Holiday Pet Safety

holiday-pet-safety    The big holidays are coming, which means special consideration should be taken for our pets and holiday pet safety, since they can experience something drastically different than we do during the merriment of our celebrations. Trick-or-treaters and loud parties can be scary, the thanksgiving turkey on the table can be tempting, well-intentioned guests can give scraps under the table, and Christmas tree lights can present a danger to our pets. Here are a few holiday pet safety tips to keep your cat or dog safe and happy during the holiday season! First, make sure your pet has a safe retreat for holiday parties and Halloween night. Pets are attached to their secure environment and having that intruded upon can sometimes be over stimulating or induce anxiety. Even if your pet is happy to join the festivities, keep a special calm, quiet corner or room available for them that has a comfy crate or bed to hideaway in, food and water, and familiar toys and treats. Visit them a few times during the bustle and give them some love. You are their protector and the leader of their pack, and if you show everything is ok it can help reassure your nervous pet.

Next, keep the delicious-smelling scraps in the garbage sealed so your pet can’t reach it and get poisoning, a stomachache, or a bowel obstruction from eating foods they can’t process, dangerous objects, or fatty, sugary, and spicy foods. Also, never leave your holiday bounty on the counters or table if your pet is able to reach or jump up there—it’s just too hard for most pets to resist, and they don’t know it can be hazardous to their health to dig in! Never let your pets eat the bones from your holiday meats, and stick to low fat, unseasoned, low sugar snacks to prevent weight gain and tummy trouble. Inform your guests that rich, buttery table scraps, onions, grapes, and fruit seeds are dangerous for your dog or cat, and let them know what healthy treats they can offer—like air popped, unseasoned popcorn, raw or steamed carrots, peas, and green beans, and the occasional piece of unseasoned chicken breast!

Finally, keep the wires, lights, and ornaments on the tree out of reach of your pets, especially cats! They love to chew on stringy things, and one bite on an electric cord could be fatal. There are protective cord covers you can buy at most home improvement stores that are easy to put on and will stop a bite from reaching the wire. Small ornaments and gifts can also present potential bowel obstructions to pets that love to chew on things they shouldn’t. On a lighter note, remember that your pets will love treats and gifts too, so feel free to lavish them with extra praise and goodies they can have this holiday season—make some homemade dog biscuits or give them a brand new toy! Remember these holiday pet safety tips and your furry family will have a wonderful season you won’t have to remember because of a trip to the emergency vet! We at Fairgrounds Animal Hospital wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday season!