The holiday season is here, and you probably have lots of special events planned to celebrate with your loved ones including your pets. As you prepare to ring in the new year, however, it’s important that you keep a few safety tips in mind. Here are some things to remember as you include your dog or cat in this year’s holiday festivities.
1. Protect Your Christmas Tree
Many pets are naturally attracted to Christmas trees. After all, what’s not to love? The shiny ornaments and brights lights are appealing to almost everyone. If your loved one can’t seem to stay away from the tree, however, you may need to take some protective measures. Consider anchoring your tree to the wall to prevent falls. (Cats especially love to jump inside Christmas trees and sleep on the branches.) You may also opt for an artificial tree this year. Real trees require frequent watering, and that can become a breeding ground for bacteria. If your dog or cat drinks from the tree stand, they could become sick.
2. Skip the Tinsel
Cats love to play with anything floppy and shiny, which certainly includes tinsel. But this festive decor can also be dangerous if it’s ingested. A cat can easily choke on the long strands of tinsel (or any similar decor), so it’s best to skip it altogether this season. Consider using thicker, longer material like garland instead.
3. Don’t Leave Candles Unattended
Nothing enhances the Christmas spirit more than a lovely spruce- or pine-scented candle, but you need to exercise caution when you have pets in the home. It’s easy for dogs or cats to tip candles over, causing an immediate fire hazard and potentially burning the pet itself. Keep candles on a stable surface away from pets, and never leave pets unattended near an open flame.
4. Make a Pet Sanctuary
Planning a holiday party this year? Consider creating a pet-safe area for your loved one to retreat. Not all pets love the hustle and bustle of a crowd, and shy or anxious pets may react negatively to friends and family members if they become overwhelmed. You can use a pet carrier, crate or small room. Make sure to give your pet plenty of food, water and a cozy place to rest. You can include a litter box for cats, but be sure to take dogs out regularly for walks. This one small step will likely make your party guests as well as your pets more comfortable.
5. Try to Stick to Your Routine
With all the holiday cheer going around, it’s easy for things to become hectic around the holiday season. For your pet’s sake, try to stick to your usual routine as much as possible. Remember to feed your pet at regular meal times, walk or socialize them like normal (watching for overstimulation, of course), and keep up with their meds and preventive medicine. Flea tablets are an easy way to stay on top of flea prevention. Dogs love the taste, and they’re super easy to administer! You should also consider adding vitamins to your pet’s daily regimen (with your vet’s approval) during the cold and flu season.
6. Enjoy the Holidays!
With proper preparation and a strong routine, your pet is sure to enjoy a wonderful holiday season with you and your family. So kick back, relax, and enjoy all that the holidays have to offer!
Lannie, writer for Allivet. Allivet provides affordable pet supplies and pet medications, all of which can be purchased online.