It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Now that December has hit, we are sure you have already begun setting up the Christmas tree and decorating your house. Your pet might think that this is the perfect play-time and that all your precious Christmas decorations are fun new toys. Always be wary of what your pet has access to and keep potentially harmful decorations out of reach.
Christmas Tree Hazards
For example, they may think the nice new baubles hanging from your tree are funky new tennis balls or toys. Dogs have a tendency to chew on globes or baubles, which can cause lacerations to their gums and throats. On the other hand, our feline friends are particularly interested in tinsel and tree lights. A nibble can lead to swallowing, which can lead to the obstruction of their digestive tract, severe vomiting, and potentially other serious injuries.
Even edible decorations such as candy canes, can be potential choking hazards or cause stomach ailments. It is best to supervise your pet around your Christmas tree and avoid decorations that could be a choking hazard or cause electric shock.
Don’t forget the candles! At this time of year, we particularly love to light a candle (or five) to create mood lighting. Be sure never to leave candles unattended, as pets may burn themselves or knock them over, creating a potential fire hazard. Another note to remember is to keep all wires, batteries, and glass out of reach and ensure all candles are on secure bases.
Death by chocolate
We have all heard the saying, but did you know that most pet holiday illnesses are food related? This Christmas, we encourage you to carefully consider what your pet is exposed to.
Alcohol is particularly important to keep away from your furry friends. Even in small amounts, alcohol can be fatal to both our cats and dogs. Cats are particularly attracted to common festive cocktails that contain cream, such as White Russians and Eggnogs, so be extra careful where you leave your drink this year.
Other foods to avoid include;
- Stuffing, which contains onions and garlic, which are toxic to pets
- Gravy, and other overly rich and salty food like ham
- Cooked bones
- Christmas cake, due to including sultanas, raisins and nutmeg
- Stone fruit – the seeds contain cyanide
- Sweets, especially if they contain xylitol
HOWEVER, do not think that this means that your pets need to miss out on all the festive cheer! You could give them their very own stocking this year or keep some special treats for them close by. Just remember that what may seem like a nice way to include them in festivities may actually harm them.
Silent Night… Yeah Right!
Managing anxiety during the festive season
We all know how busy Christmas gets. The pre-Christmas rush, followed by a few crazy days of celebrations, can be overwhelming for our pets. Your pet’s home is now filled with laughter, chatter, noise, and commotion. While a lot of pets love the extra attention and company, it can still be an extremely stressful time for them. Dan & Sam have come up with three tips to keep them calm and happy.
- Tell your guests (particularly children) to allow your pet the space they need. Some pets love to be involved in the fun and appreciate the extra attention. Be attentive to what your pet needs and react accordingly.
- Ensure that they have their own quiet space to go and be alone. Make sure that if your pet retreats to this space, people respect them and give them the time they need.
- Maintain your normal exercise habits. If you are hosting celebrations, it helps to exercise or play with your dog or cat before guests arrive.