The holidays are coming! We’re all a buzz with our preparations, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that the furriest members of our home need some special considerations too. So, it’s time to brush up on some safety rules for your pet during this magical time of year!
Know Which Vet is Open
If something happens to your pet this holiday season, you don’t want to be stressing at the last second to find a vet. Make sure you know which vets are open for the holidays. It’s helpful information to have year-round, but it’s especially relevant when many businesses are closed.
Alive or artificial, Christmas trees are easy to knock over. Your pet could easily knock it over on themselves and get hurt, not to mention the damage to the decorations on it or anything else underneath the tree. There could be fire hazards or walking hazards if glass ornaments break. You can restrict access to the tree or use some fishing line to secure it to the ceiling or the wall. Keep an eye on the needles on the tree since you don’t want your pet to ingest them, real or plastic.
While pretty, many of these plants can be highly toxic to humans and animals. Festive plants such as mistletoe, holly, pine, lilies, balsam, cedar, and even poinsettias, are all ones you should be especially careful around. Consider getting a plastic look-alike for your decoration needs, or keep them secure and out of reach. If ingestion does occur, contact your vet immediately!
Tinsel. The persistent, shiny decoration that fascinates your pets. Cats are particularly interested since it’s shiny and it wiggles! Disturbingly, it is incredibly easy for them to eat. If they ingest it, it can cause serious digestion problems, dehydration and might even lead to surgery. Be cautious with your tinsel decorations for the sake of your four-legged family members.
They’re pretty and festive, but they’re also a fire hazard. Open flames draw a lot of attention from curious animals. So take special care to light candles in secure holders and place them in out-of-the-way places. Most importantly- if you leave the room, put the flame out! You can also try flameless candles. Nowadays, you can’t even tell the difference.
Fragile and Dangerous Decorations
Much like tinsel, many of those pretty decorations may look like toys to your pets. After all, a classic ornament is just a very flashy and shiny ball. Strings of lights are glowing and intriguing but have electricity running through them, which can be a nasty surprise for a nibbling pet. Keep all batteries, wires, and shatterable ornaments out of reach of pets. If necessary, put a pet gate up around the tree.
Keep Your Guests Well Informed
Be sure to inform any guests about your pet situation. Those with allergies or other conditions will need to prepare accordingly. Some allergies may require you to isolate your pets in another room while your company is visiting. You can also tell them of any special needs your pets may have in advance. Doing this will also allow them to communicate with you about any accommodations they may need. It may be that they plan to bring their precious pet, and you’ll need to prepare both your home and your pets for it.
Be aware of where food is at all times. Many animals are very inventive and bold when securing their favorite people-food or trying new ones. Advise all guests to be aware as well. Remind them of any restrictions you may have on feeding scraps to your pet. Take special care with cocktails, bones, fatty, spicy, and sweet foods. Make sure that the trash gets where it needs to, not in your pet’s stomach.
Watch the Doors
People coming in and out of the house means that the doors will be open a lot. If you decide to keep your pet out so your family and friends can say hello, make sure you watch all open doors to make sure that your four-legged friend doesn’t run out in all the excitement and get lost.
Prepare a Hideaway
Even if you are keeping your pet out with everyone, you should still have a designated space they can hide in if things get too overstimulating. Ideally, that space should have their food and water, as well as toys and comfy places to snuggle up. After all, they may be there for a while. If your pet gets stressed by many people, consider putting them in their safe place when your company arrives.
After the fun of opening presents, there’s a lot of pretty paper, and ribbons, and plastic packing materials, and tape everywhere. This shiny trash of the season can be quite hazardous to your pet if ingested. One of the best ways to manage this is to assign a family member to monitor the trash situation. Be sure to clean it up as soon as possible to lessen the chances of getting a hold of it.
There is a lot to consider this holiday season to keep your furry family members safe. Keep this in mind, and your whole family, whether they have two legs or four, should have a safe and happy holiday!