Holiday Safety Tips

Winter is here and this means many of us who celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah have decorations out in our homes. Our pets may not understand that these once a year items are not for play, to eat, or to climb. As the holidays approach it’s important to keep their routines in tact and also to make sure they do not end up injured from dangerous decorations, unhealthy treats, and toxic plants.

Steer your pets clear of the following items

  • Christmas Trees – there are so many stories of cats climbing the trees, especially young cats who have no idea why there is a now a big scratching post in the house. The problem is the tree is full of danger – wires from the lights can wrap around your cat’s body, tinsel can be eaten and cause your cat major stomach issues, and decorations that are fragile can break and cause glass or metal shards to be strewn about on the floor. Stagnant tree water can also cause stomach problems if your pet drinks it.

    There are products that you can buy to help deter your pets from checking out the tree like tree stands that have deeper wells where the water is unreachable, placing a baby gate around the tree to deter puppies from knocking it over, tying the tree to the wall with fishing line to prevent cats from knocking it down, and swapping out tinsel for other decorations that aren’t as enticing to cats.

  • No Feasting for the Furballs – you know chocolate is bad for dogs, but keep table scraps away from your pets as you cook big meals for family. Onions, spices, and other foods can be toxic to your pet. Make sure the wine and alcohol is also out of reach from a sloppy dog tongue.
  • Mistletoe and Holly – when a pet eats holly their stomachs can reject it and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. Mistletoe has been known to cause cardiovascular problems in dogs and cats. Lilies are dangers to cats causing kidney failure and stomach upset. Keep these plants out of reach or opt for pet-safe bouquets.
  • Holiday Candles – don’t leave the candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Use candle holders, place them on a stable surface, and blow them out when done.
  • Play time – if your family and friends who are visiting want to play with your pets, ask them to take it slow in case your pet is a little stressed about the excitement and people. Your dog might look excited to play but might also be anxious and get too rowdy or scared. Once it seems like everyone is cool – game on!
  • Final note – make sure there’s a place for your pet to “hide” if the hustle of your house is too much for them. A place where your pet can hide, cuddle, or relax without being disturbed is important to keeping the peace.

    Image from Fanpop.com

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