Keeping your Pets Safe Over The Holidays
I'm Lee Anne, a Registered Veterinary Technician that's all about helping animals. Christmas time is my favourite time of year, all the relaxing and extra time with my pup makes me the happiest! I wanted to share these simple tips/reminders that can help keep your furry best friends safe during this magical time of year!
1. Keep Decorations Out Of Their Reach
When decorating your tree, keep in mind that ornaments can easily become a safety concern if they were to fall and break, be pulled off by your pet or even ingested (hello foreign body surgery $$$). I've been seeing some really cute DIY tassel garlands that could be a great alternative for those glass ornaments.
2. Human Food Is For... The Humans
Let's keep the food on the table. It can be so tempting to share a bit of your delicious meal with your pet but it's not in their best interest (no matter how big the puppy eyes are). Also, make sure your family (if you're seeing them this year) are aware that you do NOT want your pet to be fed. It might be super tempting as they stare at them with those beautiful eyes but pets stomachs can be super sensitive, especially with foods that are high in fats. I know this can be a touchy subject, but kindly ask them if they'd like to pay for the vet bill when your dog ends up in Emerg with diarrhea, or even worse... pancreatitis. I always recommend cutting up some carrots or cucumbers if someone MUST give something to your pet. Make it healthy!
3. Don't Let Pets Drink Tree Water
Yuck. Water that has been sitting stagnant for a while can quickly become bacteria ridden. Cover this up and prevent your cuties from being able to drink this sparkly water.
4. Be Aware Of Plants/Flowers
Some flowers are actually toxic to our pets such as Poinsettias, Mistletoe, Holly, Amaryllis, Lilys, Christmas Rose, Ivy and Daffodils. Keep this in mind if you plan to have any of these in your house or are gifting to a friend/family member with pets! Keep these way out of reach... Although for cats, you may just want to forego.
5. Be Aware Of Where Your Sweet Treats Are
Things that might be delicious for us... are also delicious to pets, just very bad for them. Be aware of things like chocolate or any sweets that contain xylitol. Both are extremely toxic and can cause life threatening conditions. You'll also want to make sure they don't get a taste of grapes, raisins or onions.
6. Secure Your Tree
Secure your tree from falling over if your cat decides to climb it or dog bumps in to it. I've heard that you can actually hang lemon-scented car air fresheners to prevent your cat from climbing the tree. Someone please try this and let me know if it works!
7. Provide A Safe Place
This year might look a little different, but if you are having family over be sure to give your pet access to their favourite place. This ensures they can go there if they're feeling a bit overwhelmed. My dog prefers to go sleep in our bed if we have too many people over, and we're totally ok with that!
8. Clean Up
You'll want to tidy up shortly after opening all of your gifts! We don't want our pets to be able to chew up wrapping paper. You'll also want to ensure they cannot get into the garbage can, just in case there is something tasty in there!
9. DO NOT GIVE PETS AS GIFTS
Having worked in shelter and rescue, I have seen this way too many times. Giving that adorable puppy is so fun, until the puppy grows up and the family members have no time for it. A pet is a lifetime commitment and everyone in the household should be on board!
Lastly, enjoy the holidays! Your pet is going to absolutely love having you home more than usual. Get outside, go for some family walks and enjoy this time together!
I hope these tips help keep your pets safe this holiday season! If you have any further tips or questions, feel free to leave comments below!
Lots of love,
- Lee Anne