Catherine edwards, naturally animals, animal health, christmas presents for pets, keeping animals safe at christmas, cats, dogs, what is suitable for animals at christmas, holistic animal care

Christmas is nearly here and all of us sharing our lives with animals are probably looking at what we can get our special friend at this time of year! Christmas is a time for giving and sharing times with loved ones, but it is important to keep your pets safe and happy this Christmas! Here are some tips below that I hope will help:


Cats LOVE exploring, and we have all heard the saying ‘curiosity killed the cat’. A discarded box from presents makes the perfect Christmas gift for your cats, but they also love catnip, valerian root, rose petals and lavender to roll in to name but a few!

Unfortunately Christmas tree lights can be dangerous for cats – climbing the tree, or knocking it over or chewing on the lights all present risks to our feline friends, so please always ensure that you don’t leave lights plugged in when you are not there!

Many people also burn scented candles / oils at Christmas. This can be great, but cats are missing a key enzyme in their liver that metabolises certain chemicals, so whereas essential oils can be amazing when used properly by self-selection with cats, shutting a cat in a room with oils burning (even worse if there are artificial chemicals involved) can cause serious health issues with cats, so always ensure your cats can leave the room if they choose. Cooked bones (which will splinter) are also very dangerous for cats so please keep that Turkey carcass well out of reach! ;


Dogs LOVE Christmas and many people buy treats as Christmas presents for their waggy friends. However did you know that the following Christmas foods are poisonous to dogs, so please ensure that they are kept well out of reach?

  • Grapes & raisins (so this includes mince pies and Christmas cake);
  • cooked bones;
  • mushrooms & onions;
  • Peanuts & Macadamia nuts
  • Peach & Nectarine stones
  • Chocolate
  • Christmas decorations!

In addition many dog treats & hide chews contain harmful chemicals, so always choose a healthy treat – your dogs will appreciate it!

Horses, small animals, reptiles and birds all love a thoughtful present, but try and make it a healthy one – no one wants a vet’s bill over Christmas. Keeping guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens etc. safe and warm in the winter months is key, and horses and small animals alike will appreciate their share of your lovely festive organic fruit, vegetables and herbs!

But perhaps one of the most important gifts that we can give all our loved ones over Christmas is our time and love – so have an amazing and safe Christmas for all our beautiful

Outdoor Summer Hazards


baby sunbathing


The sun is out; whoops it’s gone again!! Well welcome to the Irish  Summer. But on a positive note getting your babies and kids outside is so  important. James ate everything in sight so everything was a hazard  including pebbles, barbecues, poison berries, water and the list goes on.  Your first thought is to get them back inside to safety where you have every  cupboard locked tight, every corner padded and stair gates that block all  escape routes to danger.

However, after a very long winter a few simple precautions will allow you  to enjoy the alien yellow object that appears as if to tease us sometimes in  the Irish sky.

Keeping our kids hydrated and protected from the sun is one of the most  important things to remember during summer months. I love the  Hamilton range of Sun creams, as they are suitable for all the family and  especially kids with sensitive skin. The snoozeshade for your buggy is  also fab for the summer months as you’re baby will be protected and won’t  overheat in the buggy. Make sure they always wear a sunhat and suitable  comfy breathable clothing. Be careful not to leave creams or insect  repellents lying around as some liquids and oils contain liquid  hydrocarbons, which can cause a serious pneumonia-like condition,  irreversible lung damage, and even death if a child aspirates the  substance into their lungs. This is obviously extreme but a real danger at  the same time. Child resistant caps are a must throughout your house and  garden.

Beware of poisonous garden plants like rhododendron, deadly  nightshade, azalea, rhubarb leaves, lily of the valley, hyacinth, privet,  foxglove, delphinium, laburnum and yew that are known to be poisonous.Also beware of plants with thorns or spikes. These can cause a lot of pain if your baby falls face first into them. Teach your child not to pick flowers or plant parts and keep your baby away from them.

Please be careful near water as drowning is quick and silent. Young kids rarely make a big splash, thrash around, or scream for help like you see on TV. They usually fall in headfirst and sink to the bottom like a rock. A child who’s underwater will lose consciousness after two minutes and suffer irreversible brain damage within four to six minutes. Never leave your child unattended for any length of time near water.

TOP TIPS: (bottom section)

1. Stay aware and never leave them unattended

2. Even after the barbecues go out the coal remains hot so watch those little fingers

3. Don’t let them put soil in their mouth at it could contain dog/cat feces which contain harmful parasites

4. Make sure there are no holes in the fence and keep the gate locked

5. Make sure surfaces around swings and slides are cushioned and bolts are safe

6. Be careful of lawnmowers around children

7. Always make toddlers wear helmets on scooters and bikes

8. Be careful of open windows in the Summer and don’t leave anything near them that a child can climb onto