Preventative Care@3x

The Animals’ Christmas

Dec 11, 2013 | Holidays

With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get caught up in the revelries of the season and not give much thought to our pets. As you prepare for the holidays, here are a few considerations to make sure the season is a joyful event for you both.

Deck the Halls
Glittering glass ornaments, shimmering tinsel, and shiny decorations may give your home a warm, holiday glow. They can also be irresistibly tempting to animals. Do a careful assessment of your home prior to bringing out all the decorations and make sure that you choose the safest possible location for all of your festive flourishes. They may look harmless to us, but a shard of glass from an ornament or a stray piece of tinsel from the tree can cause irreparable internal damage to your pet.

O Christmas Tree
The safest place for your Christmas tree is in a room that’s off limits to your pet. If that’s not feasible, situate it in a corner that you can block off with a play fence or other obstruction. Pine needles (real and artificial) can seriously injure your pet if they are ingested. You also want to keep your pet away from the water for your live Christmas tree as they may be getting a dose of tree fertilizer or other harmful chemicals with their drink.

Make sure that your electrical wires are tucked out of sight and that ornaments and lights are placed well out of reach for your curious pet’s paws. Christmas lights can get extremely hot, giving your dog or cat a bad little burn if they venture over to sniff or touch them.

Holly Jolly Christmas
Holly, mistletoe, and Christmas lilies look deceptively nice. When it comes to being safe for pets, they all belong on the naughty list. Their festive foliage can cause serious medical problems from nausea to serious kidney failure and heart issues. Play it safe and opt for artificial holiday arrangements instead.

Here Comes Santa Claus
Who can resist the sight of gifts piled beneath the tree? Make sure that those beautifully wrapped presents are kept out of your pet’s reach, especially during gift opening time. From Styrofoam peanuts and plastic packaging to batteries, candy, and shiny twist ties, there’s a tantalizing treasure trove of temptation for your pet. With everyone’s attention diverted with presents and celebrations, you may want to have your pet wait in another room on Christmas morning to make sure they don’t accidentally ingest something harmful.

Joy to the World
The holiday season can be a stressful time for your pet. From holiday parties and gift-wrapping to unannounced carolers and visits from “Santa,” your pet can become a little anxious amidst all the merriment. Try to keep your pet’s daily routine as consistent as possible, making time for daily walks and play even when your schedule gets busy. Some pets appreciate having a quiet room to retreat into when guests arrive—plan ahead by making them stocking their safe haven with a comfortable place to sleep, a few toys, and a bowl of fresh water.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
With a few simple precautions, you can turn your holidays into a joyful and safe season for all. Don’t forget to make it truly memorable by picking up a little something special for your favorite furry friend! (Check out our holiday gift guide for ideas.) Happy Holidays!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.