The holidays are a fun and festive time for everyone. Your pet is a part of the family, so he wants to be included in all the celebrations, too. But some parts of holiday gatherings are not appropriate for pets and it’s important to know what you need to avoid. Here are some essential tips to keep your pet safe during the holidays.
Watch Out for Holiday Plants
Many people love to use plants as decorations during the holidays. Both poinsettias and mistletoe are poisonous to both dogs and cats. How severely your pet will react to being exposed to these plants depends on whether they eat it and how much. Although poinsettias are rumored to be toxic to pets, poinsettia sap can cause intestinal illness in dogs and cats but is rarely fatal. However, you should immediately seek emergency veterinary care if your pet ingests holly, mistletoe, or if your cat eats any type of lily plant.
Don’t Share Table Scraps
The food at holiday meals may be deliciously rich. But even though it’s special and delicious to you that doesn’t mean it’s safe to be shared with your pet. Most experts advise not feeding table scraps to pets at any time of year, but some people still do share a little bit anyway. Just say no to feeding table scraps of your holiday meals, though. Most holiday foods are too high in fat and sodium. They may also contain unsafe ingredients like onions or chicken bones.
Give the Right Kind of Treats
When you’re in the holiday spirit, you’re more likely to indulge in some special treats. There’s nothing wrong with saying yes to pumpkin pie or Christmas cookies (other than the effects on your waistline!) But resist the urge to share people food with your pets. Chocolate can be particularly dangerous to dogs. Instead, plan ahead with some special treats made especially for your furry friend. Check out your local bakeries, since some offer cookies made for dogs, or get some catnip treats for your cat.
Clean Up as You Go
You can leave a lot of the cleanup until after the guests go home. But you may want to do a periodic sweep of the areas where people are hanging out and get rid of empty plates and abandoned cups. Pets often can’t resist sneaking food or drinks when they think they can get away with it. This could result in a disaster if a guest leaves behind a half-full glass of alcohol or plate of inappropriate food.
Create a Safe Space for Your Pet
It can be fun for you to have a house full of guests making merry at the holidays, but it can be overwhelming for pets. Create a safe space for your pet to retreat from strange voices, small children, or loud commotion. Your pets may want a place to escape from the noise. Make it easy on them by setting up their pet bed in a different room or encouraging them to nap in a quiet spot.
Make Sure Your Pet Doesn’t Get Outside
Cats and dogs can try to sneak out when your doors are frequently opening and closing. In all the distraction of guests coming and going, it can be easy for him or her to get outside. Take steps to prevent them getting out by putting them in a room with the door closed. You’ll also want to make sure your pets are microchipped just in case they do escape.
With a little work, you can see that it’s not difficult to make sure that you keep your pet safe during the holiday festivities. Simply follow these steps, and your furry friend can enjoy the joy and warmth of the holidays right alongside you and your loved ones!