How to Keep your Pet Safe During Christmas Time
Pet safety is an important issue for everyone who owns a dog or a cat, especially during the holidays! How safe our pets are depends on how much attention we pay to them and their needs
For example, being careless about your pet’s diet can have serious consequences. They could eat dangerous food without you noticing or even knowing about the dangers! This goes the same for their toys, clothes, etc.
Now that Christmas is just a few days away, we need to make sure that your Fluffy Friend is safe during this joyous time of the year. Here in this blog post, we’ll be listing down our top Christmas Pet Safety Tips. From food to decorations and parties to appropriate winter clothing, read on to get several ideas for pet safety at Christmas time!
Food Safety for Your Fluffy Friend
The holiday season is the best time to prepare and dine on delicious cuisine. Even if you might feel indulgent, it's important to keep in mind that your dog or cat still requires a balanced diet. Let’s take a look at the different popular holiday meals that are really harmful to your furball.
Chocolate is a big no-no for dogs, cats, and other animals because it contains theobromine. Even in small doses, this sweet treat can make your pets vomit, have diarrhea, and have convulsions. Chocolate may even be lethal. As a general rule, darker chocolate contains more theobromine and is, therefore, riskier for pets. Due to its extraordinarily high-fat content, white chocolate is also not something you should offer to your pets either.
Overindulging in fatty meals can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Foods high in fat can shock your dog’s system and can even cause pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation). Inflammation of the pancreas frequently advances quickly in dogs. While it’s frequently treatable without causing permanent harm, severe organ damage including brain damage can happen if pancreatitis is left untreated for an extended period.
GRAPES, CURRANTS, RAISINS, AND SULTANAS
This type of food is extremely poisonous to your Fluffy Friend as they can result in serious kidney failure even in little amounts. They are frequently used as ingredients for puddings and cakes. So be very careful in leaving out your pastries.
ONIONS, GARLIC, LEEKS, SHALLOTS, AND CHIVES
It has been established that plants in the Allium Family harm your pet’s red cell membranes. If your fur baby seems lethargic, weak, has pale gums, or has a minimal appetite, consult with a vet as soon as possible.
RAW DOUGH AND ALCOHOL
Foods and drinks with alcohol can be harmful to your pets. If ingested, alcohol and raw dough can cause coma, tremors, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and death. Additionally, it's crucial to keep your pets away from uncooked bread. Raw dough may expand in your pet’s stomach or it may create alcohol as a byproduct. Also, the uncooked dough can contain Escherichia coli (E. coli) which causes food poisoning.
SOME TYPE OF NUTS
Generally, dogs shouldn’t eat nuts. It’s true that some nuts are not poisonous, but still, they are all practically heavy in fat. Salted nuts might cause water retention and other problems. Furthermore, nuts like almonds can be choking dangers. Be wary of macadamia nuts because they are very toxic to your dog when consumed.
On the other hand, unseasoned peanuts and cashews are safe for dogs to eat in very small amounts. Although cashews and peanuts both have a high-fat content, they are both reportedly safe in moderation. They might also present choking risks.
Being Cautious on Décor and Gifts
Christmas is a festive holiday which means you’ve got a lot of decorations out. It’s important to take note of the following décor and gifts that may present hazards to your pets:
- Holly: Despite being a plant with low levels of toxicity, your pet’s mouth, throat, and stomach may be harmed by the spikes on the leaves. And the berries found on Holly might make your dog throw up and have diarrhea.
- Mistletoe: There are two varieties of mistletoe to take into account: the European variety and the American variety. The European variety, while not really hazardous, could give your dog a stomach ache if consumed. The American kind is significantly more toxic and can, in some severe cases, result in death.
- Poinsettia: Consuming the leaves may result in nausea and vomiting.
- Christmas Trees: The natural oils in the needles, combined with their pointy structure, can upset your fluffy friend’s stomach if consumed. Of course, the decorations that you hang may also inspire curiosity so make sure that your pets can’t reach them.
Candles that are sold in Europe have almost negligible toxicity. Then again, they are still a choking hazard or your pet might develop an intestinal blockage. A fire hazard is also created by lit candles. Keep candles away from reach.
WRAPPING AND PACKAGING
Although wrappings and packaging are not particularly dangerous, the dye may cause your pets an upset stomach. Moreover, wrappers are a bit challenging to remove from your dog or cat's mouth.
BATTERIES AND TOYS
They are hazardous to humans, so they must also be hazardous to your pets! An alkaline battery's liquid can burn your dog's mouth, throat, and stomach. They are also choking hazards.
Your pets can’t distinguish a dog or cat toy from a child's toy. Keep toys away from reach or keep them in a lidded container. Better yet, give your pet a new toy for the holidays!
Related: Should my dog sleep on my bed?
Keeping Your Fluffy Friend Safe During Parties and Gatherings
It’s pretty common to drink or have a holiday party at Christmas. So it’s to be expected that there would be alcoholic drinks, loud noises, or people who your pets haven’t met yet. Hosting a party could be chaotic with pets around. So, what can you do to have a pleasant holiday while ensuring that your pets do too?
First, plan way ahead of time. You could choose to board your pet or hire a dog/cat sitter. You might even want to give your pet a vet-recommended sedative before the event if they are anxious or overly excitable.
Second, have a pet-safe area where they can feel more comfortable. Maybe add in some white noise, snacks, and their favorite things.
Third, avoid loud music and large crowds, both your pet and your neighbors might not like this. Limit the number of guests you invite and keep the music lively but not too loud.
Finally, check in on your pets from time to time. If they can join the party, make sure to ask your guests not to feed them. Also, keep the alcohol and food out of reach. But if you’ve decided to leave them in their safe space, subtly keep an eye on them.
Related: How I became a Better Dog Owner?
Get Your Fluffy Friend Ready for Winter
This winter, you must properly care for your pet. Since our pets can’t really tell you they’re feeling cold, you would need to adjust to their needs. Here are some suggestions for keeping your priceless pets warm over the winter.
WARM CLOTHES AND BLANKETS
Pets can develop hypothermia if left in the cold for an extended period of time. Animals that spend a long time in intense heat or who get soaked in the cold can develop hyperthermia or hypothermia. As a result, you should limit the amount of time your pet spends outside.
It would also be best to be prepared with the applicable clothes or footwear in case you’d want your pets to play in the snow. Make sure to add a comfy blanket to warm them down.
PROTECT YOUR PETS FROM THE HEATER
During the winter, dogs typically seek heat sources and may lean against a heater. They run the risk of getting burned since they are unaware of the temperatures of these surfaces. Make sure to add a barrier between your heater and pets.
It may seem a little absurd, but a dog's skin must remain hydrated. Some supplements keep the skin and fur of your dog moisturized. It’s also a good idea to alter their diet to help with the dry, flaking skin that might occur throughout the winter.
Of course, you might also want to research dog-safe natural topical moisturizers like coconut oil. Don’t forget to consult with a veterinarian before adding supplements or altering meals.
Christmas is always a fun time for the family—your pets included! Preparing for the holidays with your pets in mind should be a priority. So don’t forget to make this holiday a safe one for your Fluffy Friend!