, February 08, 2023

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Keeping it Safe for Our Pets During Christmas


  •   5 min reads
Keeping it Safe for Our Pets During Christmas
by Mariana Burgos

The holiday season is quickly approaching, and many pet owners intend to involve their four or two-legged non-human family member in the celebrations.

It’s crucial to make an effort to keep your pet’s eating and exercise routines as similar to their regular schedule as possible while you get ready for the holidays. Please make sure to keep pets away from the unhealthy snacks, poisonous plants, and hazardous decorations.

The holidays may be enjoyable for us humans, but they may be very dangerous for our animal-family members. Don’t let a trip to the emergency vet ruin your Christmas! With seasonal plants and decorations, the Christmas tree may be the most dangerous part of the holiday season for your pet. Failure to pet-proof the “O Tannenbaum” this holiday season may lead to unhappy tummies, severe injuries, exorbitant veterinary expenses, or even tragedy.

Besties forever: a dog and a cat sleep under the Christmas tree. (Photo from Dreamstine Royalty-free images)

Christmas decors that pose risks to pets

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in the article “Winter Holiday Pet Safety,” says that if pets try to play with the lights and ornaments on Christmas trees or climb on them, they may topple over. To secure your tree, think about using fishing line to tie it to the ceiling or a doorframe.

In the US, most households usually get a real tree for their Christmas tree. And they use water additives to preserve it. Pets may be harmed by Christmas tree water additives. If you have dogs in the house, do not add aspirin, sugar, or anything else to the water for your tree, as AVMA reminds us.

Avoid mistletoe and holly since they can make pets sick and make them throw up and have diarrhea, says AVMA. Mistletoe can upset the stomach and lead to heart issues.

Ingesting a variety of lilies can also result in renal failure in cats. Choose a pet-safe bouquet or choose artificial plants made of silk or plastic that are just as cheery.

Kittens, on the other hand, adore this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that is simple to throw around and carry in their jaws, called Tinsel-less Town. But a nibble can turn into a swallow, and a swallow can turn into an obstruction in the digestive track, which can cause severe vomiting, dehydration, and even surgery. It’s preferable to use decorations other than tinsel to enhance your boughs, AVMA claims.

This particular reminder, I am always conscious of—- place glass or plastic ornaments, wiring, and batteries out of reach of pets. The mouth and esophagus of your pet could be harmed by shards of breakable ornaments, a wire could provide a possibly fatal electrical shock, a punctured battery could result in burns, and a punctured battery could cause burns to the body. I have had a few cats that nearly got electrocuted because of their “wire munching.”

Such a cutie! A golden retriever plays with a Santa hat. (Photo from Dreamstine Royalty-free images)

Holiday food dangers for pets

The Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance, in the article “Pet Safety Tips: To Keep Your Pets Safe and Happy This Christmas and New Year’s Eve,” reminds us about the dangers of holiday food and treats. You already know that you should not give your pet dog or cat chocolate or anything else that contains caffein and xylitol, but do you know how far a cunning animal will go to get its mouth on some tasty treats?

1. Your pets should not be allowed near the table or unattended plates of food.

2. Also, trash can lid should be tightly closed. Curiosity may kill the cat, you know.

3. Bow Wow Meow also reminds us that feeding your furry pet bones or fatty, spicy, or off-limits human foods is not advisable.

There are pther enjoyable alternatives for pets to participate in the celebrations without pets getting harmed and the owners incurring high medical costs.

If you plan to serve adult holiday beverages at your gathering, be sure to put any unattended alcoholic beverages out of reach of animals. If consumed, your pet can get sick, weak, or even enter a coma, possibly leading to death from respiratory failure, says Bow Wow Meow.

Plan ahead for your pet’s safety during the holidays. Bow Wow Meow suggests to give your pet a private room to call his own, complete with fresh water and a comfy spot to cuddle. Shy animals like dogs and cats may prefer to skulk around in their carrying case, beneath a piece of furniture, or in a different area where there is less activity.

A cat looks at decors on a Christmas tree with such curiosity. Look at those beautiful, questioning eyes! (Photo from Dreamstine Royalty-free images)

Ask your animal-loving visitors to feel free to start a lovely play or petting session with your dogs if they’d want to offer them a little additional attention and exercise while you’re busy taking care of the party. But request that they treat your pet with care. Dogs frequently don’t like to be gazed at, cuddled, or patted on the head but may like a belly rub or a scratch under the chin as Bow Wow Meow reminds us.

Bow Wow Meow also suggests to make sure your pet is well-behaved for the festivities, review its obedience training a few days before the guests arrive.

They are also saying that you should inform your visitors of your pet’s house rules. This covers guidelines such as whether your pet is permitted on the couch, which rooms are off-limits, where you should be when your pet is eating, and more.

This Christmas season, considering these reminders and suggestions, will definitely help you enjoy your holidays without any unfortunate events with your pets.

About the Author: Mariana Burgos is a freelance artist. She is a solo parent for 15 years now because she is wife to a desaparecido. She and her daughter are animal lovers and are active in advocating not only human rights but the rights of animals as well.

This article also appears in the Manila Standard



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