We all want to spend those holiday times with our pets, but poor Fido may not find it as joyous as we do! A great rule of “paw” is as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible; that alone will lead to a less stressed experience for you and your pet. Below are a couple tips to insure a happy, healthy holiday season:
Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he take a drink.
Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.
Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible. Your local Three Dog Bakery store will have a great selection of safe stocking stuffers.
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery.
Beware of Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Remember the Rules
This goes for your guests and yourself. Just because you are snacking a little more than usual doesn’t mean your dog should too. Inform your guests of the rules (i.e. no table scraps), and set a good example. This way your pup won’t think that the rules don’t apply and go for those deliciously tempting food items waiting on the counter.
Holiday Lights and Ornaments
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth.
New Year’s Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.
A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the party.
So, Sit, Stay, Relax and enjoy the holiday season! Oh, don’t forget to get a little something for Fido’s stocking; now that could cause some after-holiday stress.
(Tips Courtesy of the ASPCA)