The holidays are a fun and emotional time, full of family bonding and wishes for the new year. But while most humans have a great time during Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Eve, their furry friends can have a decidedly less enjoyable experience, especially if their owners fail to take certain precautions to keep their animals safe. From your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, here are seven things to consider when it comes to keeping your pets safe this holiday season:
- Dangerous plants: Mistletoe, holly, poinsettias and lilies are all lovely holiday plants, but they are also poisonous to your pets. If possible, try not to have them in your home, or at least keep them far out of reach of your animals. And although Christmas trees are not poisonous, keep in mind that their sharp needles could harm your pets.
- Tree water: If your dog has a habit of drinking toilet water or puddles, then they might be tempted to also drink the water you use to hydrate your Christmas tree. Many toxic chemicals are used to grow Christmas trees, however, so this water might be contaminated. Try to keep a barrier between your pet and the tree.
- Tree decorations: Popcorn, gingerbread men and candy canes are all popular tree decorations, but if they fall, they could make for a very upset pet tummy, or worse. If you still want the charming effect of these foods, try to find an artificial version instead.
- Excess wrapping: Bows, ribbons and any other wrapping that can easily come off of a gift could pose a choking hazard for your pet. The same goes for intentionally wrapping a bow around your pet’s neck—yes, it’s cute, but it is also dangerous. Try to stick to minimal wrapping this year.
- Holiday foods: Chocolate, alcohol, fruits, nuts, uncooked dough—all of these foods are dangerous for animals, and they are all in abundance during holiday gatherings, as are aluminum foil and other wrapping materials. If you know there will be a lot of guests and food out during a certain time, consider keeping your pet in a separate room, or at least keeping a very close eye on them.
- Gifting animals: If you want to give your loved one a pet for the holidays, you might want to reconsider, as the confusion and excitement of the holidays might not be the best environment in which to welcome a new animal. Instead, consider donating to an animal shelter in their name, or give them a gift certificate to a pet store so they can buy a pet after the holidays.
- Fire risks: Menorahs and holiday candles can easily be knocked down by rambunctious kittens or puppies, creating a dangerous situation for everyone. Keep open flames safely out of reach of your pets at all times.
With all the chaos and excitement that usually surrounds the holidays, it is helpful to be prepared ahead of time when it comes to protecting your animals. For more holiday pet safety tips, please get in touch with Newkirk Family Veterinarians, your trusted veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.