Christmas is right around the corner, and you know what that means: it’s time for the festivities to begin! You could be traveling, having family over to you house, hosting parties or be in the middle of decorating your living room. The holidays are a time for fun and good cheer, and you should celebrate them to the fullest.
That being said, you’ll always want to make sure that you and your family can stay safe (and sane) this season, including your pets! The holidays can be a strange and potentially stressful time for our furry friends, so making the right preparations can help shut down any problems before they start. Follow these pet safety tips and you can ensure that your holiday goes off without a hitch!
Be cautious of seasonal plants. Mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea and can even be fatal if enough is ingested. Either buy plastic versions of these classic plants or keep them well out of reach of your pet.
Watch your Christmas tree. These can become a pet’s playground if you’re not careful. Secure the tree in a place where it can’t easily be knocked over by an overzealous pet, such as a corner. Don’t put ornaments close to the bottom of the tree, as these are fresh pickings for a curious cat or playful pup. Be aware that lights or tinsel can be dangerous as well, especially if your pet decides to chew on one. Never leave your pet alone with a lit Christmas tree.
Be careful with candles. Just as you wouldn’t leave the house without blowing out all the candles, don’t leave your pet around them. Keep them in places where Fluffy can’t reach. She could burn herself (and potentially the house!) if she accidentally knocks one over. Also, be sure to hide any wires from decorations. Lay them under rugs, tape them to the floor or walls, or keep them as coiled as possible. This can prevent them from becoming your pet’s playthings.
Keep presents and gift wrapping out of reach. Fido may be attracted to the shininess of wrapping paper and decide to try a bite. Many a pet has ingested bows or tinsel and had to be rushed to the vet. Be proactive when opening gifts to always keep the wrapping out of your pet’s reach. If he’s determined to play, give him one of his toys to tide him over, not a ball of sparkly gift wrapping.
Don’t leave sweets out. If you’re hosting a party, be sure that nothing drops on the floor within Fluffy’s range. Tell guests ahead of time not to feed her any scraps from the table. Make sure that you clean up soon after the event, to take away the temptation of any available treats your pet may be eyeing. Also, while it’s tradition to leave out milk and cookies for Santa Claus, make sure you don’t leave them out in Fluffy’s reach.
Be mindful when guests visit. Having guests naturally changes up your daily routine, but try to stick to some sort of schedule so you don’t stress out your pet. If Fido’s used to walking every morning, keep taking him out for a sunrise stroll. If Fluffy knows she eats at 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., then continue feeding her at those times. Give your pet some space away from the excitement of guests a few times a day. A little bit of planning can go a long way, here.
Plan downtime. Amid all the revelry, merriment, and celebration, make sure to carve out time to relax. It’s not good for either you OR your pet to have something going on 24/7. Take Fido for a walk, escape to another room for peace and quiet, or have an hour at the end of each day to pet Fluffy while you read a book. Quiet times are essential to preventing stress during the holidays.
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When you keep these tips in mind, you’ll be able to have a stress-free holiday (and really, who doesn’t need that?). So keep the decorations out of reach, be mindful of guests, and stick to a routine as much as possible. And above all, Happy Holidays!