The holiday season marks the end of the year and fresh beginnings, with all the joys of gift giving and festive, family celebrations. Your pets are family too and should also benefit by the added gaiety of the holiday spirit.
As you prepare your home for the holidays, please keep in mind that not all decorations or holiday sweets are pet-friendly. As you deck the halls, please keep these safety tips in mind:
Oh Christmas Tree:
Your tree should be anchored so it doesn’t tip over, especially when nosy noses notice something new in the room.
Cats especially like to climb trees. Cats are good climbers. It’s not only in their ancestry, but their extendable claws give them a really good grip on tree trunks!
If you have a natural tree, make sure the tree water is kept clean. Oils produced by fir trees can cause irritation to a pet’s stomach. Tree needles would not digest well either with possible obstruction or punctures if consumed.
Small, breakable ornaments should be at the top of your tree. Best to consider ornaments with tie string vs hooks…broken ornaments are a common occurrence and shards and hooks on the floor can be hazardous to puppy’s paws. Only turn your tree lights on when you are home. Take the same precaution with lit candles.
Be careful about tree lights, as they can cause electric shock or burns if chewed on, particularly if you have a puppy in the house where chewing is a natural process as they teethe and explore their world in a “taste and test” fashion. Flocked trees could be toxic if the branches become Fido’s new chew stick. Keep presents stored offsite as long as possible (so they aren’t opened early by curious canines and felines).
Yummy chocolates and Christmas confections magically multiply during the holidays. Sugary sweets and chocolate are not meant for sharing with your pets, however inadvertently. Xylitol, used as a sugar substitute, may also be found in some brands of peanut butter, yogurt, toothpaste and chewing gum and is extremely dangerous to dogs. Symptoms of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, muscle weakness, difficulty walking and tremors – and they usually begin within 15-30 minutes of consumption.
Some dogs like to “attack their prey” (they can’t help their ancestral disposition), so be sure to buy dog toys that do not have small parts or squeaky inserts. Unless your dog is a soft gummer, stick with sturdier chew toys, such as Nyla bones, Bully Sticks or Kongs. Most of us have witnessed the destruction of plush toys after a rigorous round of “seek and destroy”. The plush toy always loses!
Toxic Holiday Plants:
Holly, Mistletoe, Lilies, Daffodils and Amaryllis are potential GI upsets waiting to happen, if ingested. If you have these natural plants in the home, make sure they are out of nose reach. According to Pet Poison Hotline, “Though they have a bad rap, Poinsettia plants are only mildly toxic to cats and dogs. While poinsettias are commonly “hyped” as poisonous plants, they rarely are, and the poisoning is greatly exaggerated. When ingested, mild signs of vomiting, drooling, or rarely, diarrhea may be seen.” Having said that, some Poinsettia plants may have been treated with pesticides so best to avoid having any of these plants in close contact with household pets.
New Year’s Noises:
Loud noises, firecrackers and party horns are fun for us, yet may cause anxiety for some dogs. So much so, they may attempt to escape. If your dog is prone to anxiousness, place him in a quiet room during the countdown to 2021. Include treats, puzzle toys and calming music on the radio or TV. For extreme anxiety-prone dogs, consider calming chews or vet-prescribed medications. CBD for pets is gaining popularity as a treatment alternative for a myriad of ailments including anxiety. We recommend Canna-Pet, King Kanine and HempMyPet for their quality sourcing, third-party testing and organic farming methods. You can preview all CBD product choices @ https://doolittlesdoghouse.com/shop/
If you are hosting a festive party and need a quiet place for your dog to “park and bark”, consider our cage-free dog boarding service. We offer loving pet care for the daytime, evening and overnights, or extended care as needed. We would be happy to host your furry child in a quiet, loving home while you celebrate the season and ring in the New Year.
Warm wishes for peace, love and joy always.