Just like with other holidays, there are some precautions to keep in mind during this time of year.
- That nice, shiny wrapping paper around your food gifts may fool your friends, but it won’t trick your dog. Your pet will still be able to smell the contents of the package and will attempt to open and consume what’s inside. Keep food gifts out of reach of your pet.
- Pets challenge indoor trees in ways most humans wouldn’t. Secure that tree well to prevent it from tipping over. In addition, avoid placing strands of lights or breakable ornaments on the bottom branches of your tree. This is to keep your dog or cat from injury and choking hazards.
- Keep in mind that tinsel presents a potential danger for pets, especially cats. Felines love to play with this sparkly string but oftentimes swallow the tinsel. Consumed tinsel can cause fatal linear foreign bodies. If you see tinsel coming out of the back of your cat, don’t pull it. When there is intestinal blockage or tearing, signs include severe vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, inappetence, fever, lethargy and painful abdomens. Intestinal blockages are veterinary emergencies.
- Place all poisonous seasonal plants out of reach of your pet. This includes poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe. Burning candles should also be placed in areas out of reach for your pets.
- Keep your pets away from holiday meals and leftovers.
- It is typically not appropriate to give pets as Christmas gifts and especially as a surprise.
- Pets belonging to visiting family or friends are not immediately compatible with your pets.
These are just a few safety tips that come to mind when we think of families enjoying the holidays with their pets. Purchase pets safe, appropriate toys and treats and set aside some time during your festivities for play sessions with your pet!