December: Holiday Season Safety

Jessica Thompson

Pets are furry family members and so with the holiday season upon us, people intend to include their pets in the festivities. Follow these tips to keep your pet healthy and safe during the holiday season.

  1. Be aware of which holiday plants are toxic and keep them away from your pets. Holly, mistletoe, lilies and poinsettia are all poisonous if ingested and while symptoms for each plant can range from serious (kidney failure) to mild (temporary diarrhea), keep these plants out of reach to avoid unnecessary suffering. Or opt for artificial plants as a jolly alternative
  2. Christmas trees look like an inviting playground to many pets, especially cats. Make sure your tree is anchored securely so it doesn’t tip. Avoid decorations like ribbons or tinsel as many cats will eat these items and become seriously ill. Glass decorations or wires from lights should also be kept out of paws’ reach.
  3. Avoid leaving any burning candles unattended or within the swing radius of a happy dog’s tail. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if candles are accessible to paws or tails.
  4. Be careful with the treats! While some treats are safe to be shared between people and pets, avoid giving your pet sweets, cooked bones and fatty foods. Chocolate can cause pets to become sick, and bakers’ chocolate is particularly toxic. Don’t leave chocolates or treats wrapped up under the tree, many pets will consider them fair game. Cooked bones and fatty foods from holiday dinners can cause illnesses in pets that will ruin the holidays with a sick pet needing a costly veterinary bill.
  5. People often enjoy a special cocktail or eggnog with a twist during holiday gatherings. However do not leave alcoholic beverages within reach of pets. Alcohol consumption in pets can cause weakness or more serious illness requiring medical attention.
  6. During holiday gatherings, make sure to have a safe quiet spot or room your pet can retreat to if they feel overwhelmed. Some pets prefer to be kept entirely separate from festivities, finding so many visitors and so much noise overwhelming. Provide these sensitive pets a pleasant chew treat or new toy to keep them occupied in a quiet room behind a closed door. Explain your pet’s need for peaceful solitude to your guests.

The holidays are a time for getting together with friends and family, enjoying delicious food and even better company. Ensure your pet takes part in the safest way possible for even more great holiday memories.

(❚ Jessica Thompson, Paws For Thought Boutique For Pets, 1051 Main St, Winnipeg, ph#204-421-7297)