The holiday season is a wonderful time of year. We spend precious time with our families and friends, decorate our homes, host and attend celebrations, and feast on some of our favorite foods – some of them reserved for only once a year! Make sure your pets enjoy the holidays too. A little bit of thought about pet safety can make your holidays go smoothly, without any unfortunate incidents along the way. Here are a few of our favorite tips:
- If you have a tree in your home during the holidays, make sure to anchor it to prevent falling injuries.
- If it is a ‘live’ tree, don’t allow pets to drink the tree water as it might contain fertilizer or other additives (many people use aspirin in the water). Tree water can also build up bacteria over time which can cause digestive distress to your pets.
- Avoid using plants for decorations that can be toxic if ingested (mistletoe, holly, lilies). Pointsettias are mildly toxic to pets – use your judgement or place items out of reach.
- Limit your use of tinsel – or go without it completely – as these can cause digestive obstructions if eaten by your pet.
- Practice candle safety. Make sure someone is in the room when lit candles are present – blow them out and relight them as you need.
- Keep wires, batteries and ornaments out of reach of pets to prevent shocks, burns and shard ingestion.
- Skip the chocolates and the sweets or make sure they are kept in containers that make them inaccessible to your pets. Foods to be wary of include chocolate, grapes, raisins and onions.
- Secure the lids on your trash cans to make them pet-proof.
- Leave the leftovers for the humans and keep your pet on their regular pet diet.
- Keep pets away from alcoholic beverages.
- Use chew toys that are safely digestible – i.e. Kongs that are stuffed with healthy treats keeps them busy and are safe.
- Refrain from stringy toys for cats – as much as they love them, they can get stuck in intestines. Use bell toys or stuffed catnip toys, cat dancers, etc. instead.
Pets and Your Guests:
- Ask your guests to make sure any medications are stored away securely.
- Give your pets a room of their own that is quiet and comfortable. Make sure they have water there as well.
If you have any troubles over the holiday season, or if you have questions on safety, please give us a call. We are happy to help
Our staff at Longview Animal Hospital wishes you and your pets a happy and safe holiday season!