Whether he’s dozing on the floor in that perfect, warm sunbeam or surveying the kitchen happenings from his perch atop the refrigerator, your pet feels like he knows the lay of the land around your house. But around Christmas, your home transforms before his very eyes (and nose), with extra food, savory smells, new people, and shiny playthings… all for his enjoyment, right? Your pet will be on investigative patrol before long, so keep him safe with these Christmas pet safety tips from Pet Education and the ASPCA.
Festooned with reflective ornaments and strands of light, the Christmas tree will surely captivate your curious pet. After all, it looks just like a tree full of pet toys! Unfortunately, those pretty trimmings can be hazardous for pets. First and foremost, anchor the tree to prevent it from falling and causing injury to your pet. Leave the tinsel off the tree, so nibbling kitties don’t swallow it, which can lead to blockages and possible surgery. Keep tempting glass ornaments away from your playful pet, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking and causing lacerations. Always keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t chew needles, gnaw light strands, or drink the tree water.
The Pet Who Stole Food Scraps
Your pet’s doleful eyes and whimpers can be difficult to resist, but don’t give in! Many people foods can cause an upset stomach or more serious problems for your pet. Keep the non-pet food away from him, especially chocolate, artificially sweetened treats, alcohol, uncooked meat, bones, grapes, raisins, and dough. Reduce temptation, and feed your pet before the party, dispose of leftovers right away, and properly secure garbage containers.
Skip the Boughs and Blossoms
Scratch some of the live greenery off your decorating list this year in the name of pet safety. Many plants associated with Christmas can cause stomach upset (or worse) for your pets. The seasonal plant offenders include holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and some lilies.
Not Everything on Their List
After all the times he greeted you at the door or turned your mood around, your pet surely belongs on the “nice list” this year. Be careful when selecting stocking stuffers and Christmas gifts, however. You dog would like nothing more than to tear apart a bunch of cute stuffies, but treat him to some chew toys instead – nothing that can be swallowed. Likewise, keep long strings and loose parts away from your frisky cat.
If you’re expecting a lot of guests, create a quiet space for your pet where he can retreat to if needed. Make sure to supply food and water so he’s comfortable. Install a pet gate if you’re worried that he’ll become upset or turn aggressive. Even pets that love attention may need an obedience training refresher course. Let guests know beforehand that you have a pet, in case allergies are a concern.