It’s that time of year again! With the holidays upon us, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the silly season with your fur babies.
Whether your pet is on Santa Paws’ naughty or nice list, they can be just as excited by the extra festivities which take place over Christmas and New Year’s Eve as you are. So much so that they may even volunteer to help you water the tree.
While pets often love having extra quality time to spend with their families, the holidays also bring a number of risks and dangers to your pets.
We’ve compiled a list of these dangers to help mitigate any unwanted trips to the vet so you can spend more time celebrating the year that’s been.
Tinsel, Ribbon, and Decoration Dangers
A lot of fun to play with, but it can cause serious gut issues if eaten. Keep decorative ornaments out of reach of your pets.
Christmas Tree Troubles
We all love a beautiful Christmas tree; however, it can pose a danger to our pets. Make sure to securely anchor the tree to prevent any injuries, beware of ornaments that might be mistaken as chew toys and if it’s sitting in water, be sure your pets’ can’t access it.
Consider battery-operated lights instead of candles to protect your pet from burns and avoid a fire hazard. If candles are a must, never leave them at floor level or unattended.
The corrosive substances in batteries can cause irritation and injury to their mouth and stomach if chewed or eaten.
An electric cord, if chewed, can deliver a potentially lethal electric shock and should be covered or hidden away.
Let’s steer clear of the pet emergency room by avoiding the following dangerous foods: Christmas puddings and mince pies, chocolate, foods sweetened with xylitol, fatty or spicy human foods, bones, and alcoholic drinks. Keep pets away from unattended food plates and secure garbage bin lids.
Mistletoe and Holly, if ingested, can cause severe gastrointestinal upset. Make sure to choose pet-safe plants for the Christmas bouquet and keep them out of reach.
Some Peace and Quiet
A house full of guests can be pretty intimidating to a shy pet, so make sure they have a comfortable, quiet place to retreat to, where they can take a break from all of the activity.
Pets can be terrified of fireworks and loud bangs: they should be kept safe and calm in a pet-proof, quiet area before the more intense festive celebrations and New Year’s noise becomes overwhelming.
With guests coming and going, there is always a chance your pet might escape. Be careful when opening doors or gates and keep an eye on your pets. Be sure that your pets are microchipped and wearing an identification tag, should a disappearing act occur.
All in all, it is best to ensure your pet is supervised whenever they’re interacting with new people or in a new environment. Keep telephone numbers for your veterinarian, the local emergency veterinarian, and the New Zealand Animal Poisons Helpline number handy so that you can be prepared for whatever comes your way.
Happy holidays from all of us in the VitaPet team.