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17 December 2021

12 tips for a ‘pawsome’ Christmas

For many Australians, Christmas morning is the perfect time to surprise the family with that longed for fur baby…*oh*you*are*so*cute*. But as well as festive fun, it’s also a time when those little angels can get up to some devilish mischief. So here’s our top 12 tips to help ensure you and your furry family members have a pawsome time this Christmas-New Year.


Tips around the home

We’re not the only ones who love a Christmas decoration. Our four-legged friends do too, which isn’t always so great for their health. Here’s what to look out for.

  1. Secure Christmas trees from falling. Quizzical cats love to climb, especially when there’s a brand new tree to explore whether it’s real of not. So make sure your Christmas tree’s safely secured and won’t topple over to make Moggy’s 9 lives 8.
  2. Tidy up fairy lights and cords. Keep curious kittens and pups away from electrical cords, especially if they’re teething or like to chew. Also, extension cords are extra soft and appealing…nom, nom, nom…so it pays to be extra careful with them.
  3. Take care with tinsel and ribbons. Pets might love to play with shiny tinsel but, if swallowed, it can play havoc with their intestines too. Like operation-type havoc. So play it safe, and keep tinsel and ribbons out of the reach of little paws.
  4. Keep wrapping paper under wraps. Be sure to securely store and dispose of wrapping paper, so pets can’t get their paws – and jaws – on it. Eating it can cause serious stomach obstructions and a real headache for your pooch’s health too.


Tips for festive treats

We all love a treat and tipple at Christmas-New Year, including our pets. But that doesn’t mean they should. In fact, festive treats can be dangerous. Here’s some things to avoid.

  1. Put away the chocolate tray. It’ll be good for you and your pet too. That’s because the caffeine and theobromine in chocolate affects the nervous, heart and urinary systems of pets. Even a tiny amount of dark chocolate can be toxic. And let’s not start on the fat content…
  2. Don’t go nuts with nuts. Like us, dogs love nuts and grapes but most of them are toxic to canines, especially macadamia nuts (sorry guys) and raisins. So feel free to pass the charcuterie board around this festive season, just not with the pooch.
  3. Beware of meaty treats. Cooked bones are brittle and easily break into small splinters that can severely harm the gastrointestinal tract of pets. Whilst overly fatty meats, like Christmas ham, can lead to pancreatitis and even death. Better stick to approved treats instead.
  4. Keep a top on the tipples. While a little tipple can help with the Christmas cheer, a tiny bit of alcohol can be incredibly harmful a cat or dog. So keep the pets away from the drinks cabinet *hic*. FYI home bakers – fermenting bread dough can be toxic too.


Tips when out and about

Christmas-New Year is also a time for getting out the house. So whether you’re going to the park, visiting friends or holidaying away, here’s some tips keeping your pets safe.

  1. Stop the fireworks freak-out. Not only are most cats and dogs terrified of fireworks, loud noise can damage their sensitive hearing too. So near midnight secure your pet in a darkened room with calming music to help them feel safe.
  2. Beat the midday heat. Just like humans, if a dog or cat doesn’t have access to shade and water it can get heatstroke, which can be fatal. So help them chill out in the heat by providing a cool place to rest. Hint, hint: pooches love a blow-up kid’s pool too.

Another tip for summer scorchers: If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dog. Check the temperature of the footpath with the back of your hand as this can often burn dogs’ paw pads without you knowing. Best time to go for a walk with your dog is in the early mornings or late evenings.

  1. Avoid summertime snakes. Cats and dogs are not only more active at Christmas time, snakes are too. So keep an eye out in snake-prone areas and if you suspect your pet has been bitten, visit your vet immediately and try to keep them calm and quiet. Time is off the essence.
  2. Tick ticks off your list. Tis not only the season to be merry but for paralysis ticks too. They can cause life-threatening neurological damage in dogs and cats as well as shortness of breath, paralysis and in some severe cases, death. So check for ticks regularly and make sure they are up to date with their tick prevention, especially if holidaying in a tick-infested area with your pet.


Protect your furriest family members with ING Pet Insurance

No matter how careful you are, pets ultimately have a mind of their own and accidents are bound to happen. So if you’re planning to add a furry baby to your family this festive season, consider protecting them with ING Pet Insurance.

The benefits of ING Pet Insurance from Australia’s most recommended bank include:

  • annual claim limit of $12,000 (sub-limits may apply)
  • up to 80% back on eligible vet bills (limits and an excess may apply)
  • choice of any qualified vet registered in Australia, and
  • easy claims online or over the phone with no lengthy forms.

Any questions, our insurance specialists are here to help on 1800 619 495, 8am–5pm, Mon–Fri (AEST).

Terms, conditions, limits, excesses and exclusions apply. For full details, please read the PDS.

Save 15% off the 1st years premium on new policies purchased online

Purchase your ING Pet Insurance cover online and you can also save 15% off your first year's base premium (T&Cs apply – see disclaimer) – that’s a little bit more you can put towards Christmas and welcoming your new furry baby into the family.

To get cover online, just visit

The information is current as at publication.

ING Pet Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Ltd ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL 285571(AGIC) as insurer (Insurer). It is administered by Pet Health Insurance Services Pty Ltd ABN 59 638 910 675 as authorised representative 1282153 of AGIC. It is distributed by AGIC and by ING Bank (Australia) Ltd ABN 24 000 893 292 as Authorised Representative 1247634 of AGIC. ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Ltd (IBAL). An ING Insurance policy issued does not represent a deposit with or liability of, and is not guaranteed or otherwise supported by, ING or its related bodies corporate. ING will receive a commission from AGIC for each policy purchased which is a percentage of the base premium. For further details see the Financial Services Guide.

ING Pet Insurance is subject to AGIC’s underwriting criteria and ING’s Customer Eligibility and Name-Screening Assessment.

Pet Insurance is not available for dogs and cats 8 weeks old and under or 9 years old and over at the time of application.

This is general information only, and does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you having regard to these factors before acting on it. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Target Market Determination, Financial Services Guide and the ING Customer Eligibility and Name-Screening document available at and consider if an ING Pet Insurance product is right for you before deciding to purchase or continue to hold the product.

The price we quote is at the Insurer’s sole and unrestricted discretion. It is based on the profile of the risk to be covered and any other factors the Insurer may choose. These factors may change at any time without notice, as may the prices. If the policy renews, the price may exceed the price paid for the previous policy. Base premiums are subject to change. You will be responsible for all applicable GST and other statutory charges.

DISCOUNTS: All discounts are applied before government charges, taxes, levies and fees, including instalment processing fees (as applicable). The full extent of all discounts may therefore be impacted. We reserve the right to change any of the discount offers at any time.

  • Online discount of 15% applies to the first year’s base premium paid for a new ING Pet Insurance policy purchased online for approved applicants only. Online discounts do not apply to any renewal offer of insurance

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. Living Super, a sub-plan of OneSuper ABN 43 905 581 638 is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms

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