As the turkey gets ready for basting and the holiday decorations come out, the one thing we shouldn’t forget during the festive season is our pets. They too will be sharing in the joys of the holidays but there are many things associated with the season which put them at risk.
From spicy foods, to medications and colorful decorations, anything can be a threat to the safety of your pet. Let’s explore some ways we can keep our pets happy and safe during the holidays.
Pets, though some more others, are notorious for sticking their heads in places it doesn’t belong as long as something smells edible. They are especially attracted to the gorgeous layout of holiday dishes on the dining table and will bite into human food just to satisfy their curiosity.
The problem is that some of these foods, like meat scraps and bones, can make them really sick. Turkey and chicken bones can cause choking if it gets stuck in the gastrointestinal tract, and eating meat scraps may result in pancreatic problems. Keep your pet healthy by feeding a diet designed for pets and encourage your house guests to respect those rules.
With the chaos of visiting family and friends', you might be too busy catering for their needs to remember to store medication and toxic substances where pets can’t reach them. This is precisely the time when you should be extra vigilante not only for the safety of small children who may be among the guests, but for the health of your pet as well.
Guests should also be advised that pets are around and to keep their belongings out of their reach. A small whiff of something edible can attract a dog to a handbag or gift box and before you know it something’s wrong.
Pets can’t tell the difference between food and medication until they’ve tasted and by then it might be too late. Take steps to prevent a trip to the animal hospital and safely store away medications and toxic substances.
Some common holiday plants spell grave danger for pets in the home. Plants like lilies, the holly and even the mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset if ingested by dogs and are even more toxic to cats. The smaller the pet, the greater the effect on the toxin on its body. To be on the safe side, use silk or plastic arrangements wherever possible.
Those colourful holiday decorations sure look beautiful, but your pet is probably having the same thoughts! The glittering lights, the bright colored balls, the electrical cord, they’re all one and the same to a pet who’s adventurous.
In addition to the risk of electric shock, many of these decorations are coated with toxic substances that can cause skin irritation. For prevention, ensure that there are no low lying decorations where pets can reach them, tape down electrical cords and cover the outlets.
Tinsels are very popular this time of year but for some reason cats love them too! They can’t resist the temptation of this shiny toy just waiting to be chewed. The problem is that tinsel can easily get caught in the intestinal tract and cause problems that may require surgery. If you have a cat, just do yourself a favor and avoid the tinsel.
As a pet owner, you may think it’s a good idea to share the delicious sweets you’re enjoying with your pet. However, many sweets, gum and hard candies contain ingredients that are problematic for small animals, causing vomiting, seizures and more serious health issues.
Chocolate especially is one to look out for. It contains a chemical known astheobrominethat can affect the heart, kidneys and central nervous system. Do not allow your dog to eat any chocolate or chocolate products. And be sure to warn your guests to keep their chocolate treats out of the reach of your beloved furry friend.
So what if your pet accidentally ingests something harmful despite all the preventative methods you’ve employed? Call the veterinarian or animal emergency hospital immediately! Be sure to pass on all the information you can about what specifically was ingested. Whatever you do, do not attempt to diagnose the problem on your own, and do not induce vomiting unless advised to do so.
Comments will be approved before showing up.