The holiday season is here, and it’s a busy time for families with a long to-do list before the big day on Dec. 25. With so much going on, it can be an also overwhelming time for pet, especially when it comes to safety. It’s important not to jeopardize your pet’s health despite the change in schedule during this time of year, particularly when it comes to eating and exercise.
Here are some tips on keeping your pet safe – and happy – during the holiday season:
Watch what they eat
When there’s more than enough helpings of food going around, it’s easy to pass the leftovers on to your pet. This is can be detrimental to their health, especially if it’s food high in fat, which is common during the holidays. Avoid chocolate intake, as it contains toxins that can lead to upset stomachs. It’s best to feed your pet their usual meals before the guests arrive, which cuts down on any begging at the table. Also keep an eye out for any easily accessible sources of alcohol, which can be fatal.
Be cautious around the tree
Pets will be attracted to a big, decorated Christmas tree taking presence in the house, and they’re sure to investigate. This can be a hazard, as they can knock over the tree or choke on ornaments within reach. Ensure your tree is properly secured and stable, preferably in the corner of the room or next to a wall. Keep delicate ornaments out of reach, as well as tinsel, which can create intestinal problems if ingested. Avoid using food as ornaments on the tree, such as candy canes, as this will only make the tree a bigger distraction for your pet.
Plants can be a problem, too!
The various plants used for decoration during the holidays have the capability of being hazardous to your pet. This includes mistletoe and holly, which are poisonous, and even the tree itself. If you have a live tree, the sharp pine needles can cause intestinal problems. Prevent your pet from drinking tree water, as it contains the fertilizers that were used on the three itself. This can lead to a series of complications, including vomiting, diarrhea or organ failure.
Keep toys out of reach
Just like the rest of the family, it’s a good idea to hide the presents from your pet, as well. Many toys have pieces small enough to be swallowed, which can be choking hazards or cause digestive problems. For dogs, make sure they have plenty of chew toys accessible to them to keep them distracted from the toys. Cats are attracted to bows and ribbons, and can also choke on these.New pet toys are great for keeping their attention away from the presents, and make a great Christmas present for furry loved ones, too!
Don’t give a pet as a gift
While it can be tempting to surprise the family with a new addition during the holiday, it’s generally discouraged to bring a pet into a new home during this time of year. With so much going on in the house between decorating, guests and travel, the hectic environment can be troublesome for a pet, especially when they’re young. New pets require lots of attention, something that might be difficult to find during this time of year. Additionally, adopting a pet is not a decision to be made hastily, but rather a long-considered agreement for the entire family.
If you have questions or are concerned about your pet’s safety this holiday season, contact us today to schedule a consultation with Animal Medical Care.