Keeping your pet safe is undoubtedly one of the biggest priorities of any responsible and caring owner. However, the holiday season can present some different – and in the case of new pet parents – unusual challenges.
Here is our helpful guide to pet safety during the holidays.
Choose ornaments carefully. For many people, decorating your tree and home is one of the best parts of getting ready for the festive season. However, many ornaments can pose a potential risk to your pet. From glass baubles that can easily shatter and become embedded in your pets’ paws and body, to decorations covered in substances that could be toxic to your animal, it is important to choose your decorations wisely so that your pet can safely enjoy them as much as you.
Don’t let your pet drink the water that your tree is standing in. Often, this water contains fertilizers or bacteria that can cause your pet to experience digestive problems such as diarrhea or vomiting.
Tinsel may look extremely pretty, but it is one decoration that your kitty won’t be able to leave alone. Although simply playing with it won’t cause her any harm, eating even just a little piece could cause her digestive tract to become blocked – a life-threatening scenario. Swap your tinsel for something less tempting and help keep your cat safe.
Be plant aware. Some seasonal favorites such as holly, berries, and mistletoe can be toxic to your pet. Check carefully before you purchase, or sleep easy and choose artificial varieties instead.
Christmas lights can transform the appearance of your home, but loose wires and batteries can pose a serious risk to your beloved animal. Ensure that wires and batteries are kept securely out of the reach of fluffy paws – and small human fingers!
Festive food fails
It may be the season for us humans to overindulge and enjoy some tasty treats that we might not usually have, but it is important to remember that our pets cannot share in our experience. Festive food can pose a serious threat to our animals if we let it, so make sure you, and any guests that you have, keep away what is and isn’t safe to feed.
Most people know that chocolate is a definite no-no for dogs, but far fewer people are aware that anything sweetened with xylitol is also dangerous for your pet. Food that is spicy, particularly fatty, or may contain bones should also be off limits and you should take particular care to ensure that plates and trash are left out of the reach of your curious pet’s nose and mouth!
Some drinks can also be toxic to pets, with alcohol being among the most dangerous beverages for your pet to ingest. Keep booze well away from your animals and mop up any spillages as soon as they occur.
If you are concerned that your pet has eaten or drunk something that he shouldn’t, call Deerfield Animal Hospital at (210) 492-5575 immediately for further advice.
If you are planning on having a large number of people over, or you have a festive party in the pipeline, things in your home can get decidedly noisy. While some animals aren’t bothered by a little loudness and will welcome the attention of strangers, other pets may find it all a little overwhelming. Party poppers, crackers, and fireworks can all be startling and/or overstimulating, which can cause your pet to react in unpredictable ways.
One of the best things you can do to keep your pet safe and stress-free during a busy period of time in your home is to create a safe haven that they can escape to. Try and make this location somewhere in the house that is far away from the main area of socialization, and put his favorite blanket, toys and fresh water in the room so he can make himself comfortable.
With a little preparation and consideration, the holidays can be a safe and enjoyable time for both the humans and animals in your family.