The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for many people, which can lead to variance in routines for both you and your pets. For some animals, a change in routine can trigger anxiety, which can lead to negative behaviors. Set reminders for yourself so that you don’t forget when it’s time to feed and exercise your pet. This will keep some normalcy in both you and your pet’s day to day!
It’s important that your pet have a place to escape to when the holiday festivities get too overwhelming. A separate room away from the hustle and bustle is best. Make sure the room has fresh water and a comfortable place for your pet to take a break. You might even want to join them!
Ol’ Tannenbaum is typically the centerpiece of Christmas decor. Make sure yours is securely anchored to prevent tips and falls that could injure your pet. If you have a real tree, make sure your pet cannot get to the stagnant tree water, as it can contain harmful bacteria and potentially deadly fertilizers.
Mistletoe, if ingested, can cause cardiovascular problems and gastrointestinal distress. Similarly, holly can cause your pet to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if eaten. Many kinds of lilies can also cause kidney failure in felines. To stay on the safe side, opt for artificial plants to complete your holiday decor.
To kittens and cats, tinsel looks a lot like a super-fun toy. Unfortunately, tinsel can be extremely harmful if ingested and can even require to surgery to remove. If you have a curious cat or a dog prone to eating non-food items, it would be wise to leave the tinsel off of your tree.
It goes without saying that lit candles can be dangerous when left unattended. This is especially true in pet-friendly homes where candles can be easily bumped or knocked over. Ensure your candles are on level surfaces or in candle holders and never leave them burning when you’ve left the room. You might also consider using battery-powered false flame candles instead.
Wires, glass and plastic are in abundance when the halls are decked. Keep these potentially hazardous materials out of your pet’s reach to avoid injury and damage to household items. Cords and batteries can cause shocks and burns, so keep these out of paw’s reach as well.
Most people know that dogs shouldn’t have chocolate or anything sweetened with xylitol, but it can be harder to ensure these things are out of reach during the holidays. Keep an eye on your sweets and your pet, and be careful with food that is left unintended or thrown away. Keep trash cans out of your pet’s reach to avoid any accidents. This is especially important during a holiday party when your attention is most often elsewhere. Make sure children in the house know not to feed anything to your animals, too.
Rich foods can make your pet sick, so it’s best to avoid feeding them your holiday leftovers. Bones are a big no-no, as they can easily break and become lodged in your pet’s throat or digestive tract. You should also be careful with your holiday libations. Don’t let your pet have a sip of your wine, beer or eggnog; and be careful not to leave drinks unattended. If ingested, your pet could become severely ill and the effects could even be fatal.
Click here for a comprehensive list of foods that can be harmful to your pet, and have a safe and happy holiday season with your furry friends!