Holidays & Pets: Safety Tips You Need to Know

barbara-de-bordeaux-733292_960_720In general we don’t really think about the holidays being hazardous. But for our pets, on the other hand…well, they an get into a few sticky situations with all the extra food, festivities, and decorations around. And that’s why we’re sharing these holiday safety tips to guarantee your pet’s well-being this year.

FOOD HAZARDS:

Vets see more food related incidents during the holidays than any other time of year. Thankfully these incidents are completely avoidable.

  • Watch out for Xylitol – First off, check all sugar-free treats for the ingredient Xylitol.  If you have treats that contain this artificial sweetener then make sure it is kept far away from your pets. This is EXTREMELY TOXIC and will likely kill them if ingested.  If you think your dog may still get to them, play it safe and throw it out.
  • Say no to table scraps – Your pet may be pleading for leftovers. And with those adorable soft eyes, it can be really hard to say now. However, they may not be able to digest them well and the change in diet can cause gastrointestinal issues. Lean cuts of meat are a great treat; just make sure there are no bones.
  • Get rid of that trash bag – Make sure after large meals or parties that the trash is taken out as soon as you can. And of course, keep chocolate out of reach as well as raw dough and alcoholic beverages.  Any of these could land you in the vet’s office before the New Year.

PARTIES:

Throwing a holiday party is great fun for us, but it can make your pets anxious and even increase chances that they get lost.

  • Set them up in a safe room – For most pets the best place to be is tucked safely away in a quiet room. Set them up with their bed, toys, some treats and a little ambient noise like a soft TV or radio. And don’t forget to check on them often!
  • Make sure they have proper ID & tags – In case they do happen to get out in the shuffle at the front door, having updated tags and microchips will help get them home as quickly as possible.

 

ORNAMENTS & GIFTS:

We love our decor from ornaments to festive figurines and you can’t forget about the presents under the tree! Some ornaments and gifts can cause a little bit of trouble for our pets.

  • Place salt dough ornaments at the top and securely to the tree – I saw a story the other day that broke my heart. A dog ingested a homemade salt dough ornament and ended up having to be put down.  The family was devastated as you could imagine.
  • Avoid stringing the tree with edible decorations – Things like popcorn and cranberry strands.  While the food themselves aren’t that harmful, the string could get tied up in their intestines causing major damage.
  • Don’t put food gifts under the tree – Even with the cats putting gift baskets with smoked meat and yummy cheese can easily be too tempting for our pets. If they break into it, they could be ingesting more than food.
  • Scale back on the little curly ribbons – Those little ribbons you curl with scissors can look fantastic when they’re piled up. But they tend to move with the slight breeze, practically beckoning your pets to play with them. When

BATTERIES:

Another thing vets get a lot of during the holiday are calls about pets eating batteries.

  • Keep batteries on top shelves – Store away from curious pets that may think they are just another Christmas treat.
  • Don’t leave out toys – Toys can often go off by themselves when the batteries start to die (creepy, right?!). This could be all it takes to get a pet to go from bored to “destroy the noise thing!”
  • Throughout the year – make sure to keep remotes or any other battery operated devices out of your pet’s reach.  Chewing on something with batteries could easily mean accidentally ingesting one which could be potentially fatal.

We all want to have a Merry Christmas, that’s why keeping these holiday safety tips in mind is so important.  Our fur family deserves the best and no one wants to be at the vet or caring for a sick pet over the holidays when it is so easy to prevent.

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