Pets love the holidays just as much as humans. There’s a good chance they’ll get a new bed, toys, or even a cozy sweater to keep them warm. But there are some parts of the winter holidays that your pets should not be indulging in. Here are seven ways to keep your pet safe during the holidays.
1. Detox Your Décor
While poinsettias have a bad reputation, it’s actually mistletoe, holly, and lilies that pose bigger threats to your pets. Ingesting any of these plants can cause your pet to suffer nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even cardiovascular problems or kidney failure. Just say no to live plants and stick with the silk or plastic varieties.
2. A Not-So-Wired Holiday
Holiday lights can be a hazard for any pet who likes to chew, and any wire can deliver an electrical shock. Get covers for any new wires that are out and attracting attention, or just err on the side of caution and make sure all wires are out of paws’ reach.
3. Anchor Up
Anchor your Christmas tree securely so that your pet can’t tip the tree or knock it over completely onto themselves. If you have a live tree, create a barrier around the tree water so that your pet can’t drink it – stagnant tree water can be full of bacteria which could lead to some serious stomach upset for your pet.
4. Glow Safely
Holiday candles cast such an inviting glow and give a room a pleasing ambiance, but unattended lit candles are an accident waiting to happen. If your pet doesn’t get burned by a lit candle, they could cause a fire if they knock over a candle. Use an appropriate candle holder on a flat surface if you must light up at all. And if you leave a room, put the candles out so the temptation is eliminated.
5. Go Tinsel-Free and Ornament-Safe
Tinsel is especially appealing to cats, and any little nibble can turn into a swallowed bit of décor which can create an obstructed digestive tract. And be sure to avoid displaying any breakable ornaments or hazardous ornaments low on your tree to prevent your pet from reaching them, shattering them, ingesting them, or getting cut.
6. Skip the Leftovers
Your pets are no doubt extremely curious about the new or rare foods they smell around them. Don’t feed your pets from the table, and don’t allow guests to indulge those sweet faces with their edibles. And keep your garbage cans tightly secured. Chocolate and raisins are especially dangerous, as are alcoholic beverages. Maintain your pet’s normal diet so you aren’t making a late-night run to the veterinary clinic when the festivities have come to an end.
7. Create a No-Holiday Zone
Your pet may love the holidays, and she may not. To keep anxiety and bad behavior at bay, make sure there’s a quiet space for your animal to retreat to when the party begins or the unwrapping commences.
The holidays are full of fun, and they’re full of hazards for pets. If you find yourself in an emergency situation this holiday season – or anytime – visit the Northpointe Veterinary Hospital, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for fast and comprehensive care.