The winter holidays are almost here! This is one of the best and busiest times of the year. Between getting your home ready for the holidays and picking out gifts for your loved ones, there's little time left to think about anything else.
However, part of getting ready for the holidays involves making sure your entire family will enjoy them. And, of course, that includes your pet.
As any professional local vet will tell you, with a little planning, you can keep your furry friends safe.
This way, they can get in a festive mood and celebrate alongside the entire family.
Pay Attention to the Food You Give to Your Pets
Many of us enjoy serving and eating special food during the holidays. But while a piece of pumpkin pie and a glass of champagne won't do you any harm, this is not the case for your pet.
Alcohol is something you should never give to your pet.
Here are other foods you should take notice of this holiday season:
- Foods and beverages containing caffeine. Caffeine is poisonous to cats and dogs. Caffeine can be found in many drinks and sweets you don't expect, like green tea or white chocolate. In case your pet has ingested caffeinated food or beverages, contact your local vet immediately.
- Unbaked bread dough. Raw bread dough expands in the warm, moist environment of the stomach, and can cause your pet serious discomfort and health problems.
- Onions. Onions are used in plenty of holiday recipes, and chances are you are going to be tempted to slip some food under the table for your pet. Don't! Onions garlic, chives, and leeks are poisonous to both dogs and cats.
Not sure what other foods are toxic to pets? Here's a useful resource you can use to make sure you won't feed your pet anything to put them at risk.
Be Mindful of the Decorations You Use
No holiday would be the same without decorations. However, it's important you are heedful about how you use them.
- Burning candles. They are perfect for creating a cozy atmosphere. But make sure to place them in places where your pet can't reach. Like high shelves or mantels, for instance.
- Electric decorations. Any chance your curious dog could bite into your Christmas lights? Pets that chew on electric cords can suffer severe burns, and even experience electrical shock. Consider using a cord protector or opting for the lower voltage LED lights to lower the risk.
- Edible decorations. Pets are curious, and they will sink their teeth into whatever they find interesting. Popcorn and cranberry tinsel, candy cane sleighs; these sugary treats all smell too good for your pet to resist them. Unfortunately, sugars make pets sick.
One More Tip from Your Local Vet
Make sure to tire your pet out if you know you are going to have people over. Go for a long walk, play with your pet, dance around the house if you have to.
This way, your pet will be on its best behavior, and everybody will be able to enjoy spending quality time together.
Also, try to keep the holiday- associated stress to a minimum. Remember that pets pick up on our energy, and often mimic our behavior. If you're tense, your pet is going to be tense too.
Maintain a balance in everything you do and don't forget to enjoy this time of the year alongside your beloved pet!
After all, the winter holidays only come once a year.