Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, with the promise of fun and frivolities for every member of your family, including your pet. However, the holiday season also brings with it some new challenges when it comes to keeping your family pet safe from harm. As a responsible and compassionate pet owner, it’s your job to be aware of the potential dangers and how to overcome them. We understand just how important your adored animal is to you, and so we have put together the following tips to keep your pet safe this holiday season.
Be decoration savvy
Decorating the home is one of the main holiday traditions of many families and a great way to get your property looking festive. Unfortunately, many decorations do pose a significant threat to the safety of our pets.
Holiday lights may look fantastic, but electrical cords can be dangerous to your pet. Your furbaby won’t understand that chewing them could cause serious injuries like an electric shock or electrical burns. Equally, they could become tangled around your pet’s neck. Make sure you use cable tidies wherever possible to keep them out of the way.
All holiday ornaments can look like interesting playthings to our pets. However, many of them contain plastic or glass, potentially causing cuts and lacerations to your pet. If your furbaby should consume all or part of an ornament, it could cause an obstruction or injure them internally. Make sure that they are out of reach if your furbaby is likely to try and play with them.
Plants and flowers
Some types of plants and flowers are actually toxic to animals, with popular Christmas varieties including Poinsettia, Mistletoe, and Holly falling into this category. Make sure you are aware which natural decorations may pose a threat to your pet and keep them out of reach.
Candles and fires are a beautiful way to light a room, but as we all know, they are a significant risk too and should never be left unattended. Since your pet will not be aware of the dangers that candles pose – burning them and causing a house fire – you should make sure that candles are never lit around your pet since they are easily knocked over, and you should invest in a guard for an open fire if you have one.
Festive food dangers
Nothing is more abundant in the holiday season than food, and often we enjoy treats that we might not necessarily have during other times of the year. It can be tempting to share your festive foods with your pet, but the reality is that a lot of human foods are just not good for animals, with some being downright dangerous. You probably already know that chocolate is highly toxic to your pet, but you may not be aware that candies, cookies, fatty trimmings, eggnog, cake, onions, grapes, and raisins are also poisonous if your pet should consume them. Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages are dangerous too.
The best way to keep your pet safe is to keep all human foods and drinks out of reach, clear up any discarded plates and spills very quickly, and secure your trash so that your pet can’t rake it out to look for scraps. If you want to give your pet a treat, stick to offering one that is made specifically for animals.
A safe space
The holiday season can be overwhelming for pets. The change of routine, strangers visiting your home and the arrival of different sights, sounds, and smells can cause a degree of anxiety in some animals. One of the best ways of helping your pet to cope is to create a safe space for them within your home. This should be a room away from the main hustle and bustle where they can retreat to for some peace and quiet. Make it comfortable for them using their bed or blanket, their favorite toy, and access to water. Be sure to check on your pet regularly and offer lots of attention, affection, and reassurance.
Here are just a few of our top tips for keeping your pet safe this holiday season. For more advice, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced veterinary team.