Perhaps the worst thing a pet owner can experience during the holiday season is an emergency vet visit. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where many will end up on a cold winter’s night--and for a variety of reasons that could have been easily avoided in hindsight.
Here’s a look at the top reasons why a pet owner might find themselves at the vet this winter….and how to avoid the trip all together so you can your pooch can stay safe and warm at home.
Most every household will be putting up a tree during the holiday season. It’s a hallmark of the celebrations as the snow begins to fall and the weather turns cooler. However, whether real or fake, certain considerations need to be made to keep your dog safe.
First and foremost, be certain that your dog has their manners in place. In other words, if you have a teething puppy, you’ll want to avoid leaving them alone around your tree because they might just turn it (or the presents underneath) into a chew toy.
Secondly, consider your ornaments carefully. Shatterproof plastic ornaments are affordable and often just as pretty as the real thing. You wouldn’t know the difference unless you pick them up, or drop one. That’s why they’re the safest bet around pets who may knock a glass or ceramic ornament off the treat by accident.
Third, be sure that you hang any sentimental decorations higher up on the tree. If you’re stringing up popcorn or candy canes, you should also put them higher up and out of reach of your furry friend’s strong sniffer. When in doubt, don’t leave them out by themselves.
A final word of caution: While those scented sticks can definitely bring the smell of wintertime cheer into your home, they should be tucked high and deep in the tree, and out of reach of any dogs. If you have climbing cats, it’s probably best to avoid them all together because they are packed with dangerous chemicals.
Who could deny the cuteness of a cat and dog dressed up as Santa and Mrs. Claus? From elf ears to hats to full-body sweaters, any costumes your pets happen to adorably adorn this year should not be left on them unattended.
Pets can be quick to turn these into chew toys, and ravling yarn, plastic parts, and decorations can be dangerous. If your pet struggles to pull off an accessory, that can also turn into a strangulation hazard and it most certainly won’t help your pet get into the spirit of the holidays.
Instead, try to forego the costumes except during carefully attended photo ops and family gatherings. For your pet’s safety and comfort, be sure to take any of their accessories or holiday outfits off before they go to bed or get left alone.
This time of year is known for social gatherings and family events that get everyone together around the table. But, while you may want your pet to feel involved, it’s not always safe to be passing table scraps down to them.
In fact, you should try to avoid feeding your pets human food. Not only does it disrupt their carefully balanced diet, it can also turn them into permanent beggars--and that’s a hard habit to untrain.
If your pet is already one that likes to hang around the table, be certain to politely request that guests don’t feed them any food scraps or leftovers. If you have a pushover in your house, it may be best to put your pet into another room while everyone enjoys the feast.
The main reason for this is pet safety. Many things that are found in human food, even in small quantities, are surprisingly unhealthy or even dangerous for cats and dogs. Make sure to look things up before letting your pet have a taste and, even better, try to avoid feeding them human food all together.
Gifts for Your Pet
Who doesn’t love the thought of giving their pet their very own present during the holiday season? After all, everyone else is in on the fun! However, you’ll want to be certain that any pet presents you’re picking up are truly safe for them.
This goes back to general toy and treat safety. Be certain that any toy you are purchasing for your pet has been designed with their safety in mind. That means no plastic parts or accessories that they can get ahold of and potentially swallow or consume.
When it comes to treats, you should stick to the pet aisle where the ingredients have been carefully chosen based on what’s safe for your animal to eat. If you find that your pet is a picky eater, you can even make your own treats for some extra-special goodness.
Think Twice Before Making a Pet a Present
During the holiday season, the adoption rate of dogs and cats goes through the roof!
While it’s great to think of all the pets who are finding new and happy homes with families, this is always a great time of year to remind readers that pets aren’t a last-minute gift.
In order to truly give the pet, and your family, the best present, be sure to do your research and make sure that everyone knows the responsibilities involved with the care and keeping of the animal.
It’s also a great thing for everyone to tag along and help pick out the new pet so that everyone is able to bond and connect with them. So rather than putting a bow on a brand new puppy or kitten, if you’d like to welcome a new pet home this year, announce a trip to the local shelter to pick one out.