The holiday season is a time of great joy for most of us that involves friends, family, presents and food. This holiday season, remember that even though your pets are your family, they don’t need to take part in every aspect of the holidays. For their own safety, keep these holiday animal care tips in mind this season to keep the holidays merry.
Cats love to rock around the Christmas Tree; they especially love to climb and play in it. While they may not be able to scale its branches, dogs too like to play underneath the tree among the presents and the lower branches. If possible, keep the tree entirely out of your pet’s reach to avoid your pet ingesting any of the sap or needles which can cause digestive issues. Consider getting a fake tree for your pet’s safety, and whether you have a real or fake Christmas Tree, make sure that it’s securely bolted into its stand to ensure that it doesn’t tip over on you or one of your precious pets.
Whether you’ve ornamented your Christmas Tree with silver bells or silver orbs, make sure that they’re safe for your pets. You don’t want any ornaments that can fall and break; this can lead to sharp pieces that can cut your furry friend or small bits that are harmful if eaten. Take care to also avoid ornaments with the metal hooks that hang on the branches. A soft, fluffy ornament may look like a toy to your pet, but a metal hook attached would be a painful surprise.
Tinsel is one of the most popular holiday decorations. Unfortunately, to your cat, decorating with tinsel just looks like you’ve turned the house into one big play pen. Unless you can keep the tinsel out of your feline friend’s reach, avoid decorating with it altogether. We don’t want a nightmare before Christmas, or a nightmare on Christmas for that matter.
Candles are great no matter what time of the year it is, and nothing makes the holiday season cozier than a fire in the fireplace. No matter the occasion, always make sure any burning objects are impossibly out of your pet’s reach. It’s easier than usual to overlook certain things during the holiday season, but try to always be on the lookout for your best furry friends.
Wires and chords should be on your radar year-round when you have pets in the house, but take extra care during the holidays with all the extra lights and decorations. Keep any wires and chords hidden or tucked away where your pet cannot access them. Tugging on the wrong wire could cause an avalanche of decorations to fall on your pet, and chewing on another can cause electric shock.
Festive plants are another beautiful and common holiday decoration. Be careful when selecting plants to put on display; many of the most popular holiday plants are toxic to animals. Both holly and mistletoe are toxic to dogs and cats and can result in a Christmas Eve visit to an emergency veterinarian. Poinsettias, another popular holiday plant, are less toxic than holly and mistletoe but can still cause your pet some pain and discomfort and are best left out of reach or avoided altogether.
A turkey roast in the oven, gravy on the stove, champagne in our glasses and…kibble in Fluffy’s bowl. It’s tempting enough on a normal day to spoil our little dears with a taste or two of human food, but on holidays we want to spoil them even more. Try treating your pet to a special species-specific goodie this year. It’s never a good idea to feed our pets scraps from the table, so check your local pet store this holiday season to see what kind of special holiday treats they have that are specifically for your type of pet, be that a dog, cat, iguana or chinchilla. This way, your pet will still get something special, you’ll feel good by giving them something special and most importantly, your pet will feel special. Happy holidays all around!
Even though you may be a social butterfly, inviting friends and family into your home for a holiday get together, your pet may not be so loquacious. Take care to secure your pets while company is over for their comfort and safety. Guests coming in and out the door can lead to a pet slipping out without anyone noticing, making holidays the most common time of year for reporting lost pets. All the hustle and bustle inside the house can even stress out an ordinarily outgoing pet, so creating a safe space for them in a secluded room in your house is the best option. They can get in on the holiday fun after things have calmed down a bit.
All these precautions might sound like something from the Grinch who stole your pet’s Christmas, but keep these holiday animal care tips in mind to have a safer holiday for you and your pets.