Keeping Our Pets Safe at Christmas – My Story

westie in cute skull jumper

I’ve not really introduced you to my little lad, have I? Well, I’d like you to meet my West Highland Terrier, Mackey. This time of year is wonderful now I have him back living with me, but a few years ago this time of year was incredibly difficult for anyone who loved him, and I’ll tell you why…

We all want everyone we care about to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas. While we are aware that this isn’t always possible, it will often take us by surprise when it happens. My own experience of this came a few years ago when my dog Mackey had to spend the holiday season at the Royal Veterinary Hospital at St Albans.

He spent the build-up to Christmas in increasing pain and tests indicated that the cause of his problem was an abnormal growth in his spine which was pressing on his nerves and making his life miserable. It was hard to spend the festive season without him, but harder still to see him suffering. Either way, I was very glad to have invested in good pet insurance (such as Petplan’s pet insurance) to cover all of his treatment! I was able to allow him to have the treatment he needed, and the kind neurosurgeon even called me on Christmas Day so that I could speak to Mackey on the phone after his surgery!

cute westie dog in the pub

Good insurance is such an important part of responsible pet ownership at any time or season, but you never feel more grateful for it than at a time when everyone is meant to be celebrating. And while my dog’s medical issue could have come up at any time of the year, the fact that it happened at Christmas always makes me extra cautious. Being extra cautious is always a good idea over the holiday season: all the additional festive food and decorations present a series of dangers for our pets – especially at a time when their owners may be distracted with a new toy, a flashing jumper or a third helping of sherry trifle! Both of our most popular animal companions, cats and dogs, can be poisoned by all sorts of things that their human owners take for granted during the holidays: decorative items like holly berries, mistletoe and poinsettia; as can family food staples such as chocolate, onions and grapes. Even our old friend the mince pie could result in some very expensive medical treatments for your dog: like Christmas pudding, Christmas cake and many other festive favourites, they all contain raisins, another common household item that are poisonous to pets. Even the things we use to make our homes look nice can present a danger. Dogs love to bite and chew, which can make string, tinsel or small toys potentially hazardous. New Year also has to be kept in mind, as fireworks are growing in popularity for our celebrations. All of these things are a little bit scary to think about, but a bit of mindfulness and attentiveness should be all any of us need for every member of the family to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas!

If you’d like to know more about what you can do at Christmas to keep your pets safe, make sure that you check out Pet Plan insurance’s insightful video above on keeping pet dogs safe at Christmas #ad. And of course make sure that you and your pets are covered by pet insurance in case the worst happens!

Disclosure: This post has been possible thanks to Petplan, but all thoughts are my own.

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