It seems like every major human holiday has some components to them that can prove rather hazardous for pets if you aren’t aware of them. Everything from the special food to the decorations to the general celebratory atmosphere…it all poses potential trouble for dogs and cats. Fortunately, with a little forethought and preparation, your four-legged family member can enjoy the Christmas season alongside everyone else!
So what are the main things you should be on the lookout for when it comes to your pet safety during Christmas?
- The Christmas Tree – This is the big, obvious one. A Christmas tree and all the ornaments strewn across it can look like an over-sized playground or chew-toy for your furry family members. Be sure to anchor the tree so it doesn’t accidentally tip if your pets paw at the branches. Also, hang ornaments high enough so there’s no low-dangling shinies that are tempting to either bat to the floor or try to eat! If you have a real tree that requires water, recognize our pets may try to drink from the pan, so keep it fresh so stagnant water doesn’t make them ill.
- Christmas Presents – If you have curious pets who like to scratch open wrapping paper, tease ribbons into snarls, or just gnaw right through a cardboard box, it might be wisest to keep the Christmas presents out from under the tree right up until Christmas morning. Leaving them out and about for days on end is simply asking for trouble, and if you arrange them for the unwrapping ceremony alone, you’ll be able to keep your pets out of the room or under control for the duration.
- Christmas Treats – Avoid slipping your pets lots of sweet or greasy treats. Too many sweets or other rich foods can greatly upset their digestive system and cause a mess. During parties or dinners where lots of food is set around, either keep your pet secured in another room or ensure all the trays and dishes are well away from where they can reach. You’d be surprised how quickly a teeny pup can devour most of a ham!
- Christmas Decorations – It’s great to get festive! Just make sure the festive decorations around the house don’t pose potential choking hazards for your pets. Avoid tinsel, for one thing, and make sure any lights or electrical wiring are far above the ground so the cords don’t get chewed on. Avoid mistletoe and holly as well, as these can cause severe digestive and cardiovascular problems in pets if ingested.
How are you making your home safe for your pets this Christmas? Do you have any stories of times you had to protect your animals from their own overly festive antics?
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