The holidays mean taking some time to reflect on everything for which we are grateful – and that includes our precious pets. As valued family members, our animal companions always have a place at the proverbial table. However, the holiday season also brings some very real risks that every owner should consider as well as some holiday pet tips. That’s why our team has compiled the following pet safety tips.
Holiday Food Dangers
Nothing says holiday family dinner like turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Certainly, food is one of the highlights of this time, and this does not go unnoticed by our family pets.
Food-related emergencies are common this time of year. Pets are more exposed to harmful treats, and owners are often too busy to provide adequate supervision. To protect your companion, keep the following items out of reach:
- Chocolate (especially dark chocolate)
- Xylitol (found in sugar-free products)
- Macadamia nuts
- Fruit pits
- Garlic, onion, and chives
- Grapes and raisins
- Meat wrappers
Because any food can be harmful in large amounts, avoid the temptation to feed your pet table scraps. Ask guests to refrain as well. Rich, fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, a serious condition which constitutes a veterinary emergency.
Other Holiday Pet Tips
For many pets, the added noises and changes to routine can create a lot of stress and anxiety. The risk of escape is also greater when owners become distracted, accidentally leaving doors or gates open. That’s why microchipping is so important. It’s also helpful to assign at least one family member to “pet supervision duty.”
During the festivities, we recommend placing your pet in a quiet room with his or her crate, bed, water, food, and favorite toys. Small caged pets, such as birds, reptiles, hamsters, and Guinea pigs, should also be moved to a quiet part of the home.
Other risks to be aware of include:
- Lit candles
- Potpourri or scented oils
- Small décor that can be swallowed
- String lights
- Sharp or breakable ornaments
- Gift packaging and ribbons
- Decorative plants, including water for live Christmas trees (this may contain toxic fertilizers)
Brushing up on pet safety tips is a sure-fire way to keep your holidays full of laughter, smiles, and happiness.
From all of us at Paws, Purrs & Exotics Animal Hospital, we wish you and your family a Happy Holiday Season!