The holiday season is upon us. The Christmas tree is up, holiday lights are twinkling, and festive decorations adorn everything from neighborhood windows to your local grocery store. While we might be focused on the holiday season, there are some potential stressors for our pets in play. Pet stress and anxiety reaches a peak this time of year, as do veterinary emergencies. Prevent illness, injury, and general upheaval by practicing our holiday pet safety techniques:
Where to Start
A pet’s daily routine should reduce any feelings of anxiety by meeting all of their needs when expected. Every single time they eat or go outside to potty pets receive meaningful structure to their day and experience less doubt, unease, and stress. If routines and daily occurrences change drastically, they might start to act out with destructive behaviors, going to the bathroom inside the house (or outside the litter box), or forgetting how to cope with solitude
Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to check on your pet during the day or sign them up for daycare. We also provide boarding, an experience that can save both pets and their owners during holiday parties.
Be sure that your pet cannot endanger themselves in any way when faced with ornaments, potpourri, candles, string lights, tinsel, and other holiday decor. Any cords left dangling or strewn across the floor can be hazardous to curious pets that like to chew. Pet safe decorations should be off the floor and firmly affixed to a surface.
The Tree and Other Greenery
Cover the Christmas tree stand so pets can’t drink from it (and ingest potentially harmful chemicals). Attach the tree to a wall or window frame in case your pet decides to jump or climb the tree. Please be very careful about bringing holiday plants inside the house, including holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia.
Most pets simply cannot help themselves when it comes to trays of food left unattended or discarded in the trash. Be on high alert with regard to the following toxic foods or ingredients:
- Macadamia nuts
- Onions, garlic, sage, and chives
- Poultry skin and fatty gravy
- Uncooked bread dough
Similarly, bones can present risks to pets and should never be given out or accessible. Be sure to secure garbage and compost bins. Gift wrap, ribbons, batteries, and small items can also become dangerous GI obstructions.
Include your pet in all the festive food tasting by putting together a variety of safe, tasty, and healthy foods. Steamed carrots, sweet potato, green beans, and nonfat, unsweetened yogurt can add to their satisfaction and keep them out of the emergency room.
Holiday Safety Tips for Pets
When your pet’s safety and wellness are high on the priority list, you can prevent all sorts of holiday-related issues. Watch their behavior and appearance carefully and please contact us at (615) 356-8993 with any questions or concerns. From all of us at The Urban Pet, have a safe and healthy holiday season.