The RSPCA is reminding pet owners to think about how their pets are coping with the festivities on Christmas Day with the ‘big day’ bringing big risks to our pets’ physical and emotional wellbeing.

Toxic foods, crowded houses and noisy children's toys are among the biggest risk to our pets - all of which can be minimised or avoided with a little planning and consideration for our furry and feathered friends.

RSPCA WA Executive Manager Community Engagement, Maree Daniels:

“For many households, Christmas Day is usually much busier than normal, and with more people in the house and more noise than usual, it can be quite a stressful day for our pets.

“Understandably children can become overly excited and hyperactive on such a big day and some animals may not cope well with this or may not be used to having children around. It’s important to remember that even the friendliest, most patient dog can become a danger when stressed, particularly to children - so be mindful of your pet and how they are coping during the height of activity such as when children are running around or trying out their new toys.

“If you have a guests coming over, create a space in a part of the house that is cool and calm where your pet can retreat to if they begin to feel overwhelmed with too many people. Pay attention to your pet’s body language and if you notice your pet showing signs of anxiety – including excessive yawning and lip licking in dogs -  take them away to their ‘safe space’ so they can relax.

“Try not to spoil your pet too much with human food either, no matter how much they might enjoy it, and never give your pet food that is known to be toxic to them. Many foods that are commonly consumed at Christmas can be extremely harmful to dogs, including cooked bones, fats from meat, onions, chocolate and raisins – instead buy some animal friendly treats to spoil your pet with on Christmas Day.”

Image credit: Houndstooth Studio by Alex Cearns

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