Holiday Pet Safety: Christmas is all about love, warmth, festivities, and holidays. Perhaps, you are all set for the holiday season. However, festivities are incomplete without friends and family, and your four-legged buddy. Pet parents love to celebrate Christmas with their furry “kids.”
While this shows your love and affection towards your cat or dog, you have to be careful about their safety. A small negligence can cause discomfort and health risks to your “companion.” An emergency trip to a veterinarian is the last thing you’d want in the holiday season.
So, here are some tips to ensure your pet’s safety amid all the celebrations and festivities.
Christmas without Decorations, Not Happening!
The glitz, greenery, and lights – that’s what completes a Christmas celebration. However, these decorative temptations pose some risk for your pets.
· Anchor Your Christmas Tree
Talk about Christmas, and the first image that clicks in your mind is that of a Christmas tree. The lights and ornaments can tempt your pet to climb on the tree. Make sure to tie it with a ceiling or a doorframe to prevent the tree from tipping over your pet.
Avoid using water additives for your Christmas tree as they are hazardous for pets. If spilled on your fury champ, the water can upset his stomach. Not to mention, bacteria thrive in stagnant water, and if your pet imbibes it, the water may cause nausea or diarrhea.
· Keep Ornaments and Electric Wires at Bay
Holiday decorations like tinsels and home-made ornaments may injure your four-legged member. Also, ingesting ornaments may cause intestinal blockage or poisoning. Keep the plastic and glass ornaments out of your champ’s reach.
Electrical lights may lure your dog or cat into playing with them. However, the wires can electrocute your pet. Punctured batteries are also dangerous as they can burn your cat’s mouth and esophagus. Don’t leave your pet alone around lit candles. Unplug the decoration when you are not home.
· Festive Blooms can be Toxic
While festive flowers and plants enhance your Christmas décor, few of them are toxic for your pets. For instance, ingesting some lilies may result in kidney failure in your cat. Mistletoe can lead your pet to cardiovascular problems.
Holly, another holiday plant, when ingested by your pet, may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Artificial plants, such as the ones made from silk, are a safe alternative to toxic plants. You can find a list of plants that are dangerous for dogs and cats at ASPCA’s site.
Food That’s Not for Your Pet
The foods that you enjoy during the festive season is not ideal for your pet. However, you may include them in the celebrations with treats specially formulated for pets.
· Chocolates and Sweets – A Big NO!
Sweets, chocolates, and other confectionery items rich in starch and sugar can be toxic for your pet. Resisting the temptation to chomp on candies and chews is a daunting task. However, sweets that contain xylitol can cause liver failure or even death in dogs. Make sure to keep these confectioneries out of your paw’s reach.
· Scrap the Table Scraps
Your pet’s digestive system won’t be able to tolerate the extra rich foods you enjoy during the festive season. Yeast dough can cause gastric issues and bloat.
Gravy, meat fat, and other table scraps can cause pancreatitis in pets. It’s a life-threatening condition that is also caused by eating Turkey and turkey skin. So, make sure not to leave your pet unattended and scrap the tables as soon as the party is over.
· Sip the Cocktail with Care
Adult holiday beverages are common to celebrations. While you are enjoying “shots” with your friends, make sure the drinks are out of your four-legged buddy’s range. Alcohol, if ingested, poses serious health risks for your pet. Cocktails cause respiratory failure in pets. Your dog may become weak, ill, or may even go into a coma.
Party all Night but Don’t Upset your Pet
Your pet may not like to welcome your guests in the same manner as you do. Noise and chaos can cause your pet to be nervous.
· Give Your Pet Some “Space”
Besides shy cats and pups, the hubbubs can disturb a not-so-shy pet as well. It’s your pet’s right to have access to a comfortable space if they want to retreat. Your dog or cat must have a room or place to snuggle.
Make sure your guests don’t follow the four-leggy while he retreats. It is better to keep the exotic pets away from the party place as it might be a stressful experience for them.
· Supervise Your Pet
If your guests are coming over with their pets, you have to be vigilant. While most pets are friendly, who knows if they don’t like their “visitors.” Make sure to be around when your dog or cat is interacting with another “fellow.” It will help you to detect a problem immediately and avoid any “face-off.”
· Micro-Chip Your Pet
While you are receiving your guests or seeing them off, the four-legged member may get a chance to sneak out. First, make sure to watch them closely to avoid such a situation. Also, get your pet micro-chipped to find him easily if he gets lost. A microchip has up-to-date registered information of the pet parent that helps to identify the rescued pets.
NOTE: Visit our MICROCHIP LOOKUP TOOL LINK if you have lost/found a pet!
Let the Count Down Begin…
Before the countdown to the New Year begins, make sure to “count” your pet’s safety first. The confetti strings can obstruct your cat’s intestinal tract. It may require surgery. Party poppers and fireworks can also scare your pets. Noisy poppers can damage the sensitive ears of your friend. Make sure to keep them in an escape-proof area before the clock strikes 12.
While you are inviting friends for the party, a veterinarian must also be there on your speed dial. Further, you should know where to take your “champ” in case of an emergency.
You may visit your vet in advance and learn the quickest routes so that you don’t face any problem finding your way.
Besides your vet’s and a 24/7 emergency clinic, you should also have contact details of the ASPCA ANIMAL POISON CONTROL. You can also download their handy app here.