The holidays are here again! No matter what your favorite fall or winter holiday is — Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or even Festivus for the Rest of Us — all the celebration and conversation can make overlooking common holiday pet hazards easier. Protect your pets this holiday season by looking out for these top troublemakers:
- Holiday Treats
All of the same dangerous food items are still off-limits during the holidays, such as chocolate, grapes, cherry pits, avocados, apricot pits, apple seeds, coffee, Xylitol, and garlic. Additionally, pet owners should be cautious with alcohol and raw dough as these are more prominent during the holidays.
- Plants and flowers
Some plants and flowers are dangerous if pets ingest them, and some are dangerous for pets to even be around. Foliage to avoid includes:
- Poinsettias (only mildly toxic)
- Evergreens, like pine
Our holiday guests always have the best intentions when it comes to our pets, but sometimes they can do things that put your furry friends in peril. From feeding them dangerous foods to the constant hustle of people going in and out, the holidays can be stressful for pets. Make sure they have their own dedicated space away from the commotion.
Signs of extreme anxiety in your pets can include hiding all day, tremors, or unusual whining. Consult a vet for possible anxiety relief treatments. You may even want to consider taking advantage of nearby pet boarding services if possible during the holiday season.
Boarding your animals can also avoid another huge threat to pets during the holidays: running away and becoming lost after being let outside by unaware guests. The dangers of the outdoors to an inside pet are immense. Make sure all of your pets wear proper identification and are microchipped. Keep your contact information updated regularly in the microchipping system. If possible, consider fencing in outdoor areas for your pets.
A wide variety of holiday dangers to pets come in the form of holiday decor. Christmas trees, lights, ornaments, garland, tinsel, and more all present very real threats to domestic pets, especially the young and inexperienced. If your pet is a chewer, avoid placing decorations near the floor or the bottom of your Christmas tree. You can also opt for a small tree placed on top of a table to be out of puppy nose reach altogether, but if you have cats, this tactic may not work.
Lights and wires are also common holiday chew hazards, sometimes with fatal consequences. A painful shock is the best case scenario. The worst is a fire that destroys your home and possibly kills your beloved animals. Use cord organizers and covers to keep wiring out of sight and out of mind.
Cats are especially difficult during the holiday season. As avid climbers, cats love to scale the Christmas tree, so secure your tree firmly in a properly sized tree stand to prevent having to decorate multiple times and the risk of fire.
Pets love receiving and opening gifts just as much as anyone else! Food gifts are especially enticing, so store these gifts somewhere out of reach. Also put up any gifts that include batteries, especially button batteries. If you think your pet has swallowed a battery, contact a vet immediately.
- Holiday Outfits
If you and your pet have matching ugly Christmas sweaters, make sure that their clothes are safe. Avoid clothing with hanging or loose items/accessories that can easily be pulled off. Also, make sure your pet is not too constricted in the clothing as tight clothing can cause serious medical and behavior problems.
- Deicing chemicals
Antifreeze and other deicing chemicals are very dangerous to pets. These chemicals often taste sweet, luring unsuspecting pets in who are unaware of the consequences. Keep these chemicals away from your pets at all costs as even ingesting a small amount can be fatal. If you think your pet has ingested one of these chemicals, take them to an emergency vet immediately.
Include your pets in the celebrations this year by protecting them from all of the holiday hazards. If you’re located in the Tampa Bay area, trust the veterinary experts at Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel to help out if your pet gets into a little holiday hassle. Call us at (813) 279-6500 for all your pet’s emergency and urgent care needs.