With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy to forget about small things that can cause a real danger to your pets.
Take some time to ensure your home is ready for a pet-friendly holiday, this way, you can evade a possible tragedy or vet bill. Here are 6 tips for a Happy Pet Holiday:
1. Make Sure the Tree is Secure and Choose Ornaments Wisely
Decorating your home can be a fun holiday tradition. If you have a Christmas tree, keep this in mind: Dogs and cats can be drawn to the outdoor smells that a fresh tree brings inside, so you need to make sure it’s very secure in the stand so pets don’t accidentally knock it over. Ornaments, lights and tinsel can cause serious hazards. (I use unbreakable ornaments on the lower part of my tree since my dog Bella has a large fluffy tail and when she gets excited, her tail wagging knocks a few ornaments down.) Also, keep small stuffed ornaments out of reach; they can easily be mistaken for a dog toy. If you have cats or puppies, make sure that the wires for lights are hidden so your pets don’t chew through them and cause an electrical shock. Shiny objects may attract your cat. Although he will love playing with these decorations, if he eats them they can cause damage to his GI tract. It may be easier to keep your tree separate, in a room where the animals cannot go. Or put up a baby gate to keep curious puppies out.
2. Don’t Give Your Pet Fragile Presents
If you choose to give your pet holiday gifts, make sure the toys are big enough to minimize the choking hazard. Be aware of your dog’s chewing habits; if you have a puppy or an active chewer, avoid toys that can be broken into smaller pieces. New stuffed squeaker toys can be a hit; but make sure that if your dog rips out the squeaker, you quickly throw it away. (Bella normally chews the squeaker out within the first 2 days of getting any new toy! LOL!
3. Keep Harmful Foods Away From Pets
Sweet, fatty and spicy foods that we commonly eat during the holidays are certainly not intended for pets and can cause an upset stomach or even life-threatening illness. Chocolate and artificial sweeteners like Xylitol are some of the most dangerous to dogs. If you have these foods around your home, make sure they are securely put away and out of reach.
4. Avoid Dangerous Holiday Plants
Other things that can cause severe illness in dogs and cats are holly and mistletoe. If you have animals, it’s better to avoid this seasonal shrubbery.
5. Useful Holiday Party Hints
If you plan to throw a party, leave a cute, festive note on the food table to remind guests not to share holiday food with the pets. Drinking cups (especially those filled with alcohol) and plates should be kept out of reach of your animals. (This is very important, especially of you have a chicken ninja like Pixie. LOL!) Helpful tip: Give your pets a large dinner early before the party so they are less tempted to beg for food. During parties, some pets can become overstimulated and stressed out, so have a safety spot available. This location should be away from the festivities and should have a fresh bowl of water, several toys and a nice comfortable place to sleep.
6. Prevent Your Pet From Slipping Out
With all the people coming in and out, it can be easy for a pet to sneak outside. Get your pet a microchip and tag information up-to-date. Notify your neighbors that you will be having a party and to call you right away if they see one of your pets outside unattended.
I HOPE THESE TIPS HELP TO KEEP ALL OF YOUR LITTLE FURBABIES SAFE AND HAPPY!
WISHING YOU ALL A JOYOUS AND FESTIVE HOLIDAY SEASON.
– DARCY <3