Thanksgiving is behind us already, and Christmas and the coming of the New Year are just around the corner! Can you believe it? The holiday season is here again – amazing how fast a year can go by!
Spending time with friends and family is a highlight this time of year and pets are becoming grouped more and more into the ‘family’ label. Of the more than 140 million pets living in homes in America today, well over half are considered ‘family’ and are included in family functions such as photo sessions, signing greeting cards, and family gatherings.
Just like any other time of the year, keeping your pets healthy during these times of celebration should be a top priority. We’ve got a number of blogs dedicated to foods that shouldn’t be given to pets at any time of the year, but what else can you do to protect your furry loved ones during the holidays?
Keep Decorations Out of Reach
Tinsel, garland, stockings, door hangers, decorative glass balls and other decorative items should be kept well out of reach of pets.
- String and cloth, when ingested, can cause bowel obstructions that require surgery to fix.
- Wire from Christmas lights can cause severe electrical burns to the lips, gums, and tongue if chewed.
- Glass from a broken ball or shattered statue can do damage to the entire gastrointestinal system, starting at the mouth and doing damage all the way through.
- Wire hangers from Christmas ornaments can cause obstruction or damage to the esophageal, stomach, and intestinal tissue.
- Decorative plants such as holly and mistletoe are extremely toxic to pets and should be avoided if they cannot be kept out of pets’ reach.
Give Healthy Gifts
Pets love gifts as much as their humans do, but use common sense and caution when choosing a gift for your furry pal.
- Don’t give a pet anything small enough to be swallowed. Remove tags, bells, squeakers, and any other small bits from toys that can easily be chewed off and ingested.
- Look for toys labeled as being indestructible if you plan on giving your pet a toy that he/she will be left alone with. Otherwise, plan on supervising your pet whenever playing with toys. This will minimize the chances of a toy being shredded or torn apart, preventing any small, leftover bits from being ingested.
- Edible treats should be within the confines of what your pet already eats. Treats that are too rich, or that your pet is unaccustomed to eating, may cause stomach upset. Bones, rawhide treats, and greenies/busy bones should only be given under direct supervision! Pieces from these treats can be broken off and swallowed whole, causing potential medical emergencies.
- Give your pet the gift of time! Go to the dog park, take a walk, go to a pet-friendly beach or other location, or just spend some leisurely time with your pet in your home. Pets appreciate the love and affection of their owner more than any toy or treat!
We sincerely hope that these tips will help to ensure a holiday full of wagging tails and happy faces for the pets in your family. If you have questions regarding this or any other topic we cover in this blog, don’t hesitate to call! 407-880-9446