Holiday festivities can bring a lot of unusual items into our homes, from tinsel on the tree to the holly arranged in a vase to the chocolate candies left out for visitors. While decorations and treats are enjoyed by family and friends, they may present serious dangers to your pets.
Here are a few important tips from leading veterinarians for keeping your pets safe this holiday season.
Give them their space.
A noisy house full of people may epitomize the holiday spirit for you, but it may be overwhelming for your pets, triggering nervous behaviors like barking or nipping. If your furry friend is the anxious type, make sure they have a quiet, safe space they can go to, such as a bedroom or mudroom, outfitted with their favorite bed or blanket. Consider sending them to a friend’s house during any big parties if you’re concerned about the stress of guests.
Protect them from toxic foods.
It may be okay to slip your pet a holiday treat like a bite of turkey or cheese, be sure to keep them away from foods known to be toxic. Avoid the following: grapes, raisins, or currants; garlic and onions, anything labeled “sugar free” like candy, gum, or baked goods, and nuts like macadamia, black walnuts, moldy or old nuts, raw cashews, and pistachios.
Do a thorough clean-up.
Deal with the aftermath of a holiday party as soon as it’s over. Get rid of the garbage and clean up any bits of decoration that may have fallen to the floor. Pick up small toys or plastic waste left behind that a pet could easily ingest.
Keep an eye on plants.
Skip the tinsel on the Christmas tree. The pretty shimmering decoration is very dangerous if ingested by pets. Pine sap is poisonous. And keep any of the following poisonous plants well of out of reach of pets, or refuse them altogether: poinsettias, holly, mistletoe, and amaryllis.
Set aside one-on-one time with your pet during this busy season. Make sure you’re cuddling with your cat or taking your dog on a brisk walk, or doing whatever it is they like, on a regular basis. It’ll help them feel less disrupted in their daily lives by the holidays and help you destress too.
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