It’s the most wonderful time of the year…
We always want to share the best things in life with our pets; and that includes the holidays! When it comes to celebrating the pawl-idays with our beloved fur babies, the goal is to find ways to include them in the festivities, without causing them undue stress or placing them in harm's way.
Here are some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the decorating holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to the animal emergency room.
HOLIDAY DECOR TIPS FOR YOUR PET'S SAFETY
1. Place your Christmas tree in a corner - ideally blocked off from your pet's wanting eyes. Watch out for the tinsel, too - it can potentially block intestines when ingested, and generally only remedied through surgical means.
2. Do not put lights on the tree's lower branches. They can present a burning hazard, plus your pet can get tangled in them, or even shocked by biting through the wire.
3. Ornaments need to be kept out of reach. They can potentially choke your pet or cause intestinal blockage, and when broken, the shards can injure their paws, bodies, and mouths. And those edible ornaments - like cranberries, popcorn, candies? Forget them!
4. Keep the area clear of pine needles around your tree. They might seem inconspicuous, but the needles can puncture your pet's intestines if ingested.
5. Know that holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs and cats. If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, keep them out of reach.
6. Watch out for burning candles and wagging tails. A happy tail can send a burning candle wayward! Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
7. Tape it up. To help prevent electrocutions, be sure to tape any exposed indoor or outdoor wires to the walls or sides of your home.
8. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. There's no doubt that there is a lot at play when it comes to wrapping gifts - from wrapping paper, string, bows, and plastic - there are plenty of threats which can cause choking and/or intestinal blockage. Not to mention, sharp scissors need to be considered.
BE MINDFUL OF POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS FOODS
We know it can be tough, but try to keep the people food for the people! Make or buy a SPECIAL holiday treat for your pet that is formulated for them, like a new bone or homemade treats. They will enjoy it just as much, and maybe more!
Here are some holiday favourites that are hazardous for pets:
Chocolate is toxic to dogs and cats. Although the toxicity can vary based on the type of chocolate, the size of your pet, and the amount they ate, it’s safer to consider all chocolate off-limits to pets.
Other sweets should be kept out of reach of pets. They are too rich for pets, and an artificial sweetener often found in baked goods, candy and chewing gum, xylitol, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
Turkey and turkey skin can cause a life-threatening condition in pets known as pancreatitis.
Table scraps should be kept away from pets. Many foods that are healthy for people are poisonous to pets, including onions, raisins and grapes.
Clear the food and trash from your table, and keep it off the counters and serving areas when you are done using them. A turkey or chicken carcass left out could be deadly to your pet. Dispose of carcasses and bones in a covered, tightly secured trash bag placed in a closed trash container outdoors.
This blog post is simply meant to help keep your pets happy and healthy during the holiday season, and hopefully preventing any unexpected stress or veterinary bills for you.
Be sure to tag us in your Facebook and Instagram holiday photos!
Yours in good health.
From the desk of Dr. Stacey Gastis
Sunrise Veterinary Clinic