The holiday season can be a stressful time for your pet – and a dangerous one.
From parties and gift-wrapping to unannounced carolers and visits from “Santa,” your pet can become a little anxious amidst all the merriment, or tempted by all the wonderful foods and treats. Here are a few things you can do to make sure the season is a joyful event for the whole family.
Holiday Plant Hazards: Be extra careful with amaryllis, mistletoe, balsam, pine, cedar, holly and poinsettias. Festive foliage can cause serious medical problems for pets, ranging from nausea to serious kidney failure and heart issues.
Festive Decorations: Sure, glittering glass ornaments, shimmering tinsel, and shiny decorations give your home a warm, holiday glow. They can also be irresistibly tempting to animals. While they may look harmless, a shard of glass from an ornament or a stray piece of tinsel from the tree can cause irreparable internal damage to your pet. Make sure that you choose the safest possible location for all of your festive flourishes.
Gifts and gift wrapping: Make sure that those beautifully wrapped presents are kept out of your pet’s reach, especially during gift opening time. From Styrofoam peanuts and plastic packaging to batteries, candy, and shiny twist ties, there’s a treasure trove of temptation for your pet. With everyone’s attention diverted with presents and celebrations, consider keeping your pet in another room on Christmas morning to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest something harmful.
Try to Keep Up Your Routine: Try to keep your pet’s daily routine as consistent as possible, making time for daily walks and play even when your schedule gets busy. Many pets appreciate having a quiet room to retreat into when guests arrive—so be sure to plan ahead by creating a safe haven with a comfortable place to sleep, a few toys, and a bowl of fresh water.
Keep your pets’ tags and contact information up to date. Holiday activities provide a lot of opportunities for pets to escape from your home, so be certain your pet is wearing their collar with tags at all times. If they are not micro-chipped, make an appointment to have it done.
Keep pet friendly treats at hand. Chocolate is always abundant over the holidays. Remember, chocolate is NOT good for your dog or cat. It’s toxic. People food is also a HUGE temptation for companion animals – be sure to block access to cookies, candies and other people treats. If you can’t resist their pleading eyes , it’s OK give your pet a small treat. Just remember, “people foods” should be avoided they can cause stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea or worse. Many people foods are even toxic to animals. Limit table scraps, and make sure your guests know not to share their food with your pets.
Be prepared for an emergency. Keep your vet’s number and the animal poison control center posted on the refrigerator or where you can easily find it. If an emergency arises, you’ll be glad you did.
Keep this number handy: Pet Poison Control Hotline: (888) 426-4435
Happy Holidays from the entire AZPetVet family!