5 Pet Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
The holidays are right around the corner, so take this chance to learn about how you can make this time of year safer for your pets. Many pets experience veterinary emergencies during the holidays due to the seasonal foods and decorations that become accessible to them. Your pet is at a higher risk for choking hazards and digestion issues during the holiday season, so it is so important that you understand the hazards they face. By being proactive with their safety, you can ensure your pet has a wonderful holiday season! Check out these 5 pet safety tips as provided by our vet in Chandler.
Decorate with Your Pet in Mind
There are so many potential choking hazards for your pet during the holidays. From the decorations, to gifts, to holiday plants, there are countless opportunities for your pet to get into things that they should not. Many cats enjoy playing with shiny objects they find, such as ornaments or tinsel on your Christmas tree. Shattered ornaments could potentially cut your pet’s paws or could seriously injure them if ingested. Secure any glass ornaments to your tree so that they cannot be accidentally knocked off or consider skipping the glass completely. Tinsel can also be a choking hazard for pets and may require surgery to be removed. Tinsel is generally not recommended for any household with a cat or dog. If you choose to incorporate tinsel into your decorations, just make sure that it is somewhere your pet can not reach it. If you’ll be hanging any lights indoors, make sure you conceal any wires so that your pet doesn’t chew on them. You can tape wires down or get a hard protective plastic covering to prevent your pet from chewing on them.
Find the Perfect Gift for your Pet
It can be so fun to get your pet gifts to help them get in the holiday spirit, but make sure you are choosing the right toys for their age and size. Don’t get anything with ribbons, feathers, or bells because they can be choking hazards. Instead, get a dental chew toy that will occupy them for a long period of time, or a ball that is too big to swallow. Your pet will love anything you get them, so just make sure you are choosing something that is safe for them to play with. Don’t leave any wrapped gifts under the tree until it is time to open them, because a curious pet may be inclined to open them early. Keep them stored away in a closet for the time being and keep your pet away from them when they do make it under the tree later.
Practice Fire Safety
Never leave a lit candle unattended in a house with pets. Candles create heat and light that could attract your cat. Keep lit candles out of your cat’s reach, and never leave them alone in a room with one. Not only is this a danger for your pet, but it can also lead to serious damage to your home. You should also never leave your pet near a fireplace when it is in use. Keep all fire tools stored away where your pet can’t potentially ingest them. Never let them get too close to the flames, and never leave them unattended. At the end of the night, make sure the fire and hot coals are completely extinguished so that your pet does not accidentally hurt themselves.
Choose the Right Tree for Your Pet’s Needs
Real and fake Christmas trees can both be a safety hazard for your pet, so just make sure you are choosing the right one for their lifestyle and habits. Real trees produce fir tree oil which can be irritable to your pet’s mouth and lead to excessive drooling and vomiting. Pine needles, both real and fake, can seriously injure your pet if ingested. These needles can puncture your pet’s digestive tract and require surgery to repair. Don’t let your pet chew on the branches and try to discourage them from investigating the tree too closely. Real trees have tree water throughout the holiday season, and this can be the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Tree water contains fertilizer and can lead to infection if ingested by your pet. If your pet is keen on drinking the tree water, it may be best to switch to an artificial tree.
Don’t Give Them Human Food
Human food can seriously mess up your pet’s daily digestion, and it could also put them at risk for illness. Never give your pet any dishes that you are not completely sure what the ingredients are. Things like onion and garlic are bad for pets but are commonly used in human food. You should also never give them any sweets or dessert because they may contain sugar substitutes, like xylitol, which can be poisonous if ingested by your pet. Skip giving your pet the leftovers and instead just go for pet-friendly treats. This way you can ensure that your pet isn’t eating anything they shouldn’t, and they will still be just as happy to share in the festivities with you.
For more holiday safety tips, call our Chandler vet! Our team can help your pet stay safe this holiday season while still enjoying all the fun and cheer! We love all our wonderful patients and look forward to seeing them again in the new year, so call our office to book your pet’s wellness visit for after the holidays!