The holidays are here, which means lots of decorative additions to your pet’s home! We sometimes forget to “pet-proof” our fabulous decking, so we came up with some holiday pet safety tips to be aware of. Let’s enjoy the holidays and prevent unnecessary emergencies during this magical season.
Pet-safe Holiday décor
With so many items to put out and nooks and crannies to decorate, we forget to press PAUSE and think about how our pets will react to these decorations. Remember these four essential rules when turning your home into a safe winter wonderland for the holidays.
- Keep the electric cords out of reach or hidden. Even if your pet leaves the year-round cords in your home alone, they may not do the same for new and exciting ones with sparkling lights. Remember that anytime we make changes in THEIR home, they will be curious. Remember not to underestimate what they may do when new cords appear in their space.
- Be aware of the seasonal plants you purchase. While they are beautiful, many of these festive flowers are highly poisonous to our pets if ingested. A few of the most popular ones to be aware of are Holly, Mistletoe, and Poinsettias. Before bringing a seasonal plant into your home, check the full list of plants toxic to pets. (Need more information on toxic plants? Read our blog from July, 2020!)
- Keep tinsel and ribbon out of reach. The sparkle of the tinsel, the flow of a ribbon, is too much for a kitty to stand! For tinsel, the biggest concern is ingesting it, which can cause severe blockage and intestinal issues. While playing with ribbons is an enjoyable pastime, our pets can become tangled up quickly. If wrapped around their neck or paws, it can send them into a panic and escalate the situation. In addition, many ribbons have wiring in them, which can poke an eye or even be chewed off and ingested. Keep a watchful eye out for any tinsel and ribbon playing this holiday.
- Keep an eye on festive flames. Whether you are lighting up some candles for fun, warmth, or practicing an important tradition, always keep these flames out of reach of pets. They can become too mesmerized by the glow or accidentally bump the furniture with a burning candle. Never keep your pet in a closed room with any flame.
The Christmas Tree
Whether you have a real tree or a fake tree, knowing the potential dangers and trouble your pets can find is important. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Christmas Trees in your home and the safety of your pets.
- Chewing on branches. Ingestion of pine needles or plastic needles can cause major blockages in your pets’ intestines and other health complications. Be sure to discourage biting or chewing the tree. If the behavior continues, consider moving or guarding the tree away from them. You can also try spraying some Bitter Yuck (safe for dogs and cats) to deter them.
- Tree Water. The water in a tree stand can contain dangerous chemicals. Avoid letting your pets sneak a sip from the tree base to keep them safe. Use a tree skirt to cover the opening of the tree base to keep your pet from being able to drink from it.
- Most decorative tree hangings are pretty fragile and can easily shatter to pieces. Cats might want to bat at all the shiny objects, becoming a safety hazard. Try attaching small zip ties to ensure the ornaments are not removable off the tree.
- Tree Lights. Sparkling lights draped on the edge of a tree can lead to your pets pawing or getting tangled in the cords. Rather than draping them around the outer edge of your tree, try placing them closer to the trunk of the tree. The illumination will still be there while making them far less tempting to our fur babies.
As tempting as it may be to give our furry friends table scraps, it’s best to avoid this kind gesture for the sake of their health. Not only are many of our dishes toxic to pets, but they also have a sensitive digestive system. Like people, an upset stomach for our pets causes discomfort, and no one wants an upset tummy on a special day like Christmas. If you’re looking to make their holiday meal special, add a dollop of pumpkin puree or some chicken broth. Foods to always keep out of reach of pets include: Chocolate and other holiday candies, raw egg (particularly in dough), grapes and raisins, fruits and veggies containing pits such as olives and cherries, and onions.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the trash can!
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Now that you’ve safely decorated for the holidays, you can think of your emergency plan. Knowing what to do in an emergency is critical in making sure the situation does not escalate. Make sure you and everyone in your household understand the steps to take if an emergency arises. Be sure to always have important phone numbers in your contacts and placed in a visible location, like your fridge. Regular vet, emergency vet and Poison Control are a few numbers to have on hand. Keep your pet’s medical records in a convenient location as well—the more information you can provide during an emergency, the better. Lastly, remember to have a plan. Know the places you could call for help and the quickest route to get there.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Help keep your pets safe this holiday season by keeping an eye out for potential dangers in your home and following these safety tips. Ensure that your pets are taken care of with Just Around the Corner. We offer pet care of all kinds, including daily Dog Walking, Dog Hiking, and Pet Sitting in Plymouth, MA. To learn more about how Just Around the Corner can help, check out our Services Page. You can also Contact Us for more information. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Instagram! Wishing you and your pets a happy and healthy holiday season!