The holiday season brings big buffets, bright lights, and divine decorations, but it also hides some surprising dangers for our furry friends.
Cluttered calendars and vacationing vets also make handling health emergencies even more challenging. Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to keep your pets safe for the season. Charlie’s Treats Bakery shares a few tips to get you started.
Any holiday tree should be securely anchored to prevent it from tipping over on creatures underneath it. If a traditional tree is on your wish list, make sure your pet can’t sip from its water reservoir, which may contain dangerous additives or bacteria.
When trimming the tree, skip the tabby-tempting tinsel. Many cats love to bat the shiny strings around and carry them in their mouths. But if they (or your pooch) swallow a shred, it could obstruct their digestive tract and possibly lead to surgery.
Hang glass and plastic ornaments on inaccessible branches, since sharp shards and other parts could damage animals’ digestive tracts. Likewise, keep lights and batteries away from pets, since gnawed wires could surprise them with a deadly electric shock. Similarly, busted batteries might burn your furry friend’s mouth and esophagus, according to the ASPCA.
The tree isn’t the only potential holiday hot zone to consider when it comes to keeping your pet happy and healthy. When gathering greenery, skip the boughs of holly. Both holly and mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal issues for pets who eat them, and mistletoe can also bring on cardiovascular problems. Instead, opt for pet-friendly plants; bromeliads, lipstick plants and Christmas cacti all offer seasonal red-and-green combinations, but are safe for cats and dogs. To be completely on the safe side, decorate with silk or plastic plants.
Candlelight is certainly cozy, but candles can be knocked over or nudged into something flammable, especially if you have kids or precocious pets around the house. If you opt for candles, keep a close eye on them while they are lit and out of reach of any wayward hands, tails, or paws. Better yet, invest in flameless candles that offer the same flicker of traditional candles without the hazards.
Many pet lovers know chocolate is toxic to cats and dogs, but they shouldn’t offer pets other sweet treats meant for humans. Such confections are usually too rich for pets to digest well, and some artificially-sweetened treats could contain xylitol, which has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
Turkey, its skin, and other table scraps can also cause serious health problems for pets, including pancreatitis, because they are too rich and fatty for pets’ digestive systems to handle safely. Even some fat-free or low-fat foods — such as grapes, raisins, and onions — can be poisonous to pets, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you want to include your feline friends or canine companions in the feast, opt for foods formulated especially for pets, and all-natural treats made by Charlie’s Treats Bakery
If you’re hosting a holiday party, take a few pet precautions to keep animal friends safe and secure. Make sure they have access to a quiet area of the house to escape guests. Along those same lines, let invitees know you have pets in case they have allergies or other concerns. Making visitors aware of your non-human housemates will encourage them to keep human treats out of reach. Also, watch for possible escapes when they are on their way in or out. Just in case your pet does a disappearing act, it’s always a good idea to make sure their microchip information is up to date. For added peace of mind, you can also mount a smart security camera tomonitor pets while circulating with guests.
These simple suggestions can help ensure a happy, healthy holiday for pets, and peace of mind for you and your family.
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