Pet VIP Christmas

PET CHECK UK Jack Russell dog with parcel

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Time For A Very Important Pet Christmas

Pets love Christmas time with the beautiful new features you’ve added to your modern, country, or traditional home. Dogs, cats, and even indoor rabbits love the woodland smells bought in from freshly foraged walks, new aroma candles placed perfectly on the mantelpiece, and freshly bought floral plants.

Pets will eat anything! Christmas baubles, Christmas trees, tear open freshly wrapped presents, chew party hats, and socks.

Dressing your home

According to UK vets, December is an ’emergency month’ with so many unexpected visits made to the vet by owners with their pets suffering ‘Christmas’ related accidents.

Holly, ivy, mistletoe, lilies, and prickly fine needle fir Christmas trees can all give your pets Christmas side effects and your tight-for-time Christmas schedule may suddenly get derailed as you hurriedly take your four-legged friend to the vets possibly drooling, vomiting, choking, and showing signs of diarrhea. All the usual signs of toxicity. Avoid unnecessary accidents following a few guidelines.

Fir tree

Pet-Friendly Christmas – Have A Trouble-Free Tips

Holly, ivy, mistletoe, Christmas trees and lilies, everything we associate with a happy Christmas can be poisonous to your pet. Take great care where placing these around the home when dressing your interiors.

Always look for warnings and information prior to purchasing any plants, trees or shrubs.

Dogs and cats may have reactions if nibbling on plants. Check with your vet immediately if you suspect they have.

If your hanging traditional Christmas mistletoe in a bunch, check that berries aren’t falling off regularly and dispose of safely, immediately.

If you’re lighting fireplaces, make sure there is a fire guard in place.

Don’t leave pets in rooms with Christmas decorations and presents. Keep the doors firmly shut at all times.

Sweep up fallen pine needles regularly from real Christmas trees. These spikey needles can get between cats and dogs paws causing much discomfort, they may try to eat them.

Candles And Christmas Tree Lights


Candles provide an air of luxury and opulence whether your burning orange and myhr, moss and wood sage or wild berries. There are so many new smells providing a sense of foraging walks, cold outside but warm inside feelings, creating a festive feel. Check out those candles that are made with the best pet-friendly ingredients in our blog.

Clean’ candles are those made from beeswax, soy or vegetable wax which release less impurities and cause less irritants to pets. It’s important never to leave lit candles burning unattended. Pets can easily brush against these singing their coats, or worse, knock them over causing damage and a fire.

Hanging your twinkling pretty Christmas electrical lights out of the way of pets is ideal. Dogs and cats will chew through wires very easily and can cause themselves a nasty shock experience, which burns their tongues and mouths and can be fatal. Have a check around the home regularly that wires are not dangling or accessible to your pets especially at Christmas time when you may get distracted with events.

Pine cones and sweet chestnuts are not toxic to pets and perfect for decorations but pets can try and swallow these which can cause choking, blockages and hurt their mouths. These may last several days even after the material has passed through the gut. Don’t use conkers or acorns which are poisonous to pets. Keep displays inaccessible to your pet, such as pot pourri which can cause significant gastrointestinal effects in pets for days.

Christmas Trees

Prince Albert in the 1840s was famed for introducing the Christmas festival and real decorated Christmas trees, now a tradition replicated in around 6 million UK homes every Christmas, with about 8 in 10 being the Nordman Fir variety. Around 3 million trees are imported so buying British firs can really help keep the environmental carbon footprint.

The fir tree oils can be poisonous to pets, both dogs and cats showing signs of drooling, excessive vomiting leading to diarrhea. The sharp needles particularly can be nasty, hurting their paws, cutting their mouths, puncturing their stomach intestinal lining. Rabbits can eat fir tree needles in moderation but those trees sold commercially have generally been treated with pesticides during growth so too, become poisonous to your pets.

Whether you choose a real tree or artificial, there’s a feeling of joy decorating a tree and many pets like to help, tangling themselves up in strings and standing on delicate baubles so it can be a good idea to exclude pets from this task.

Position trees carefully considering not just your interior design theme but also accessibility and vulnerability by a pet. Cats adore playing with bottom level hanging tree baubles and can easily topple over a heavy laden tree that you’ve spent hours decorating causing injury to themselves and damage, whilst dogs will try and chew the tree whether real or artificial, sniff and forage around trees, especially when you’re not looking. Always clear up broken baubles and fir pines so that your pets do not cut their paws.

children decorating Christmas tree

Avoid hanging chocolate baubles and avoid leaving chocolate and nut-based gifts lying under the Christmas tree. Chocolate and nuts are both poisonous to pets.a

Kids with presents

Gift Wraps And Ribbons

Leaving presents around trees is not such a great idea if pets are given access to the room. Dogs will chew and scratch open what they consider to be their new toys! Whilst trees look wonderful with pressies stacked high, this is best to achieve just before you actually intend to open presents to avoid accidents.

According to the UK population buy approximately 28 presents a year and use 227,000 miles or more of wrap paper! Whilst pets ingesting the paper is not a healthy solution to disposal, eating the wrap trimmings are. These are often made up of string, small plastic shapes and sharp-edged ribbon which can cause intestinal obstruction. Avoid using glue and adhesives which can be toxic to your pet.

Traditional Kraft paper is ideal to wrap presents and many stores now actively promote this sustainable eco wrap in preference to other wrap paper which is normally lined with a thin coat of plastic.

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Christmas Foods For Pets

The Bad Foods

Mince Pies Cake Pud
Mince Pies

Currants, sultanas and raisins are used abundantly in recipes at Christmas which are toxic to pets, a dried products from grapes. Avoid giving mince pies, Christmas cake, Christmas pudding and grapes to your pets.

Christmas cake
Chocolate Nuts Sweets
Chocolate and nuts

Chocolate is toxic anytime of the year to pets and worse when covered in nuts. The darker the chocolate the worse effects. Avoid hanging chocolate baubles and leaving chocolate and nut gifts lying under the Christmas tree.

Alcohol Cigarettes
Glasses of alcohol

Don’t give pets alcohol – provides a similar effect to pets that it does to humans. Keep all toxic cigarettes butts in ashtrays out of the way of your pets. Replacement patches and e-cigarette refills pose toxicity risks.


– The Good Foods –

The Christmas Leftovers

So many of us want our pets to share in the joy of Christmas celebrations but unfortunately give our pets the wrong Christmas leftovers. There are some roasted MEATS and cooked FISH which are fine for cats and dogs to eat in moderation, as a treat, and without bones, butter, sauces and seasoning having been added.

  • Turkey – Skinless and boneless
  • Lamb beef and pork – with all the fat trimmed off
  • Fresh cooked Salmon (preferably not smoked salmon)

Rabbits are herbivores and do not eat meat, only selected raw vegetables served as a treat. Check our Pet Food page for full details.

VEGETABLES that can be eaten as a small treat by healthy dogs, those not on special diets or have allergies include –

  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Swedes
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • New Potatoes
  • Mash Potatoes (no butter)
  • Peas
  • Swede

Guides and Features

Best Christmas Tip

Don’t ever leave your pet in the decorated Christmas room unattended

\\\ Christmas Plants

5 Christmas Pet-Friendly Plants That Make Lovely Christmas Gifts



A lovely present at Christmas for spring flowering with a beautiful aroma. The bulb can be poisonous if your pet manage to get digging into your plant pot and find the bulb. Best not to site in pets reach.


Cranberry Plants

Pretty small red cranberries balls laden on a plant is a very pretty present and healthy too where they can be used for in cooking, jams, sauces. Generally safe around pets unless they feed themselves on the plant.



Sold in their millions and a firm favourite as an early Christmas plant however will cause your pet vomiting, drooling, or rarely, diarrhea if they manage to eat the bulbs. Cut flowers are less risky. Keep out of harms way.

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cacti can be a little prickly if pets try to chew the dangling leaves. Flowers at Christmas time with beautiful leaves often in shades of pink. Site out of pet’s reach but could be an irritant if they manage to eat too much.



They provide a beautiful blanket of red in the home at Christmas time. The plants can give mild toxicity symptoms being the usual signs of drooling vomiting, or rarely, diarrhoea. Site above waist height and fairly inaccessible to pets.

Buying British

British flag

Never has there been a better time to consider your purchases carefully. There are many British manufacturers offering great pet designs, craftsmanship, quality, and lasting products. Famous names include Chelsea Cats, Teddy Maximus, Berkley, Dogatella, Woof and Meow, Soul Destiny, Barbour. Many sellers promote the Union flag on British-made products.

Charity Presents

Many charities offer opportunities to sponsor animals and this can be a lovely present to give to anyone who is fond of pets including sponsoring a guide dog any time of the year, for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas.

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