Decorating Christmas trees, hanging holly & mistletoe, lighting special candles, placing festive decorations inside and out, and of course, those wonderful gifts and delicious feasts....while these are signs of the season, they can be hazardous to your pets.
Make sure to keep any and all decorations, including plants, out of your pets' reach. Consider even cats who can jump and climb. While they may never have jumped on that piece of furniture before, dangling, glittery ornaments or just the curiosity of something new sitting there will entice any pet.
Ribbon, yarn, bows, tinsel and garland are all potential choking and intestinal blockage hazards. If you have pets, consider not using these items, or keep them in a separate locked room or tote when they are not in use. Otherwise, you may end up at the emergency vet during the holidays!
Make sure your Christmas tree is secure. Cats are notorious for trying to climb the tree. Even dogs may try to stand against the trunk to reach for something higher up inside the tree. Falling trees can hurt pets and people.
Candles are nice around the holidays, but make sure any lit candles are out of your pets' reach. Wagging tails and whiskers easily become singed or worse. If you leave the room, extinguish the candle or take your pet with you.
Watch those cords! Many decorations, and of course Christmas lights, have cords to plug in. Consider running those cords through PVC piping or purchasing cord protectors from the pet store to avoid pets chewing on cords and causing a fire or hurting, possibly killing, themselves.
Chestnuts may be roasting on that open fire, but make sure you have a safety screen in place to keep heat seeking curious pets from getting burned. Never leave your pets in a room with a lit fireplace unattended.
Your pet can enjoy a holiday feast with you, just not the same feast! Let your pet enjoy a special treat of canned food or treats made for your pet. Do not feed your pet human food or bones, as these can cause serious illnesses.
Consider securing your pets in a quiet room if you have guests over for a holiday celebration. There's less chance for them to sneak a snack from the table or your guests, and less chance they could slip out the door unnoticed.
Everybody loves giving and receiving gifts. However, pets do NOT make good gifts for other people. The pet you select may not be compatible with the person for whom it is intended. Also, that person must be willing to care for that pet for the rest of its life, not just through puppy or kittenhood. Pets take a lot of time, love and money. If you wish to give a pet to someone, consider a voucher to a local shelter and an offer to acoompany that person on their search for that perfect pet. Or you may also consider a gift card to the pet store to help with supplies when they've selected their new pet.
Suburban Animal Clinic wishes everyone, humans and pets, a Safe and Happy Holiday!