The holidays can be a strenuous time, not only for us, but for our animal friends. The chaos in our homes this time of year can cause anxiety in pets, not to mention the hidden dangers lurking on and under the Christmas tree. The last thing you want is to be worried about your pets while you’re trying to celebrate the season. Follow these tips to keep your animals safe and minimize stress during the holidays.
1. Keep tree trimmings out of reach. While decorating your tree, be mindful of your animal’s height, and what ornaments he or she may be able to knock down and chew up. Glass ornaments are all too easy to knock down and break, so be sure that they are out of reach. It is best to skip the tinsel altogether. It is too tempting for dogs and cats, and can lead to serious complications if ingested.
2. Tie down that tree. Be sure that your tree is secured or weighed down so that it cannot be knocked over by mischievous pets. If you have a live tree, be sure that your pets are not drinking the tree water. Fertilizers and other chemicals may be present in the water and you don’t want your furry friends drinking that.
3. Set aside a quiet place for your pet. Unfamiliar people in the home can cause pets quite a lot of stress. If you are having company over, set aside a quiet space for your animal where there will be minimal traffic. Set them up with all the essentials: Food, water, bed, favorite toys, etc. This is also a great place for your pet to go while you are wrapping presents or baking to keep them from interfering.
4. Be careful with lighting. To prevent your pet from getting zapped, tape wires down to the floor or walls. This will help keep wires out of the way so there will be less temptation to chew, and eliminates tripping hazards for humans as well. Place any lit candles a safe distance away from prying paws and never leave burning candles unattended.
5. Say no to mistletoe. Unfortunately, a lot of our favorite holiday plants are poisonous to cats and dogs. Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias, and lilies can be dangerous and cause illness if ingested. If your pet likes to chew on plants, it is best to avoid bringing these plants into your home altogether.
6. Beware holiday treats. Chocolate and xylitol sweeteners are very dangerous to pets. Be sure all your cookies and candies are kept out of reach. And make sure none of your relatives are feeding table scraps. Your animal has their own food and it is best that they eat that to avoid upset stomaches, or worse.
7. Give your furry friend the best gift ever. While your pet will certainly appreciate new toys and treats, remember that the greatest gift you can give your pet is spending quality time with them. Take a break from shopping and wrapping, and take your dog for a walk, or play with your cat. This quality time will help both you and your pet relax and truly enjoy the holidays.
Here at The Guide, we’d like to wish you and your pet a safe and happy holiday season!