Have a pet safe Christmas

Christmas is great! There are presents, fantastic food and we get to spend time with family and friends. But, did you know that Christmas can be hazardous and stressful for your pets?

Christmas food

Festive food is delicious to us but to our pets much of it is highly toxic and dangerous. Chocolate, mince pies, Christmas pudding, onion gravy and alcohol are all poisonous for our pets and the bones from carcasses are a dangerous choking hazard.

What can they eat?

Skinless and boneless white meat such as turkey is okay for dogs and cats, but be careful that it's not covered in fat, salt or gravy.

It's best to keep to your pets eating their appropriate food. If you want to treat them to some festive bites, try our easy to make cat and dog treats.


It can be tempting to shower our pets with tasty treats. But extra weight gain can lead to health problems, so to keep your pet happy and healthy keep treats to a minimum. If you do want to spoil them with something extra, make sure the calories are accounted for in their daily food ration and feed them a little less for dinner.

Christmas decorations

Festive food isn’t the only hazard to consider around Christmas time, some household items can also be dangerous. Some plants and flowers including poinsettias, holly, ivy, mistletoe and lilies can be toxic, so avoid these if you have pets.

Tinsel and wrapping paper might be tempting for your pet to play with but make sure they don’t eat it! 

Christmas trees and pets

It'll be best to only allow pets around the tree when they can be supervised, as:

  • hanging edible decorations, like chocolate, are poisonous to dogs and can cause severe damage to their health
  • cats and dogs might be tempted to chew or play with hanging tree decorations.

Help your pet cope with Christmas Chaos

Christmas is often busy and chaotic. Help your pet cope with the chaos by keeping to their normal routine, as much as possible.

Provide your pet somewhere cosy and quiet where they can retreat to and have their own space away from the festive excitement. When your pet is in their quiet spot, make sure they are left alone and not disturbed by children or other guests. 

For more advice, read our tips on planning ahead to help keep pets calm at Christmas.

Give your pet the best Christmas gift!

Giving your pet a gift for Christmas is a great way to make them part of your festivities.

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Be prepared for any accidents

Check that you've taken out pet insurance - take out our pet insurance with us and you'll be helping pets in our care have a Merry Christmas too.

If you think your pet has eaten anything they shouldn’t have, stay calm and speak to your vet immediately.