Once firework night is out of the way, we start turning our attention to Christmas. Having spend a lot of effort calming our pets and protecting them from the trauma of fireworks, how many of us consider that Christmas can be an equally distressing time?
Why is this and what can we do about it?
1 Chocking hazards
Our cats and dogs love to play and what better than some shiny dangly decorations, sparkling lights and loose packaging. It’s all suddenly arrived and its playtime. If left unattended our pets can chew through cables, pull down decorations, even topple Christmas trees. It’s a horrifying fact that some snow globes contain anti-freeze and if our pets come into contact with it then the results can be devastating.
We can take care to place our decorations away from reach, on solid surfaces and tidy away all the mess from present unwrapping. Keep an eye out for batteries too. My cat loves nothing more than an empty box and piles of paper and will happily hide, and chew on sticky tape if not monitored.
2 Harmful foods
Dogs especially love extra tip bits and we know that chocolates and alcohol are a no no. But what about all the other treats we bring into our homes this time of year such as nuts and mince pies. Be careful as some of these festive foods can be particularly harmful. For instance mince pies are full of raisons and sultanas and these can cause kidney failure as they are unable to digest them. I had no idea before researching this topic, that onions and garlic can be deadly too. If our furry friends want to join in the festivities then lean bits of turkey and raw carrots are perfectly fine.
3 Poisonous plants
Some house plants and cut flowers are pretty nasty if ingested by our pets, causing allergic reactions and in some cases can be fatal. As pet owners we are aware of which ones to avoid. But at Christmas time a new selection is available and could be brought in by friends and family as gifts. Better to be aware of which ones should be kept out of harms way, for instance; poinsettia, mistletoe, holly and ivy.
Christmas is a time of celebration and now the pandemic restrictions are behind us, we are making the most of filling our homes with new visitors. But the extra noise and excitement can be too much for some pets. We can ensure they have a quiet space to retreat to and hide away if necessary. My cat loves her igloo bed. Their usual routine may be disrupted too, such as feeding times and walks, so we should be mindful of this specially if we take our pets along to visit other homes.
5 Christmas crackers
Finally, few people talk about Christmas crackers. These can be as frightening as fireworks because that is exactly what they are.
Cats and dogs can hear much higher frequencies, or high pitched tones than humans. For example the average person can hear up to 23,000 Hz while a dog can hear as high as 45,000 Hz, cats even higher up to 64,000 Hz. This is because an animal’s hearing has evolved to detect danger, while ours has for speech which is in the lower frequency range. So loud unpredictable noises and added excitement can be a terrifying experience and induce a flight or fight response.
A standard cracker snap includes a tiny amount of compound called silver fulminate, which causes the bang noise when the cracker is pulled. It also releases a tiny puff of smoke. As our pets have keener sense of smell too they can also associate this with something to fear.
But here’s the thing, our low-noise cracker snaps pull with a gentle pop.
The ecosnap works without the troublesome compound. So when the cracker is pulled there is still some resistance, but it breaks with a gentle pop instead.
There are some added benefits too;
- The ecosnaps are fully recyclable and made in the UK.
- They are also perfectly suited for those who find loud noises problematic.
(For more information, read my blog on why some people don’t like Christmas crackers)
* The ecosnap is exclusive to Keep This Cracker and approved stockists
Ecosnap is a registered trademark and a registered design.
© 2023 Bea Thackeray