Isn’t it wonderful to put up a beautiful tree, decorate it with ornaments, lights, and tinsel? Isn’t it fun to place gifts under the tree and watch the pile grow as Christmas day draws near? Of course it is, but it’s as equally interesting to your pet. Now there are new smells, more fun toys and, oh boy, packages that can be played with for hours! Unfortunately, many of the new “toys” can be hazardous to your pet.
The Christmas Tree
If you have an unusually curious pet, it is best to gate them in a safe area away from the tree if you are not there to supervise. A curious cat or dog can easily bring the tree down with a few jumps or pulls on a branch and you will not only have a mess to clean up but your pet may end up being cut by broken ornaments or even receive an electric shock from the string of lights. Some pets may even chew on the tinsel or ornaments which can lead to gastric problems or even death from toxicity. Even a small tree on top of a table can prove to be harmful to a cat that likes to jump up and play around with the tree. Supervising your pet during this holiday season will ensure a happy one.
Cookies, Candy, and Chocolate
Who doesn’t love giving and receiving goodies during this season? I remember our neighbor, every year, would give our family a box of Russell Stoffer chocolates and my mom would place the box under the tree. That is a huge mistake for pet owners. Chocolate is especially toxic to dogs and cats when eaten in large quantities. If your pet gets the Stoffers while you are out, he may consume more than he can handle and you’ll have either a very sick pet upon your return, or he may possibly die. If you find yourself facing this situation, call the vet immediately. Cookies and candy are not the healthiest items for humans to eat, but imagine an animal that is about 1/10th your size. One cookie to him is like you eating a dozen. It is especially important to remember this if you have a child that “loves” to feed the family pet whatever he/she has not eaten. Dogs love to follow children around because they can snatch food out of their hands rather quickly and enjoy a “stolen” treat. Always be mindful of the goodies.
Friends and Family
During this season friends and family come to visit for holiday parties, dinners, and to deliver gifts. If you know you are going to have a group of people over, make a “safe” place in the house for your pet. By removing the pet from the party area, you can be assured that he will not be fed something he shouldn’t have, nor will you need to worry about a possible “biting” incident. If you have a crate, set it up in a room that your pet is comfortable being in, and place him in there during the party. He will probably curl up and go to sleep. If you do let your pet wonder, cordially request that your guests not feed your pet. There is nothing wrong with giving some basic rules on how to handle the family pet and your guests will respect you and be more at ease around your pet when they know your expectations. Little children and pets are like magnets and can also be a poor combination. A simple yank of the tail or ear and the pet may scratch or bite. Again, if you know there are going to be small children and you can not properly supervise your pet with the child, remove the pet to a safe, quiet area. Always remember that you are the owner and you need to set the stage for a happy holiday for your pet.
I do recommend the Critter Cord which can be purchased through Amazon.com. It’s not only great to use during the holiday season, but year round as well.