Holiday Pet Safety Tips
The holidays are a time when our focus is often elsewhere which is a prime opportunity for our four legged family members to get into trouble. Here are a few things to remember for the Holidays:
Keep a watchful eye on pets
Everyone loves a party, but sometimes the hustle and bustle can frighten animals and cause them to run away. Untrained puppies can bolt out an open door and not be missed for hours. They can easily be stepped on with all the extra feet around. Celebratory noise can be scary also. Designate a quiet, secure “pet room” away from the crowd, with plenty of food and water and be sure that your pet is micro-chipped and wearing a collar with current ID tags
Fight the temptation to feed table scraps.
Fatty holiday meats and treats can cause a number of gastrointestinal problems while bones can cause bowel obstructions or choking. Remember NO chocolate for pets! The sweet stuff contains a chemical that can be highly toxic to pets. Try buying a fancy treat made especially for pets as a special holiday indulgence.
Place holiday plants out of reach.
Holiday plants such as mistletoe, poinsettias, holly and lilies can poison or make your pet very sick. Dogs tend to chew on or eat pine needles which can cause internal damage. Don’t allow pets to drink tree water – it can be harmful too.
Keep holiday decorations away from pets.
Shiny, fun looking decorations and things that smell interesting are instant new toys for pets. Ingestion of glass, metal ribbons or tinsel can lead to serious medical emergencies. Snow globes and artificial snow contain chemicals that can be harmful if ingested or inhaled. Dogs that like to chew might be enticed by all the extension cords and wires lying around. Help your pets avoid a shocking experience by purchasing wire and cord protectors.
Alcohol and drugs.
Along with holiday food often come cocktails and / or drugs. Both are extremely harmful and potentially deadly for pets. It doesn’t take much to make a cat or dog very sick. If your pet mingles with guests, ask them to keep their food and drinks and anything ingestible out of your pet’s reach.
If you are traveling with your pet – whether just down the street or to visit family or friends out of town, it is safest to make sure they are properly restrained. You may be the safest driver on the road but you never know about the “other guy”. Use a seat belt harness or a kennel that fits in the car.
Cold weather hazards.
De-icing products, salt and ice can get into fur and paws, causing skin irritation or more serious problems. Be sure to thoroughly wipe your pet’s paws and tummy when they come in from the cold. Take care to wipe up any spilled antifreeze, dogs and cats love the sweet taste. Better yet, use pet friendly antifreeze products!