Holiday Leftovers – Do’s and Don’ts for your pets!
While many pet lovers believe that it is alright to have their furry friends get a taste of Christmas dinner, this is not an advisable thing to do as even the smallest of table scraps can be dangerous to pets.
Resist the temptation to give your pet table scraps that are high in fat, such as fat trimmed from meat or skin from your roasted turkey or chicken. Aside from the high salt content often found in holiday food, the bones of turkey and chicken can easily break into many different shards, which can lodge themselves in the throat of animals and cause serious internal injury. In addition to the typical gastrointestinal upset, rich, fatty foods can cause a potentially life-threatening and painful disease called pancreatitis. The most common symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs include vomiting, stomach pain, restlessness, shaking, diarrhea, fever, and weakness. In cats, the symptoms are less clear and harder to notice, such as decreased appetite and weight loss.
Also, be careful what you put in the trash can. The bottom line is that trash cans are an attractive source of food or great-smelling treats or chewables for most pets, so do your best to keep your buddy safe and out of the trash!
Holiday Pet Safety
Unsecured Christmas Trees
Christmas trees are beautiful — and not just to us humans! Our pets may also be intrigued by this strange seasonal appearance. Make sure your Christmas tree is secured and weighed down so that curious cats and dogs can’t knock it over easily. Always supervise your pet when she’s around the tree. And if you happen to have a real tree, prevent pets from drinking the water — the bacteria and tree food it contains can cause severe gastrointestinal problems.
Speaking of Christmas trees, your beloved ornaments might look like perfect, bite-size snacks to sneaky cats and dogs. To help ward off an ornament ingestion emergency, place ornaments high up on the tree, way above where pets can reach, and tie them tightly.
Now’s the time of year when we have light strings and extension cords hanging throughout our homes that aren’t typically in our — or our pets’ — environment. Take care to tie back or tape down all loose cords so that pets can’t chew or get tangled up in them.
You may already know to keep your cats and dogs away from poinsettias, which can cause stomach irritation if eaten. Add holly, lilies and mistletoe to that list of toxic plants — they can all cause severe damage and should be inaccessible to pets.
New Year’s Pet Safety
New Year’s will be one of the nosiest days of the year, guaranteed. Keep in mind that most animals are very sensitive to noise. Although there probably will be no way to shut out the noise entirely, there are certainly ways to help. First, make sure to secure anxious pets, ideally inside with you. Also, make sure they have a “safe” place to go if they get stressed and never scold a nervous pet. This will make the stress worse. If you won’t be home, confine your pet to a small room or enclosed area with music or television playing.
It is strongly recommended to bring outdoor pets inside for the night. Even the most street-smart pets can get frantic during loud celebrations like New Years. Too frequently we take our furry friends for granted. It is not worth taking the risk even if your pet is used to loud noises or commotions.
In no way should your pet be mixed in with firework celebrations. This is an ingredient for disaster. This will almost always lead to a lost and/or injured pet. If you plan on a light show, don’t take the risk. Keep your pets inside where they will be safe and sound.
Prior to celebrating would be a good time to make sure all identification tags and microchip information is accurate. If your pet isn’t micro chipped, having one inserted before New Years might not be a bad idea. Remember to update your microchip registration if you’ve moved or changed phone number.
If your pet is scared of their shadow, you might be in for a long night. Light sedatives might help reduce the stress during peak periods, but stay away from tranquilizers. Consult your veterinarian for options for your frightened furry friend.