Holiday Pet Health Tips
While the holidays are a typically happy and exciting time, it’s also the season for pets to get into all types of trouble – and danger. You must be extra vigilant during this season when there are new sights, smells, sounds and things to play with. Here are tips to avoid common health dangers your pets face during this otherwise cheery season:
Don’t Feed Pets Table Scraps
Like people, pets can gain weight during the holidays. Keep your pet on a regular feeding schedule and avoid giving your pet’s table scraps, which can wreak havoc on his system, cause diarrhea, and vomiting or add extra calories he doesn’t need. And, too much fatty food can also cause pancreatitis.
Watch Counter Surfers and Food Bandits
If a pet wants something, he’ll find a way to get it. During the holidays, there are all kinds of delicious – and toxic – things hanging around the house. Chocolate, uncooked bread yeast dough, macadamia nuts, onions, Poinsettia Plants, Xylitol and more can all cause big problems if your pet ingests them so, be diligent.
Be Careful Where You Leave Presents
No matter how well a present is wrapped, pets can get into them. “Wrapping paper, tape and ribbon are no match for a dog hot on the scent of a box of chocolates or some other tasty food treat.”
Hide Electric Cords
Cover electric cord or use battery-powered holiday lights because of the danger of burned mouths as a result of electric shock.
Keep Tree Decorations Out of Reach
Tinsel, lights and ornaments are irresistible to pets…but they are all hazards. Tinsel, if ingested can cause intestinal blockage. Lights, when chewed, can burn or shock a pet, and ornaments, if they break (or get chewed), can cut a pet. Place these items out of reach or put a pet-proof barrier around your tree.
Avoid Bringing Toxic Plants Into the House
Holiday plants can be poisonous to pets. Poinsettias and pine are a of couple popular holiday plants that can cause problems. Keep toxic plants elevated and out of reach.
Stay On Schedule
Holiday stress isn’t just limited to humans. Pets can get anxious and stressed by schedule changes, visitors and new objects in the home, like Christmas trees or lights. Pet parents must maintain a consistent feeding and exercise schedule during the holiday.
Provide Save Havens For Pets
During the chaos of the holidays with people coming and going, it’s a good idea to provide a safe “getaway” for your pet, far away from the noise, people and confusion. This can be a room in your house where your pet won’t be disturbed but that has all of his favorite toys, a bed, food, water and chew sticks. If your pet is especially anxious around visitors, try boarding him for a few days to alleviate stress on him – and you.
Know Who to Call
Be prepared! Call your veterinarian’s office and ask for information about who will be handling emergencies during the holidays. Then stick that information on your refrigerator.
The holidays are a time of fun and cheer – with a few precautions you can keep your pets safe and away from the vet’s emergency room!
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