The holiday season is a wonderful time of year to be a pet parent. This time of year, we give thanks for the love and affection our pets fill our lives with. We also get to shop for new leashes, collars, cat beds, and toys, toys, toys! In order to keep the joy in Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s – prepare for safety while you plan for fun!
We want you to make the most of the holidays with some simple safety tips pet parents often overlook.
Our Top Safety Tips to Keep the Happy in Your Pet’s Happy Holidays
1. Don’t Let Your Pet Get too Stressed by Changes
From guests coming in, to your family heading out of town, we tend to get wrapped up in all the planning that goes into making the most of time off and holidays. And, at times, we forget that our pets get stressed out, too. From strange smells to frightening strangers, the holidays can lead to heightened anxiety for pets.
What Can You Do to Eliminate Your Pet’s Holiday Anxiety?
If you’re going away for the holidays:
- Book your pet’s boarding with us well in advance
- Let us know of any special instructions for your pet a week or two before your departure
- Double-check that your pets’ vaccinations are updated for their stay in boarding
If you’re hosting friends and family:
- Familiarize guests with your pet-friendly policies (from petting to handouts)
- Ask guests to keep the doors closed as they enter and depart
- Have pet parent-approved treats ready to go
- Keep your nervous cat or dog in a quiet room away from the excitement
2. Watch for Food Trash on Walks
From pumpkins to stuffing, people tend to toss out excess food this time of year. Avoid walking too closely to areas where people have discarded their food trash. Not only can dogs and cats choke on bones, but the fungi that grow in compost and organic trash can make your pet very sick.
3. Be Bright this Fall: Keep that Routine and Light up the Night
As daylight savings comes and goes, your dog or cat may still want to wake you up at their normal breakfast time–this isn’t dangerous, but if you find it annoying, slowly change your pet’s mealtime gradually to help them adjust.
What can become dangerous is walking your dog at dusk, dawn, or in the dark. Don’t skip those walks, dogs need just as much exercise during the holidays. Just be sure you wear bright clothes and invest in a reflective leash or collar for your dog. Be cautious as you cross the road and bring a flashlight if you head out in the dark.
4. Don’t Let Your Pet Get Wrapped Up in Holiday Wrapping Paper
Ribbons, bows, ornament hangers, and wrapping paper can create a mess, but they can also become dangerous for playful pups and cats. From strangulation to swallowing hazards, these delightful dressings aren’t meant for pets. After wrapping up those presents, decking the halls, and trimming your tree, clean up the scraps to protect your precious pet.
5. Sweet Treats Can be Dangerous for Your Pets
Two dangers we cannot stress enough awareness around is xylitol toxicity and chocolate poisoning. From Halloween through New Year’s, we (and vets across America) see an increase in pets becoming ill and dying from eating candy and chocolates.
While these sweet treats are not very large, they do serious damage to pets’ health.
Chocolate can cause
- Agitation and restlessness
- Shaking and Tremors
- Increased urination
- Elevated heart rate
- Organ damage
Xylitol poisoning can result in
- Inability to walk
- Shaking and tremors
While xylitol is frequently found in sweets like gummies and gum, it frequently adds a sweet flavor to dental products like mouthwash, toothpaste, and floss.
To protect your pets, keep all candy out of reach of curious paws and tongues. If you have visitors for the holidays, remind them to keep their toiletries tucked away.
Have a Memorable and Cozy Holiday Season with Your Pets!
We hope these simple safety tips will give you peace of mind and protect your pets. Once you’ve checked these off your list, grab that leash, open the windows, and enjoy this wonderful weather. Don’t forget that pets don’t know the meaning of our favorite holidays and that skipping the table scraps does them a favor. Good health is a gift in itself for your four-legged best friend.
If you suspect your pet has nibble on chocolate, xylitol sweets, or fungi, call us right away.
Image credit: Dominika Roseclay | Pexels