It’s that time of year again!
The holidays can be an exciting time, but when you own a pet, challenges often arise as a result of the break in routine. Here are 7 tips from your friends at the Animal Care Clinic for keeping your pets safe and happy during this holiday season!
1. Things that are fun for humans can be deadly for pets
- Tinsel left out is a magnet for pets—especially cats. This is an extremely dangerous toy, however, since the tinsel can get tangled up inside your pet’s throat, stomach and intestines causing blockage and other serious digestion problems—and even death. Be sure to clean up any tinsel from present wrapping, and keep decorative tinsel out of reach of your pets.
2. Keep the booze out of sight!
- Don’t leave those wine glasses out. Pets are often curious and will take a few laps of an unattended drink, and if that drink is alcohol, it can cause lethargy and respiratory failure in your pet. Put a lid on it, or put it away if you’re not drinking it.
3. Human treats are not animal treats
- Chocolate and coffee are extremely toxic for dogs and cats and should never be given as treats. Keep candy and coffee out of reach as curious pets will often try to sample unattended bowls of candy and food. Candy wrappers can cause choking and sweeteners can cause blood sugar problems and seizures.
- It might seem like a safe treat to give table scraps of that holiday turkey to your dog, but beware: bones can splinter and cause blockages, and greasy, spicy, and fatty foods can cause an upset stomach.
4. Keep pets out of the Christmas tree
- Make sure that Christmas tree water is covered and do not let your pet drink it. The water can contain fertilizers that are poisonous for pets.
- Make sure your tree is anchored to the ceiling or wall to keep it from falling over on your pet. Cats are especially vulnerable to this disaster since they are more likely to attempt to climb the tree and knock it over.
- Use non-breakable ornaments to prevent shattered plastic and glass from ending up on the floor and in your pet’s mouth.
- Regularly, and OFTEN, sweep up pine needles. Pine needles can puncture holes on your pet’s intestines.
5. Hang that mistletoe high or don’t hang it at all.
- Many holiday plants such as mistletoe, Poinsettias, lilies, Holley berries and amaryllis plants are extremely toxic and cause kidney failure in cats and dogs if ingested. Keep them off the floors and tabletops for your dogs, and keep in mind that cats are able to get to many hard to reach areas. In many cases, it may be best to forgo live plants all together if you don’t have a way to keep them out of reach.
6. Keep an eye on those doors.
- Guests coming in and out of the house more often than not may leave a door open, which can lead to your pet escaping. Keep your pets tagged, or chipped and keep a recent photo of them on hand in case they get out. To help prevent escape in the first place, keep pets in a secure area before, and while your guests are visiting.
7. Prepare thoroughly for traveling.
- Traveling with a pet is tricky. If driving, be sure to make frequent stops to let a dog out stretch its legs and go to the bathroom. For cats, consider buying a crate that can hold a litter box and bowls for food and water when traveling long distances.
- If flying, be sure to pick an airline that is pet friendly. Most airlines consider your pet another piece of baggage and will charge you, and place them in the baggage area of the plane where it is noisy, and stressful for your pet. If your pet is small enough, you may want to ask about having your pet accompany you in the cabin. Consider also asking your vet for a pet-safe sedative to help keep your pet relaxed and calm during the flight.
- Leaving them home? Consider boarding them at a reputable kennel or cattery. Do some research to find a kennel you are comfortable with and be sure your pet meets any health and vaccination requirements before booking their stay. Visit the kennel to get a feel for how it’s managed, and consider doing a practice run by having your pet stay overnight while you are still in town.
What kinds of gifts are everyone giving their furry friends this Holiday Season? Specialty dog treats or a new soft bed for your pup? Catnip mice and a new scratching post for your kitty? Let us know in the comment section below and see what Dr. Molly thinks of your ideas!
Keep an eye out for future blogs from the Animal Care Clinic to get new tips and information about caring for your pets! Also, check us out on Facebook to get updates on contests and special offers as well as all the latest news involving the Animal Care Clinic! Don’t forget to check out our Christmas Pet Photo Contest starting December 16 and get ready to start submitting your entries! Happy Holidays!