While we humans prepare excitedly for Christmas, this is a disruptive time to your pet’s routine. Christmas decorations present many hazards with so many things to excite their senses. It is a time of year fraught with hazards, but keep a few simple things in mind, use a little care and you can get through the holidays without emergency vet visits.
Hazardous Christmas trees
A Christmas tree is a playground of delight to your furry friend. It has invaded its space and is covered in bright shiny balls, ribbons and coloured flashing lights. Something some pets just cannot resist. Not to mention how a tree crashes to the ground when your pet takes that flying leap chasing a Christmas tree delight. With a little planning and forethought you can keep your pets safe:
- Anchor the tree to the ceiling so it cannot topple over.
- Avoid using tinsel. Its glitter is tempting particularly to kitty and if ingested can cause all sorts of problems like an obstructed bowel.
- Use plastic or unbreakable ornaments at heights your pet can reach.
- Ensure light cords are concealed away from temptation; biting into them can be disastrous.
- Keep fallen pine needles from live trees swept up because ingesting them can cause internal punctures and a trip to the vet.
- Keep the prying noses of curious furry friends away from unopened presents containing food, or they may just be ripped apart and eaten if left under the Christmas tree.
Dangers of holiday food
The extra tempting smells Christmas brings into your home can mean giving in to your pet’s begging eyes, but dangers lurk everywhere in the food we love when you do not understand why:
- Avoid giving in to those cute, puppy dog eyes begging for the leftovers from your plate. Too much human, cooked, spicy food is not so great for your pet’s digestion and may make your furry friend sick.
- Avoid allowing your pets to consume sweets, especially avoid chocolate. It is toxic and a build-up in a dog’s system can cause a poisonous reaction.
- Fill your pet’s stocking with durable, fun filled toys rather than a whole lot of commercial treats top enjoy healthy fun together.
- Never give cooked bones. The risk is they splinter and cause internal damage. Instead, give raw meaty bones appropriate to the size of your pet.
Pet friendly gatherings
At Christmas we are preoccupied with welcoming people into our homes. For our pets, dogs in particular, it is an exciting, stressful time greeting and socializing with so many people. Have a separate, safe space where your pet can escape to relax. Use a spare room or a crate and pop in their bed, favourite toy, and plenty of water and they can stay there safely relaxing when they need to escape the excitement.
And, if fireworks are part of your celebrations, remember the noise may be very scary for your pets. Ensure they are safely contained in an escape-proof area. If you can, play music in the area to help to mask the noise of a scary, exploding sky above them.