To Tree or Not to Tree? Holiday Reminders for Pet Owners
‘Tis the season for family gatherings, decking the halls, and enjoying all of the wonders of Christmas. It is important to remember, however, that among the decorations, decor, and abundant feasts, our holiday essentials can pique the interest of our pets and expose them to toxic or unsafe situations.
In order to help you and your pets safely enjoy this festive season, the team at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center has a few important reminders for pet owners and avoiding that unexpected visit to the overnight animal ER!
Top 10 Pet-Safe Reminders
- Ditch the tinsel. Tinsel and curling ribbon used on trees and presents are hazardous for pets as they can be easily ingested, leading to an intestinal obstruction or other problem.
- Watch the tree – Many pets are fascinated by a lighted Christmas tree filled with dangling ornaments. In order to prevent a tree disaster, make sure that your tree is secured and weighted down.
- Supervise your pet – If you have a real tree, prevent your pets from drinking the water by covering it. Tree water can contain sap, fire retardants, fertilizers, and other harmful chemicals.
- Secure electric lights – Strings of electric lights should be hung out of your pet’s reach, as they can cause entanglement and, if chewed, electric shock.
- No table scraps – So many of the delectable items commonly found on our holiday tables, including, fatty meats, chocolate, onions/garlic, grapes/raisins, macadamia nuts, and anything sweetened with Xylitol are toxic to pets. Don’t give table scraps to pets and make sure your guests don’t either.
- Get rid of garbage – Few pets are above scrounging in an open trash can filled with holiday leftovers, but the high fat foods and other items can lead to tummy and gastrointestinal troubles, intestinal blockage, or even a serious condition known as pancreatitis. Put leftovers away immediately and keep trash bins covered and out of your pet’s reach.
- Beware of plants – Traditional holiday plants such as mistletoe, holly, lilies, and amaryllis can cause varying degrees of poisoning if ingested by a pet. Remove these plants from your home or place them where your pet can’t reach them.
- Create a safe and quiet space – Having festivities and unfamiliar people in the home can be stressful for even the calmest pet, so give your pet some down time during the gathering. Set up a relaxing space for your pet in an out of the way room that includes bedding, fresh water, and favorite toys. You may also consider using a species-specific pheromone spray and play soft, calming music.
- IDs please – The holidays provide plenty of opportunities for pets to slip out of a door or gate left open. Now is the perfect time to make sure your pet’s microchip has been updated and that he or she is always wearing a collar with current ID tags.
- Sharing the season – In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook our sweet pets! Spending time with your pet each day, whether that is walking, playing, or just sitting quietly together, is a wonderful way to honor the unconditional love our pets give to us each and every day.
We hope you, your family and, of course, your pet have a wonderful Christmas season! If you have any further questions regarding our holiday safety reminders, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.