The holidays are just around the corner, and they can present some dangers to the family pets like your favored canine companion. From the decorations to the foods, costumes, parties and more, an inquisitive dog can get into a mess of trouble. Since your pet is a member of the family, you want to include it in your holiday festivities. You can do so while taking proper precautions to protect your pets.
Even though the holiday season is here, it is important to keep your pet’s routine, feeding, and exercise, as normal as possible. Also, bear in mind some precautions for safety and fun during this festive time of year, such as:
- Ensure that your Christmas tree is securely anchored to avoid accidents by tipping or falling, endangering your pet. Be cautious with fresh trees and the water that can be contaminated from fertilizers, leading to tummy problems. It can also contain bacteria that can cause diarrhea and nausea if a pet drinks from the tree stand water. Additionally, the water may also get spilled.
- So many holiday plants can be toxic to animals, and that includes holly, poinsettia, and mistletoe. Ingestion of these plants can lead to vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems. When it comes to the curious cat, many species of lilies can lead to kidney failure.
- Tinsel is a real hazard for pets. If nibbled on and swallowed, the tinsel can get into the intestines and cause a blockage or obstruction. The problem can be severe with bouts of vomiting, dehydration and often surgery. It is best to avoid tinsel in the home when you have pets.
- Beware of lighted candles around the home. They can get knocked over by a pet. Never leave a candle unattended.
- If decorating with lights, ensure the wires are tied up out of way of the pets. Keep batteries and glass or plastic ornaments and decorations out of reach.
- In addition to decorating tips, it is imperative you remember to keep your pet safe from table foods. Avoid chocolate and any products with the ingredient xylitol. These items are toxic to pets. Always keep any foods high out of reach. That includes the trash bin that can be opened to access some dangerous items or bones.
- During parties and family celebrations, opt to confine your pet in a safe area until all dangers are removed. Guests that leave plates of food and other treats unattended can be inviting to a pet. Additionally, place leftovers way out of reach until guests are gone, and all foods can be secured in pet-safe containers.
- When monitoring the human food goodies, remember to keep those adult beverages also out of reach. A pet can suffer from listlessness and possible respiratory failure if any alcoholic beverages are consumed.
Your dog can have a fun and rewarding holiday as a member of the family if you choose unique gifts and treats safe for him or her. Many families opt to have a stocking placed on the mantle for the furry companion. Fill the dog’s stocking and gifts for under the tree with safe pet items, such as Kong toys (some that could be stuffed with healthy foods and treats), rawhides, chew bones and other pet items that are easily digestible. There are also many cute squeak toys available that are suitable for the needs of your particular dog according to size and chewing requirements. When it comes to the kitty in your life, choose safe interactive toys that cannot be swallowed by accident, such as a larger ball, toys with catnip or an interactive cat dancer.
Any holiday celebration can be safe, happy and fun for all family members when precautions are taken to protect the pets within the home. If you have a pet that is too inquisitive or one with an extreme shy nature, confining the animal may be a better option. Select a space in the home that is away from the hustle and bustle; a spot that is quiet and secure where you can equip it with a favorite bed, blankets, toys, fresh water and a new enticing bone. A quiet room away from all temptations and joyful noise can be a more secure option to avoid unnecessary stress for family pets. Happy holidays to all!!