The holidays are rapidly approaching, and with fun celebrations and delicious treats aplenty, we can’t forget about the furry guests at the holiday gatherings. Whether you’re aiming to wear the scariest costume on the block, prepare the juiciest turkey in your neighborhood, or wrap the prettiest holiday gift at the party, be sure to keep a close eye on your pet this holiday season. During hectic celebrations with family and friends, pets can easily get into mischief, which can sometimes cause serious harm. Follow these tips on how to keep your furry friend safe this holiday season:
- Provide a safe space. A steady stream of strangers flowing into your home can be scarier than a witch or a ghost to your pet. As your house fills with loud laughter, even the most social dogs and cats can become overwhelmed and anxious. Be sure that your pet always has a safe place away from the noise and stress. Provide water, a long-lasting treat, and a cozy bed in a back room. You might be tempted to curl up there yourself if the holidays become too much!
- Place decorations out of reach. It can be fun to watch your frisky feline bat at hanging objects or get all wrapped up in a toy, but your holiday decorations should be off limits. Sparkling tinsel and garland can lead to a visit to the emergency veterinarian (and possibly emergency surgery or even death) if your kitty decides to eat them. Ideally, place only plastic ornaments on your tree, because glass balls and figurines shatter easily when they’re batted off branches and can cut your pet’s paws. If you’ve got a chew-happy hound, consider placing an adjustable exercise pen around your tree to prevent all those beautiful strings of lights from becoming chew toys.
- Practice healthy eating. Aside from patience and sanity, there isn’t much that’s in short supply during the holidays. Between Halloween and Christmas, you’ll find an abundance of decorations, presents, and food. From chocolates galore at Halloween to turkey with all the trimmings at Thanksgiving to stockings full of sugary treats at Christmas, it’s no wonder an animal can’t help but follow her nose to these delicious snacks. But, it’s paws off to prevent chocolate toxicity or pancreatitis for your furry friend. To give her a special treat during the holidays, stick to snacks formulated for pets. But, if you can’t resist the puppy dog eyes begging you for a human-grade treat, spoil your pet with lean meats and fresh fruits and veggies. Monitor her calorie intake, though—a few extra treats on top of her regular caloric intake can quickly lead to holiday weight gain.
- Plan for safe travel. Whether you’re taking your pet with you to visit family or not, verify that she is current on her vaccinations. Double check identification information, including microchip registration and collar ID tags, to ensure your contact information is up-to-date. If you’re flying with your pet, check the airline’s guidelines on pet travel. Health certificates and certain crates may be required. Planning to leave your furry pal at home while you endure your great aunt’s Jell-O mold? Research local boarding facilities and pet sitters.
- Present the perfect present. While the shelves at the pet store are overflowing with adorable holiday-themed treats and toys, they are usually not the safest for pets. Bewitching Halloween costumes, delicious pumpkin spice snacks, and enchanting Santa squeak toys can lead to holiday disaster. Holiday toys tend to be flimsy and are easily destroyed, while flavored treats may not be as easily digested. Stuff your pet’s stocking with stimulating puzzle toys, long-lasting chews, and dental care products.
Avoid potential holiday pitfalls with your pet so an accident doesn’t put a damper on your festivities. If you run into trouble this holiday season, give us a call at 662-253-0274 and we’ll help get your celebration back on track.