If you bear in mind these tips for keeping your pets safe at Christmas, the whole family, including the non-human members, can enjoy a wonderful time. Like other holidays, Christmas is more dangerous for pets than you might imagine and the last thing you want to be doing is driving to a vet when you really want to be chowing down on mince pies and chucking back eggnog. Follow these tips for keeping your pets safe at Christmas and it will be a happy holiday for you all.
1. Keep Pets Away from Holiday Food
This first and perhaps most important of all the tips for keeping your pets safe at Christmas is to keep them away from the holiday food. What may be delicious to us can be dangerous to a pet. Don’t feed them turkey bones, which may splinter. Chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions and garlic may cause illness or even death in some cases. Feed them pet-specific treats instead.
2. Holiday Plant and Tree Hazards
Pets tend to nibble on things. However, typical holiday plants like mistletoe, lilies and holly can be very poisonous and even fatal when eaten. Although most Christmas trees aren’t poisonous, sometimes additives are placed in the water to preserve the tree, and pets may drink from the water. Either block their access or use plain water. Secure trees to the wall if possible to prevent tipping over. Floral arrangements may be sprayed with preservatives that can make pets ill. Poinsettias used to be considered poisonous, and although your pet may become ill after eating the leaves or flowers, they are seldom fatal.
3. Decorations and Cords Are Tempting
Tinsel, angel hair and ribbon are very tempting for your pet and while they are playing, these decorations pose a choking and strangulation hazard. Be sure cords are secure and out of the way, because animals may chew on them, creating a tangling or even electrocution hazard. Broken glass ornaments may harm tender paws, and bubble lights contains harmful methyl chloride.
4. Stress and Company
Some animals love company, but others become stressed by unknown people in the house. Warn visitors that your pet may be feeling stressed, and provide them with a safe spot where they can get away to a quiet, familiar place. Provide water and a little food so they can have some peace and quiet.
5. Candles, Scented Oils, and Potpourri
Those wonderfully scented and decorative items placed around our homes may be dangerous for our pets. Many are harmful if ingested, although pets don’t often eat these items. The danger often lies in a jumping kitty or the wagging tail of a dog knocking down lit candles and hot wax or oils. Not only may the heat burn animals, but anything using a flame may light your house on fire if you don’t catch it right away. Anchor candles securely and don’t leave unattended.
6. Snow Globes
Another beautifully serene holiday display is the snow globe. Anxious or excited pets may jump up on tables or shelves where they are displayed and knock one (or more) off. Not only is there a danger from broken glass getting into the paws of rambunctious pets, but snow globes are often filled with deadly antifreeze, which is fatal to our furry friends if ingested.
7. Presents for Pets
Many people love to include their pets in their gift giving. While it’s fun, be sure you get presents from pet shops or vets, or that they are specifically designed for animals. Pets can also have a great time romping in the piles of wrapping paper or playing with ribbons, as long as they are supervised.
My old dog used to love Christmas. Once he ate the tree and I had to take him to the vet. It was diagnosed as tinselitis! Ta da! Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Do you pamper your pet over the holidays?