IT might be the season to be jolly, but for many of our pets this Christmas won’t be such a happy one.

Experts at a leading pet care store are warning that while a home bursting with friends and family, fancy decorations and tasty treats might sound perfect, it can be a little overwhelming for our furry friends.

A change in routine, including missed walks, late mornings and different feeding times can all contribute to a restless and anxious pet.

Pet owners are also more likely to feed their pet human foods, which aren’t suitable for animals.

Chocolate contains theobromine, which is dangerous and toxic for pets, and although cooked chicken or turkey bones can look appealing for dogs, they can splinter and cause serious digestive issues.

Matt Whittaker, manager of Pets at Home in Swindon, said: “We would never want to associate Christmas with a time of stress for anyone, owners or their pets, but it isn’t surprising that lots of loud noise, new people and a change in routine will unnerve our furry friends.

“We’ve come up with our top five tips to ensure pets have as great a Christmas as you. After all, they’re our loved ones too!”

1. Keep cables from Christmas tree lights out of reach or get a cable guard they can’t chew through, because rabbits, cats and dogs will try!

2. Vacuum regularly to reduce the risk of real or fake pine needles being ingested by your pet.

3. Don’t give your pets chocolate, it contains theobromine which is toxic to dogs and other pets – be careful with edible decorations and chocolate gifts under the tree. Raisins are also toxic for dogs – so do not feed pets items such as Christmas cake, mince pies and Christmas pudding.

4. Don’t give your pet turkey or chicken bones – they can splinter and cause serious issues for your pet.

5. Christmas plants may look pretty but poinsettias, mistletoe, holly, amaryllis, ferns and pine sap are poisonous to cats and dogs.