Christmas is a very busy time for most families, and pets can be caught up in the excitement too. Below are a few things to keep in mind when preparing for Christmas celebrations with pets.
Food: we all like to give our pets treats at Christmas, and most people think giving them food from the table is a one off treat that won’t harm them. However, we need to be careful what we give them, so just a few tips:
Turkey and chicken bones: Bones can easily puncture your pet’s lungs or digestive tract, or cause your animal to choke, either of which can potentially be fatal. Raw bones are great for your pet’s teeth and gums but cooked turkey or chicken bones are too brittle and a health hazard.
Chocolate: is never a good idea because the active ingredient in chocolate is toxic to animals. Chocolate is graded in toxicity according to the amount ingested and the quality, so a dark chocolate is more toxic than milk chocolate. At worst, depending on the animal’s size, it can kill your dog or cat or lead to extreme hyperactivity or even seizures in your animal. Dogs, more than cats, are likely to try to eat chocolate, so just ensure that the human treats are out of the dog’s sight, and give your dog pet treats when you are having your treats.
Decorations: Here cats come into trouble as much or more so, that dogs. Electrical wiring for lights should be stapled or taped down, a hazard to people and animals. Decorations are the things that need most care – animals love to chase baubles around however, if they catch them and try to chew on them, most of these decorations are made of cheap and toxic materials. Don’t let your pets have the Christmas decorations unless you are going to watch what they do, and stop them if they start chewing them. Tinsel is a real hazard to pets, and if swallowed, will cause gastric problems that may need surgery. Pets, like small children, need to be supervised around these things.
Fireworks: We all know that fireworks usually terrify dogs and cats. If you are going to have these, just make sure your pets are locked in a safe place, so that they don’t run away and so that they don’t injure themselves in an attempt to escape.
Guests: Some animals deal really well with lots of noise and people, others don’t. You know your pets response to people. If yours is the pet who becomes stressed at noise and guests, make sure your pet has a safe and quiet place to go to while the party is on. Put the pets food, water and litter in this place and you can enjoy your guests, knowing your pet is safe and calm. Christmas is a great time for families and friends, so plan ahead and avoid having to worry about your pet’s health. Have a safe and happy Christmas.