The holidays are a time of enjoyment and spending time with friends and family. Many people have parties to celebrate, or have special foods and presents around this time of year. This also means, however, introducing new factors into your home that could potentially pose a risk to pets. It’s therefore important to make sure you’re keeping your pets’ safety in mind as you plan your holiday celebrations.
Keep Plants out of Reach
Poinsettias are a very festive plant that many people place in their homes for the holidays. However, they can also be toxic to both cats and dogs. Other festive plants that you bring in for the holidays could also be harmful to your pets. Research ahead of time what kinds of plants may be harmful so that you can make an informed decision about which ones to use for holiday decoration. If possible, keep such plants safely out of your pets’ reach.
Don’t Feed Your Pet Table Scraps
Many holidays have traditional foods that aren’t common throughout the rest of the year. Because there are foods that can be toxic to your pets, it’s important to be careful what you feed them during this time of year. Chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and while that is more commonly known, there are other holiday foods that can also be dangerous, including grapes and onions. As the pet owner, you may be aware of what not to feed your pet, but your guests might not know. Having a blanket rule of no table scraps can help to keep your pet safe.
Keep Your Pet Away from the Christmas Tree
If you have a Christmas tree in your home, be careful to keep your pet away from it. Pine needles can get stuck in a pet’s throat if they chew on the tree. If they drink the tree water, they could end up ingesting dangerous chemicals. Unfortunately, many cats like to climb Christmas trees. In order to keep you cat away from your tree, make sure that it smells like oranges. Cats typically don’t like citrus scents. You can also put foil around the trunk of the tree to help deter a cat from climbing the tree.
Protect Electrical Cables
Some pets like to chew on cords and cables. Because so many holiday decorations are electrical, this means that there’s an increased risk of electrocution for pets that like to chew. Pet owners should make sure any cables that are within a pet’s reach are protected so that any chewing won’t penetrate the cord. If you decorate with lights, then it’s important to drape the lights so that they’re out of reach. On a Christmas tree, lights should be kept away from the bottom of the tree.
Give Pets a Safe Space
The holidays are a busy time of year. There’s a lot going on, with people coming to visit, parties going on, music playing, and decorations that aren’t usually there. All of this can get overwhelming for a pet. It’s important to make a safe space for your pet inside your house so that they can retreat to a quiet, safe haven if they get overwhelmed. This will help prevent a dog from barking during a holiday party as well. The safe space can be a crate or a quiet room away from all the activity.
ID Your Pets
A lot of people travel for the holidays. If you’re traveling, you should make sure that your pets are collared and chipped for easy identification. It’s important to do this whether you’re taking your pets with you or leaving them at home with a pet sitter. This way, if something happens because your pet is either in a new place or being looked after by someone else, you can be confident that they can be identified and returned to you.
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