You want your holiday season to be filled with happiness, food and loved ones. You’ve prepared your house for hosting guests and crossed a lot of things off your holiday to-do list, but have you thought about your pets? If pets are a part of your family, then it’s your duty to ensure their health and safety throughout these joyous times. The thing about animals like cats and dogs is that, no matter where they are, they have this uncanny ability to get into trouble.
Luckily, there are ways to keep your household creatures safe. Let’s hear some tips from a longtime veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ about some pet-related dos and don’ts to keep in mind this holiday season:
- DON’T give excessive table treats: You might add a topper like plain meat or safe vegetables to your dog’s kibble or your cat’s wet food from time to time. While this is often okay, suddenly giving your pet a load of holiday foods from your plate can mess with their digestive system. Foods like chunks of turkey, fat and bread can cause stomach aches, while foods that are toxic to pets can lead to conditions like gastroenteritis and pancreatitis or other life-threatening problems. Keep the following foods far away from cats and dogs: garlic, onions, grapes, dried fruit, alcohol, chocolate and caffeine.
- DON’T leave a mess: Once you’re done with your holiday dinner and desserts, clear the table and countertops. Put leftovers away and wipe down dirty surfaces. It’s important that you clean up properly. To ensure your pet’s safety, place all food scraps and garbage (bones, crust, meat, fat, vegetables, napkins, toothpicks, aluminum foil, parchment paper and more) in a trash bag. Tie the bag off and take it to your outdoor garage bin right away.
- DON’T be a softy: If you allow your pets to stay around the action during your dinner party, make sure all your guests know the rules. For starters, no table scraps—forbid everyone from feeding pets from their plates, but do have treats readily available for them to give as rewards. Also, be sure pets are wearing ID tags just in case they get out—even the most well-behaved dog or cats may make a run for it during the holiday chaos.
- DO give a small safe holiday treat: Although dog and cat tummies cannot handle gravy, cream, butter and other fatty foods, they can still join in on the holiday festivities. Foods like thoroughly cooked plain turkey or roast (skinless and boneless), baked potatoes and steamed carrots and green beans are reasonable holiday treats.
- DO create a safe space: It’s best to not force pets that have anxiety or stress into social situations. When throwing a holiday party or dinner, keep anxious pets separated from the crowd, preferably in a quiet room.
- DO pet-proof: Pet-proofing your house can keep them safe during the holidays. Keep table scraps, ornaments, cords, ribbons, hooks and toxic plants—such as mistletoe, poinsettia and pine needles—out of reach of pets.
If your pet needs to see a holistic veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ during the holiday season, don’t hesitate to call Newkirk Family Veterinarians!