Weekly Wag: Holiday Pet Safety Tips

I want to wish everyone Happy Holidays! During this time there are lots of food, guests, gifts and usually a tree with lots of things dangling. A festive time for people and pets should be considered when decorating, placing packages around the tree and leaving food out.

Do not panic if any of the following happen during the holiday. One of my dog’s got into chocolate candies and ate a few pieces and he is fine. Keep an eye on your pet if you think he ate something toxic. Use your judgement if the pet should be taken to the vet. Compare to what is normal for your pet. Be on the side of caution not fear.

Make sure your pets do not eat too much. We like to spread the feast with our pets. Cooked bones can be dangerous for dogs as they can splinter. (My dog ate half a cooked chicken off the counter and he is fine). Raw bones are great.

  • Chocolate, alcohol and caffeine can be toxic if too much is digested.
  • Be careful when leaving food on the counter, especially meat.
  • Grapes and raisins are also known to be toxic to pets.
  • If ingested, holly (leaves and berries) cause stomach upset and can be  fatal to both dogs and cats.
  • Mistletoe upsets stomachs and can cause heart collapse, while hibiscus may cause diarrhea.
  • Poinsettias have an irritating sap that can cause blistering in the mouth and stomach upset.
  • Let’s not forget about the trash. Make sure it is pet proof.

If your pooch or cat is a runner when someone comes to the door, you may want to crate or keep in a bedroom or spare room while guests are coming over. Or if your pet gets stressed easily around a crowd of people please put them in a relaxing room with soft music or animal sounds.

  • Tree needles can be toxic and cause mouth and stomach irritation. Even needles and the wire of artificial trees could pose a problem. Be sure your dog or cat is not chewing on branches or eating fallen needles.
  • When decorating your home or tree watch for dangling ornaments, glass ornaments or anything a cat would find enticing. (This year I didn’t put out a lot of things because of the kitten).
  • No preservatives in the tree water. If you have a fresh tree, keep it well watered, but don’t add those packets of preservatives to the water.
  • No presents under the tree unless you have pawesome pets. Ribbons, paper, and boxes can become a shredded mess the minute you turn your head.

Spend some down time with your pet. They pick up on your stress as you rush around shopping and baking. Take 15-20 minutes out and play with your pet, watch TV while you pet him or go for a walk. Something that you both can enjoy and bond together. Both of you will feel better! A good game to play with your pet is to just hide treats around the house and let his hunt drive kick in. He will LOVE  this!

Socialize, socialize, and socialize all year long! Health and Happiness to you all!

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