Now that Thanksgiving has passed, many of us are looking forward to Christmas and all the things we enjoy about the holiday season. But this can be a dangerous time for our pets. So as pet owners, let’s take a few precautions to make sure our pets have a good holiday as well.
One of the icons of Christmas is the tree, decorated and lovely. For your pet’s sake, make sure it is anchored securely. Kitties climbing or dogs burrowing underneath could topple it and hurt a child or your pet. Also, make sure your pets cannot drink the water under the tree, as it may contain substances which will make them ill.
Cats love to play with things that flutter, so tinsel is an exciting toy. One of my cats loved to eat anything which resembled ribbon or string. So to avoid injuries such as an obstructed digestive tract or vomiting, please avoid using tinsel on your tree. Bright shiny ornaments can be quite an attraction for curious pets. Make sure your ornaments are unbreakable, as shards of broken ornaments will cut your pet’s paws, or cause severe damage if swallowed.
While live plants are beautiful in the middle of winter, many are poisonous to our animals friends including mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and many types of lilies. So if you have pets indoors, consider other options for decorations to prevent accidental poisoning. Silk flowers is one good option and they can be used year after year.
If you’re like me, you want to share your holiday feast with your pets. But please, give them a feast of their own rather than food from your table, which can be dangerous for our four-footed friends. Bones, heavily spiced foods and sweets, especially chocolate, are bad for our furry companions.
Instead, consider buying them special treats or an extra special food for their holiday meal. Save yourself the vet bills and your pet’s health by being considerate to them. Many stores now carry Christmas stockings especially for your pet, with pet appropriate toys and treats.
If you are serving alcoholic beverages, keep an eye on them or put your pets in a drinks free area, as alcohol can make them weak, put them in a coma, or cause death due to respiratory failure. They might be attracted to the eggnog in your cup, but please don’t share.
Some animals, for whatever reason, love to chew on cords. But when the cord is plugged into the wall outlet, your pet can be killed from the electrical current. Even if your pet survives, he could have burns in his mouth which will need medical attention. Check to make sure your wiring is not accessible to your pets.
Christmastime is great for getting together with family and friends, but the unaccustomed strangers in the house and the higher noise levels can upset our pets. Consider making a ‘safe room’ for them when you have a houseful of guests. Make them a comfortable place with food, water and a cozy place to sleep. They will be happier in a private place, and guests won’t get nipped or scratched by nervous pets.