How to Protect Your Pets During the Holidays
Tempting treats, festive scents, sparkling décor, and merriment all around! Yes, the holiday season is upon us! If you’re a pet owner, you know all the hustle, bustle, and excitement can be a bit overwhelming, and even dangerous, for your beloved companion.
Take a few extra precautions this holiday season to ensure all the four-legged members of your household can safely enjoy the festivities, too.
Stay away from real mistletoe and holly – the leaves and berries contain toxins that can cause breathing problems, intestinal upset, and even death. Stick with the artificial varieties. And before bringing any holiday plant into your home, take the time to learn if it is pet-safe.
There’s nothing quite like the look, feel, and scent of a real Christmas tree, freshly cut or pre-cut. But they can pose a serious risk for pets, dogs especially. Sharp, fallen needles can cause internal damage, the tree’s natural oils can lead to stomach discomfort, and some pre-cut trees can be coated with chemicals that leach into the stand’s water. On the other hand, cats may be tempted to claw at or climb a real tree, so be sure to choose a sturdy stand and consider anchoring the tree to the wall or ceiling if Mittens is an adventurous feline.
Food for Thought
Resist the urge to treat your pet to table scraps any time of year, but especially over the holidays when dishes may contain ingredients you normally don’t cook with that could be harmful to your pet. Chocolate and cocoa can trigger gastrointestinal issues, arrythmia, and seizures, while xylitol (a commonly used low-calorie sweetener) is toxic to dogs.
All that Glitters
Cats especially can’t resist things that shimmer and sparkle, like tinsel, ribbon, and glass ornaments. Hang delicate ornaments on the upper half of the tree where they (hopefully) can’t be knocked down and break. When a cat chews on any string-like object, it can cause bowel plication, a condition where the intestines bunch up like a coil. If not treated right away, this condition can lead to a loss of blood, necrosis of the bowel, and even perforation.
Keep cords tucked out of the way of curious pets or in chew-proof cable covers to prevent damage to electronics and electric shock to your pet. Don’t overload power strips and never leave the Christmas tree lights on when your pet is home alone or after retiring for the evening.
Caution with Candles
If you use candles to add a little ambience to your home, place them where they cannot be reached or knocked down by a pet. Or consider using LED candles that emit the perfect glow without the risk of a house fire.
Supervise Little Ones
In addition to making sure the house is safe for children visiting your home over the holidays, be sure an adult is supervising their interactions with your pet to avoid aggressive or inappropriate play.
From all of us at Correct Temp, we wish you and yours a joyful and healthy holiday season.