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Protect your pets this Christmas

Protect your pets this Christmas

Category: Pet Insurance

Updated: 21/11/2017
First Published: 23/12/2014

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Christmas is the perfect excuse to gather as a family and indulge in a few festive treats, including good food, decorations and presents. However, while you may enjoy these things, your pet may not, and it could cause illness or injury to your beloved animal companion.

A not-so merry Christmas for pets

According to research by Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance, 92% of vets surveyed said that they had treated a cat or dog injured or made ill by Christmas customs. The most common cause, seen by 82% of vets surveyed, was eating inappropriate food, such as grapes, chocolate or leftovers. Another major cause of a Christmas trip to the vets was stress caused by large numbers of people in the family home, with 46% of vets reporting seeing these cases.

Children's toys are another common pet-related hazard, with 44% of vets saying that pets are brought in after having chewed the latest gifts, while another 42% claimed that they had treated pets that had eaten ribbons or strings from presents.

Other Christmas perils identified by vets included Christmas tree decorations, pine needles or injuries caused by children's presents left lying around.

Commenting on the results, Scott Gorman of Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance, said: "Most pet owners see their pets as part of the family, so it's natural that they want to spoil them at Christmas. [However,] it's really important to remember that a lot of our festive customs can be hazardous and stressful for pets."

Protect your pets

If you want your family pet to enjoy the holidays as much as you, now is the time to start making preparations. If you want to spoil your pet with a few edible treats, invest in some goodies from the pet shop – they may not look tasty to you, but your pet will love them!

It's also a good idea to perhaps limit or stagger the number of people visiting your home throughout the Christmas period. This will make it far less stressful for your pet. And, on Christmas Day itself, keep the floor clear of any wrapping paper, ribbons or tempting toys. Decorations and plants should also be put out of reach of pets.

Of course, even with the best preparation, accidents can still happen. If you think your pet has eaten something harmful or has injured themselves badly, take them to the vet straightaway. For this reason, it is important to have comprehensive pet insurance in place – you don't want to be worrying about the vet's bills on Christmas Day after all. If your pet isn't covered, or your insurance needs renewing soon, check out our pet insurance comparison tool.

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Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.