serious medical emergencies if pets eat it. Breakable decorations can also harm pets, so Woodsworth suggests either putting them high on the tree or leaving them off all together.
Plants like poinsettias and lilies can also be dangerous to eat.
Rich foods are everywhere at Christmas, but can wreak havoc on an animals digestive tract. Table scraps, Christmas treats, gravy, and chocolate are just some of the foods that can overwhelm a pet, cause stomach aches and an inflamed pancreas.
Woodsworth said pets with kidney and heart problems should also avoid foods high in fat salt and sugar.