StephKeeping Your Pet Safe During the Holiday Season

Written by Stephanie C

The holiday season is sneaking upon us faster than we all think. This season can cause havoc on our pets combining stress with diet change and other odd factors. Some families travel for the holidays while others may stay home and introduce new people into their house-holds. Any small change in their daily routine can cause stress in dogs and cats and this could lead to inappetence, constant hiding, and inappropriate urination and defecation.

Here are some tips on how to keep your loved one’s stress free during the holidays:

Try not to change your routine. Even if you have family or friends staying in the house, take them for walks at the same times and feed them at the same time.

  • Advise your guests not to give them any table scraps. Everyone will want to give your pet a treat. Count out the daily amount of treats in a jar you would want your pet to have. For example, put five treats in a jar a day. That way your guests can feel like they’re spoiling them without the extra weight gain.
  • Find a safe place for your pet if you have a party at your house. Remember, not everyone loves dogs and cats as much as you do. It could be stressful for that pet to be surrounded by people he/she doesn’t know. If your pet isn’t crate trained, maybe put him/her in a small bathroom with a comfy bed, water and food dish. Check on them frequently to make sure they don’t get into any trouble or decide to eat their bedding.
  • Certain holiday plants, such as Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettia, are toxic to our pets. Keep them either outside or out of reach from your furry friends.
  • If you have a house guest who wants to bring their dog to your house to play with your dog, bring them out to the front yard (or mutual territory) on a leash. This will allow them to be equals and they can continue to go inside as equals.
  • If you have a cat who loves to climb your Christmas tree and you’re getting sick of picking up broken ornaments, put some tin foil around the base of the tree. The sound will sometimes scare them from continuing to walk towards the tree.
  • While on the subject of the Christmas tree, avoid putting lights or ornaments on the bottom branches. While the lights can burn resting pets, the ornaments are very tempting to play with or eat. Cats do love tinsel, it may be best to not use it at all.

Remember to keep your pet’s safety and health in mind while you enjoy your holidays.