Christmas Pet Safety Tips
The holiday season can be a very exciting, but hectic time of year. We’ve all experienced the pressures of buying gifts and the added stress of actually finding them. Not to mention we’ve got to fit all the holiday parties and visits to family or friends into our already packed daily routines. Sometimes we get so caught up in all these issues that we forget about what’s going on with our pets. While we’re off tending to the demands of the holiday season, our pets are more often than not, left home alone. And for those of us with decorations strewn throughout the house, we can easily forget how appealing all these new sights and smells can be for a pet. So, as we celebrate our holiday festivities, let’s all try to pay close attention to seasonal items that could prove to be harmful pet hazards.
It only takes a second for a rambunctious pup to crash into a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. Make sure that your tree is secured in a sturdy stand or anchored to the wall to prevent an accident. Water from your tree can also cause some problems. Often, the tree water can contain fertilizers or tree preservatives that can lead to an upset stomach. Also, keep breakable ornaments away from the bottom of the tree. It’s much safer to place them well out of your pet’s reach, or not use them at all.
Shiny and colorful packages, especially those with food scents, can be a huge temptation to your pet. Ones containing batteries are some of the most dangerous. A chewed battery can cause harmful burns, poisoning, or intestinal blockage. So be sure to keep these well out of reach and install them once the gift has been opened.
While Christmas plants like Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettias are beautiful, they are also toxic to dogs and cats. Be aware of this and keep an eye on them. Use good judgment as to where to place these plants, and should you see your pet snacking on them, seek veterinary care immediately.
With a houseful of guests and an abundance of food, the chances of the dog also raiding an unattended plate or drink can be high. Among others, greasy, fatty foods, onions, chocolate and coffee can pose a real danger to you pet. They can cause everything from upset stomachs to full blown poisoning, so again, make sure to watch your pets carefully.
For peace of mind, check with your vet to see when they’re open over the holidays and keep their number close at hand. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.