The holidays are here; the decorations are out and put on display. How exactly can a pet owner best prepare for the holidays? Here are 10 tips you can use for your holiday plans to ensure your pets stay safe:
1. Secure, hide or cover electrical cords and electronics.
Lights and decorations usually mean cords will be scattered around the house. Make sure they are taped down or completely out of reach for your pets as they can trip on them, chew them up, or even experience an electric shock.
2. Keep holiday foods out of a pet’s reach.
Food, drinks and desserts are always key parts to the holiday. Chocolate is very bad for dogs, make sure to keep it out of there reach. Alcoholic beverages are another item that can make your dog experience nausea or an upset stomach.
3. Keep your pet’s daily routine as consistent as possible.
With so many parties and places to go you may change up your daily routines. Since pets do not adapt to changes as well as we do try to keep their routines as normal as possible.
4. Keep your pets out of rooms with a Christmas tree.
Keeping your pets out of the room is going to be very difficult. However, this is probably the most dangerous area since cats and dogs enjoy playing with dangling decorations and could knock over a tree or a glass ornament. A pet could accidentally eat a hook, ornament or tinsel, which would lead to intestinal problems. They may also try to drink the water the tree is placed in, so refrain from adding chemicals to make the tree last longer.
5. Avoid long strings, lights or décor in areas accessible to pets.
A string of lights could easily be mistaken as a toy to a pet looking for fun. This could lead to choking, getting twisted or other accidents.
6. Carefully watch candles.
Candles are a good way to get into the holiday spirit. Pets may become curious of a lit flame. Make sure to keep them in an area where they can not be reached to avoid major accidents.
7. Be careful with holiday plants.
Many of the common plants like mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and lilies can be poisonous to your dog or cat. Certain plants affect different animals and breeds in unique ways. Be sure to research how your animal could be affected by these plants.
8. Update ID tags.
While having guests come and go throughout the holidays your pet will have plenty of opportunities to escape the house. Be sure their ID tags include your current address and contact information.
9. Create a safe haven for your pets.
Loud noises (i.e. firecrackers on New Year’s) and having guests over can overwhelm your pet. Pets need a place that they can go to if they are scared or unsure.
10. Keep a list of emergency phone numbers for your pet.
You should always have the contact information for your veterinarian, a 24-hour pet hospital, and the Animal Poison Control Center easily accessible.
Follow these safety tips and help your pets enjoy the holidays, too!