It’s easy to focus on all things “yummy and gifty” this time of year, we tend to let slide the things that really matter the most. It’s only natural to want to indulge in events and activities that are festive and happy-go-lucky! However, without a proper nod to holiday pet safety, the season of lights can unfold in an entirely different way than planned.
When holiday pet safety measures are thoroughly examined and applied, your pet can truly enjoy all the season has to offer. And there’s nothing better than hanging out with friends and family knowing that your best buddy is safe and sound.
This could mean that your pet is near you the entire time. Or, perhaps they’ll be safest when contained in an area away from all the action, such as a back bedroom or den, in their own crate, or at a boarding facility. You know your pet the very best – ask yourself where will they be happiest this time of year.
Holiday pet safety covers a lot of ground. To ensure your pet’s overall health and wellbeing, we recommend keeping a close eye on the following:
- Decor – A real tree looks and smells great, but they can drop needles that injure soft paw pads or worse, if eaten. Also, the water in the tree stand can actually contain dangerous levels of fertilizer, pesticides, and flame retardants. To keep your tree standing upright, brace the tree to the wall and/or ceiling in case your pet decides to climb or jump on it. Tinsel, string and ribbon can cause painful GI obstructions. String lights and other cords must not dangle or be strewn across the floor.
- Greens and Glass – Poisonous plants like poinsettia, mistletoe, and holly should be kept outside the home. Glass ornaments and other breakable decorations may be best left in their boxes this year. If broken, sweep up promptly to inhibit your pet from walking on shards or licking them up. Snow globes can also contain toxic chemicals.
- Food – From Xylitol, chocolate, and alcohol poisoning, to choking incidents involving bones, most human table food should be off-limits to pets. Garlic, onion, grapes/raisin, macadamia nuts and more should not be offered or left out. All scraps should be securely and swiftly disposed of.
- Guests – If you’re hosting, it’s perfectly acceptable to request that your guests never give your pet food from the table. Also, if they’re staying with you and have medications, keep your pet away or ask that they keep their kit on a high shelf. Lastly, pets are prone to escape during the holidays; update their microchip information, and inform your guests that the door shouldn’t be left ajar.
Attainable Holiday Pet Safety
Winter temperatures may not be extreme here, but animals are still affected by dips in the weather. Please keep an eye out for shivering, hiding, increased lethargy, and signs of pain. Older pets can suffer from age-related illness, like arthritis, that is exacerbated by cold air. Young pets also need extra help regulating their body temperatures.
Insulating sweaters or vests, along with booties, can go a long way towards winter and holiday pet safety. Be sure that the garments fit snugly. Self-heating beds are a nice touch, too.
Beware of Chemicals
Please be on the lookout for dangerous side effects of antifreeze poisoning as well as exposure to toxic deicers and/or snowmelts. Clean up any leaks or spills, never allow your pet to drink from puddles, and wipe off their feet after walking around the neighborhood.
If our team can help you further with holiday pet safety, please contact us. Brodie Animal Hospital is always here for your pet!