Happy holiday season to all of my friends and fans. We’re at that time of year again with large family meals, parties, decorations and presents. As I made my way through the Thanksgiving excitement, I thought it would be important to share some tips to help you keep your animal friends and I safe during these festive times.
People are busy visiting friends and family this time of year. Parties and get-togethers seem to happen nearly every weekend. It can be very exciting! It can also be frightening for your furry friends. Some pets are on the shy side and the idea of having a lot of people coming and going is really not their style. Take a few minutes and make sure there is a quiet, “No People Allowed” room where pets can be with their toys, food, water and treats. Festivities can last awhile, so make sure to plan pet breaks, especially for dogs that need to go outside without having to go through a crowd. If your pet mingles about with guests, watch them carefully while people come in and out of the house. Pets might take the chance to dart through an open door to play outside. No one wants to leave their guests alone at a party for a surprise game of hide-and-seek with their pet in the neighborhood.
Parties and dinners also mean goodies and treats. I know it’s tough, but the holidays are not the time to break your pet’s healthy diet. To help keep your pet from getting sick during the holidays, remember:
- Foods with grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs;
- Chocolate is highly toxic to both dogs and cats: it may cause vomiting, diarrhea and even heart problems;
- Gum and candy could have a sweetener in it that is toxic to dogs; and (sigh)
- Fatty meat from that holiday meal may lead to tummy aches, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Also, bones could cause your furry friend to choke.
Decorating for the holidays is a great family activity this time of year. While getting in the holiday spirit at home, don’t forget the safety of your pets.
Lights are often the first sign that the holiday season is underway and can really brighten up those long winter nights, but be sure to keep an eye on your cat or dog. Pets can easily get an electric shock from chewing on wires and cords causing tongue injuries or even death.
Some plants are poisonous for animals. Pine tree needles, holly, mistletoe and poinsettias can all cause severe stomach issues for dogs and cats. Cats love to nibble on plants, but a single lily leaf can be deadly to our feline friends.
Tinsel is really shiny and moves at the slightest breeze. Sometimes it is too much temptation for your pet and might be eaten, get twisted and bundle inside their tummy. It can also cause them to choke. Glass, paper and other ornaments can look like fun, new chew toys and easily become a choking hazard too. They can also fall off the tree, break and cut your pet’s mouth or paw.
If you think your pet is sick or hurt, have an adult call the veterinarian.
Many people exchange gifts during the holidays and with that comes wrapping paper, bows and ribbon. Like tinsel, ribbons can become a choking hazard to a curious pup or cat. Take care to quickly discard of any unused gift wrap supplies to avoid an emergency for your family’s furry loved ones.
The best gift is to keep yourself and your family (including the fuzzy ones) safe this season. No one wants to include the trip to the “emergency room” as part of this year’s holiday story.
– King the Preparedness Dog