Keep Your Pets Safe During the Holidays
We’re not in the business of scaring anyone. But we care about animals. So we put together this quick list of what to watch out for during this busy holiday season to keep your pet safe.
First, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Then, steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants, and dangerous decorations where ever and however you celebrate.
Mistletoe & Holly: If Holly is ingested, your dog can suffer from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. Alternatives include artificial plants made from silk or plastic or a pet-safe bouquet.
O’Tanenbaum: A live tree requires water and often will contain fertilizer or preserving agents. Water that sits can also grow bacteria that could cause stomach upset. Be sure that your tree is stable and secured to prevent it from falling on your canine friend. Think carefully about the ornaments you place on your tree. Broken glass in your dogs paws or plastic ingested can result in unnecessary pain and trips to the emergency veterinarian.
The Flicker of Candlelight: Candles can be an essential part of a holiday celebration but can be dangerous for the usual reasons for humans, and especially if left unattended. If knocked over, an open flame can catch curtains or furniture on fire and hot wax can cause severe burns. Keep that holiday flickering with appropriate candle holders placed on a stable surface and put the candle out when you’re not in the room.
Sweets, Treats, and Holiday Food: We know that chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol can be a danger to your dog but this time of year means much more of everything to temp your pet. Fatty, spicy, and other human foods, as well as bones, and unattended alcoholic drinks are all a concern. Take a look at the ASPCA’s list People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets if you or your dog just can’t resist. To keep your pet from being tempted, be sure to keep chew toys that are indestructible around or use Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
Invite House Guests to Keep Your Pet Safe: Remind anyone staying over from out-of-town of these hazards. You can also ask them to secure their medications in closed medicine cabinets or drawers and to check-in before feeding anything to your pet. Be patient with your guests. They may have been raised differently or come from a generation or culture that lets the dog lick the plates or feeds from the table. Gently let them know that your dogs stomach won’t tolerate more than her usual fare.
A Safe, Quiet Retreat: When you’re hosting a very large event and you cannot easily keep an eye on your pet, consider letting your pet make an appearance, but then sit this one out. Your dog might actually prefer a spare bedroom with water and a cozy blanket to lay on or his usual crate over a party full of noise and strangers. The same is true for the new year. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. Many pets are also scared of fireworks so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.
Your dog will thank you and enjoy the festivities more if you watch out for these common holiday hazards. You’ll also avoid those unnecessary trips to the veterinarian.
What did we miss? Please comment below to add your thoughts. From Run Those Dogs, we wish you and your best friend a safe, happy holiday season and prosperous new year.