Keep your pet healthy through the Christmas holiday

During the holiday season, we humans are easily swept up in the “busy-ness” of the winter months, attending holiday parties, either at friends’ or office events, shopping before all the best deals end, or spending weeks on vacation visiting relatives and loved ones across the country. In the hubbub, it can be easy to forget about our pets–at least beyond finding them a babysitter or kennel to take care of them while the family is traveling. However, there is another facet of the holidays that’s important to keep in mind beyond making sure they’re fed and exercised! We’re talking about the various pet health hazards that Christmas can bring into the home without people even realizing it.

What poses the biggest holiday dangers to your pets? Let’s look at the top culprits that might already be lurking around your home and ways you can ensure you remain pet-friendly through the New Year!

  1. Ornaments: Who doesn’t love shiny Christmas ornaments dangling all over the home and tree? But these bright decorations can attract animals, appealing to their innate curiosity (and occasionally their desire to “taste” every new thing they encounter). You don’t want your pet getting a mouthful of tinsel, which can be a choking hazard, or knocking glass ornaments off the tree and getting cut on the shards. The solution? Ensure all ornaments are hung well out-of-reach of any pets, high on the tree or near the ceiling around the home. If they can’t get to it, they can’t be hurt by it!
  2. Tree Water: Did you get a real Christmas tree this year? Are you keeping it fresh and green by refilling the water in its stand every other day or so? Great! But realize that your pet may be drawn to that water and try to drink from it. The issue is that many Christmas trees produced these days have pesticides and other chemicals (as well as spraypaint) applied to protect their growth or preserve their look. These chemicals can be transferred to your pet if they drink the water surrounding the tree, and can negatively impact their health. The solution? The first step is to keep your pet’s normal water bowl constantly filled with fresh, clean water so they’re never thirsty. The second is to cover the tree stand so they simply can’t access the base.
  3. Holiday Food: Chocolate, turkey bones, cookies, and candy are all potential health hazards for pets. If you enjoy having Christmas treats around the house or are planning a party, try having a few specific treats on hand just for your dog or cat so they aren’t as tempted to indulge in a bite of the main course when no one is looking.

What steps have you taken to make sure your home is pet-safe for the Christmas holiday?

 

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