Tis’ the season for giving, receiving, decorating, shopping, and oh yes, responsible pet care! Please remember during the season’s merriment to take a little time to protect your pet from common holiday hazards.
Although, lit candles, menorahs, and kinaras make the holidays festive, accidents can happen when a frisky or curious pet is in the house. Keep all open flames away from noses, paws, and swishing tails. Kittens and puppies are notorious for chewing on electric cords, so be careful that your decorative lights don’t become a deadly hazard. Monitor your pets closely when you’re at home, and unplug the lights when you’re away. Many favorite holiday plants can be potentially harmful if ingested by your pet. Hibiscus, Poinsettias, Mistletoe, and Holly can all be very upsetting to your pet’s stomach and toxic in some cases.
The Christmas Tree
What’s Christmas without a tree? Christmas trees can be extremely attractive to both dogs and cats. Shimmering and dangling objects beckon to our feline friends, while many dogs have been duped by a round glass ornament masquerading as a ball. To keep your pets safe, you should make sure that they do not have access to the tree unless they are supervised. In addition, hang non-breakables near the bottom and use a large sturdy tree stand. You can further avoid tip over’s by anchoring the tree to the wall with fishing line. If you have a pet with a healthy appetite, it’s probably best not to decorate your tree with food items such as candy canes, popcorn, and cranberries. Cats find tinsel very appealing, so if you use it, keep it up high where your cat can’t reach it. Many intestinal obstructions are seen each year by cats ingesting tinsel. If you’re worried about those sharp little ornament hooks, consider hanging ornaments with short pieces of ribbon. Remember to secure a tree skirt tightly around the base of your tree to keep your pet from drinking from the tree stand. Many additives used to preserve your tree can be dangerous to your pet.
Partying with your Pet in Mind
Although you may enjoy a house full of Holiday Company it may be stressful for your dog or cat. Keep in mind that even a very social pet can become over stimulated in a party situation and may need a break from festivities. The holidays are a time for sharing and everybody loves to give his or her pet special “treats”. However, you need to be extremely careful about what, and how much, you allow your pet to feast on. Rich, fatty foods can cause stomach upsets. Some foods, such as chocolate, nuts, raisins, and grapes can be quite toxic. You should never give your pet cooked meat bones, they can splinter and pose a hazard.
The Doc Williams SPCA also recommends not giving companion animals as surprise gifts. Carefully consider animal adoption in advance and involving the individual recipient or whole family in the adoption decision. This is a much better approach for everyone involved, especially the animal that will rely on his or her guardian for a lifetime of care.
Happy Holidays from the Doc Williams SPCA and Thank you to our many friends who support us throughout the year.